Riding smart, GEICO's Barcia remains top dog in Supercross Lites series
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There's a reason GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia is leading the Supercross Lites East championship points in the AMA Monster Energy Series -- he likes the view from the front.
In four races this year, Barcia has finished no lower than second place and at various times he has led most of the heats and main event races. He's riding like a man possessed, although he's showing much more patience and maturity on the track.
"I'm leading the points right now so I need to keep up with my podium finishes," Barcia said. "That means that some times you need to ride smart, and I've been trying to do that this year. Hopefully I can win a few more races so I can end up with the championship at the end of the season. That's the goal, and it's right in front of me.
"I can't wait to get to Jacksonville. I finished fourth there last year in my rookie season and I really like the track. It's an open-air stadium so hopefully the weather is nice and we're able to enjoy a great race there."
Barcia injured his wrist earlier in the season but has been riding well despite the injury. He's hoping his results will stay consistent and even improve as his wrist heals.
"I'm feeling great and my wrist is getting better and better each week," Barcia said. "I think things will keep getting better as long as my wrist keeps getting better."
Barcia's GEICO Honda teammate in the 450cc class, Supercross legend Kevin Windham, also is looking forward to a big weekend in Jacksonville.
"I've been running and finishing right around the seven position all year and it's been tough on me," Windham said. "I really want to crack that top five and start racking up some podium finishes."
Recently named "The Most Interesting Man in Motocross," Windham is hoping that with seven races left in the season he can really make a move up the rankings.
"I really need to crack that top five every weekend," Windham said. "Of course, I want to get a podium finish but I'm thinking baby steps at this point. It's been a good season, I've had top 10 finishes at most races, but I now I'm ready for some top fives."
Fellow GEICO Honda rider Blake Wharton, who rides with Barcia in the Lites class, is having a career year on his 250cc machine.
"I'm going to Florida to win," Wharton said. "I'm going there to get on the podium, just like I do every weekend. Just because I didn't podium last weekend in Indy doesn't mean I'm lowering my goals of winning the race."
Wharton is very confident in his team and himself heading south. He cannot wait to earn his first win of 2011 and hoping that will happen this weekend.
"I know I can win," Wharton said. "I just need to do a few things. I need the starts, I need the consistent riding, and I hope that I can put that all together in Jacksonville."
The 11th stop of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross series starts at 7 p.m. E.D.T. at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. Gates open for practice at noon.