After much speculation on where he would end up, Justin Bogle will return to the only team he's ever known—GEICO Honda. The team announced this morning that it has re-signed Bogle for the 2016 season, his first in the 450 Class.
Bogle joined the team in 2011 to complete his final amateur season, and won the AMA Horizon Award. He has spent his entire professional career with the team.
"Knowing everyone here and working with the same group of people will make this transition so much easier," Bogle said in a statement. "I'm really comfortable with this team, always have been, and I trust in everything these guys do for the riders.
"Big thanks to [team owners] Jeff Majkrzak, Ziggy [Rick Zielfelder], Mike Grondahl, and everyone at Honda for believing in me and giving me this opportunity," he continued. "This is what you dream about as a kid when you're racing every weekend at the local track and pushing yourself to get better. It's for all the work you put in when your friends are going out and having fun. This is the ultimate dream come true."
After winning the 2014 250SX East Region Championship, Bogle finished runner-up to Marvin Musquin in 2015, finishing off the podium just once (St. Louis) while collecting one win and four runner-up finishes. The Oklahoma native was injured at the opening round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Hangtown and missed the next eight rounds. When he returned at round ten at Unadilla, he made the decision to finish the season in the 450 Class in anticipation of 2016. His best moto finish was a fifth at Ironman.
"I wasn't going all-out when I rode a 450 those last three races, but it did give me a chance to see what I'll be up against," Bogle said. "It's the best riders in the world, the fastest guys, the guys that have worked just as hard as you have. It'll be a great challenge. But at the end of the day it's riding a dirt bike, which is something I've done my whole life."
Bogle was rumored to be joining Chad Reed on a factory Yamaha team with Monster Energy sponsorship, but that deal seemed to have fallen through in the last couple weeks. GEICO Honda then decided to bring Bogle back in a role similar to Eli Tomac's last year, where he will pit out of Honda HRC's 450 truck, alongside Trey Canard and Cole Seely.
"Justin has earned this chance and we're happy to have a spot for him, thanks to our long association and partnership with Honda," Rick Zielfelder said. "Justin earned GEICO Honda a championship last year and almost defended it this year. He was always up front and in the mix on a 250, and we expect more of the same on a 450."