250 Words: Jacksonville

250 Words: Jacksonville

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Confidence has good PR. When someone scores a breakthrough, the mental game gets the credit.

Except, it doesn’t always work.

In Jacksonville, Justin Barcia saw his competition’s confidence starting to build. So he reached up and smashed it back down to the ground. He didn’t care that three other riders had taken wins since his last victory in Houston a month ago. He didn’t care that he had an injury—he wasn’t even going to try to lie or cover it up. When the gate dropped, Barcia threw the mental game aside and just rode hard.

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Sipes followed up his first career win with a third at Jacksonville.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

Meanwhile Ryan Sipes was riding off of the high of a first career win last weekend in Indianapolis, and we all know that those first wins often provide the gateway to many more. Even better, Sipes stood third in the series’ standings coming into the race, and the riders in front of him were beginning to fall apart.

Sipes was fastest in both practice sessions and won his heat race. Barcia crashed at the end of practice trying to beat Sipes’ time, and landed right on his bad wrist. Then Blake Baggett crashed in his heat race and LCQ and failed to make the main. Call it momentum, call it confidence, call it whatever you want. It was all lining up for the DNA Shred Stix Star Racing Yamaha rider from Kentucky.

In the main, he got into third early but could not make up ground on Dean Wilson or Barcia. Podium finishes are always nice, but this was one race were confidence and momentum couldn’t produce a win.

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