Washougal, WA – The GEICO Powersports Honda team rolled into Washougal, Washington, for round eight of the AMA Pro Motocross Championships with high hopes.
After a couple so-so performances in the last couple nationals, Blake Wharton snatched his first holeshot of the nationals in the first moto and led the first half-dozen laps on his way to third in the moto. Then, in the second moto, another good start landed him another third-place finish.
Wharton finished second overall.
“It feels good to get back up there,” Wharton said. “I got the holeshot in the first moto and led for five or six laps, and that’s something I haven’t done in a while. Hopefully, I’ll be doing more of that. In the second moto, I got a good start again. I didn’t get the lead, but I was up front, and I held it together for second overall. It was a good day. The last race I led was a supercross, in St. Louis, and that was a long time ago, so hopefully now that I’ve got my starts back, I can get back up there next week, and the week after that, and get up there consistently.”
Wharton’s teammate Brett Metcalfe found his way to the front in both motos as well, going 4-4 for fourth overall.
“Today, I just got crap starts,” Metcalfe said. “I don’t know. I’m not really happy with a 4-4, but it’s a lot better than it could be. I need to get good starts. I can’t pull it off without it, so if I get a bad start, that’s not going to happen for me. Starts have been good for me lately, but today there were two shockingly bad starts, so I need to make sure tire selection and everything is good for the gate, then go for it. A 4-4 at this track is pretty good, though, because I don’t really dig this race. I’m looking forward to the next few rounds.”
And finally, rookie Justin Barcia had a tough day with some falls, but still recovered for a strong finish in moto two.
“I just told everyone to look out for me at Unadilla,” Barcia said. “I just haven’t been myself since my crash at Texas and I needed some time to get back to myself. I had a meeting with the team and we know what we have to work on and we are going to be ready for the last four nationals.”
From here, the GEICO Powersports Honda team has a couple weekends off from this series before it returns to action in New Berlin, New York, for round nine of the series at Unadilla. However, Wharton and Kevin Windham will be taking part in the X Games this weekend in Los Angeles. In addition, multi-time Women’s MX champion Jessica Patterson will be on board a GEICO Powersports Honda machine at the X Games in the Women’s Moto X event at the Home Depot Center.
Team Sponsors: GEICO Powersports, Honda, Planet Fitness, Unbound Energy, AM/PM, Factory Connection, Fox, Shoei, Gaerne, DVS, Amsoil Lubricants, Cycra Plastics, Dunlop Tires, EK Chains, Filtron Air Filters, Hinson Clutches, Leatt Brace, One Industries, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Shock Doctor, Showa, TAG Sprockets, Vortex Ignitions, VP Fuels, and Works Connection.
Washougal 250cc Overall:
1. Ryan Dungey Suz
2. Blake Wharton GEICO Powersports Honda
3. Christophe Pourcel Kaw
4. Brett Metcalfe GEICO Powersports Honda
5. Jake Weimer Kaw
6. Tommy Searle KTM
7. Broc Tickle Yam
8. Darryn Durham Yam
9. Max Anstie KTM
10. Kyle Cunningham Kaw
11. Justin Barcia GEICO Powersports Honda