Lakewood, Colo. – The GEICO Powersports Honda team rolled into the Mile High City with a new rider under the tent in WMA frontrunner Vicki Golden. As a sort of replacement rider for Trey Canard, Golden will be competing in the final part of the WMA series as well as the X Games for the GEICO Powersports Honda team.
Series rookie Golden was blown away by the support offered to her by the team.
“It was really good,” Golden said. “Everyone was nice and welcoming to me, and they helped me out with everything that I needed. They were all very welcoming, and it was a new experience having a full-time mechanic looking after every detail. It was definitely awesome. He’s a great mechanic, and I couldn’t complain about the day.”
The 16-year-old was second fastest in practice despite having no time on her new race bike prior to race day.
“Considering that Saturday was the first day for me riding that bike, I was just trying to use as much of the day as I could to get used to it and put in as many laps as I could and stay smooth on the bike,” Golden said. “It worked out really well, and I ended up second in the times. I was definitely stoked on that. I did that before even being comfortable on the bike, so it definitely helped my confidence coming into the first moto.”
In the races, Golden was fourth in the first moto, then led for a period of time in moto two before finishing third.
“Knowing that I did just as well, if not better, this race than I had before, and it was my first time ever leading a WMA race, given my lack of time on the bike, it really helps my confidence and I can’t wait for my next race,” Golden said. “It’s a great start, and I know I have more time to get comfortable, and I’ll get better from here.”
Golden returns to action with the WMA series in Washougal on July 25.
In the 250 class, another rookie in Justin Barcia had a good day at altitude, despite a bad start in moto one.
“The air wasn’t too bad,” Barcia said of the altitude. “The bikes were a little bit sluggish out there because of the altitude, but the first moto I got a really bad start and then worked my way up to ninth. The race was good, but I just got a really bad start.”
But in the second moto, Barcia started closer to the front, only to inherit the lead when Jake Weimer went down.
“Yeah, when I got out front, I tried to pull out a lead as good as I could, and Weimer was riding really good, so he caught up to me and passed me,” Barcia said. “I tried to stay with him, but I made a few mistakes, but second was pretty good.”
Barcia hung on for second, giving him fourth overall.
Brett Metcalfe started up front in both motos, but had a technical problem in moto one.
“In the first moto, I got an awesome start, and then in the second turn, the tearoff post on the lens came off, so I lost all my tearoffs and I couldn’t see crap,” Metcalfe said. “I was right there with the front guys, but I got roosted pretty good in the first couple laps, and for the rest of the moto, it was super-hard to see. It was just bad. At that point, the sun was still up, and I couldn’t see crap. I felt like I just wanted the moto to end after the second lap because I couldn’t see much. It was a bit of a bummer, but I hung on for seventh, which was okay for points.”
But in the second moto, Metcalfe ended up in a seven-rider battle for third.
“The second moto, I got another good start, and then I worked my way up into fourth,” Metcalfe said. “Me and Searle were having a good battle, and then I finally made a move on him, and I tried to put a little time on him, and then I spun out in a turn and made a mistake. That allowed him to get back by me, and I had to find another way around him again. I finally got past him again, and that same lap he put a pretty good move on me and pushed me out wide, and Dungey got underneath me, so I lost two spots, and a couple turns later Pourcel was on me and he went by me too. I got swallowed up pretty good and was in sixth, and on the last lap, I made a move on Pourcel and I was just a bit pissed off from going backward, so I got back into fifth, and that was it.”
However, Metcalfe felt great about the end of the day.
“The second moto was the best race I’ve had all year,” Metcalfe said. “The first moto could’ve been, too, but it was a waste being out there because I couldn’t see. The second moto was the most aggressive I’ve felt all year, and I felt good on the bike, and I felt like I could be in there, and I was. I feel like this weekend, I can do it. I feel hungry and I feel like I can do it and I want it.”
Metcalfe was seventh overall.
Blake Wharton ran up front the entire first moto, ending up fourth.
“The first moto was good because I got a pretty good start and I hung with the leaders for a little bit, and I was there for a while and then I battled for first for, I don’t know how long, and then I made a little mistake and we spread out a little bit,” Wharton said. “But I rode a good race, I thought.”
Wharton started near the front again in moto two.
“The second moto, I got another good start, and I was looking forward to running up front again, and I was in third on barely the second lap but I got taken out,” Wharton said of a collision with Tommy Searle. “I got up and salvaged a pretty good race, but I could only catch up to 11th, which isn’t too good. But at least I salvaged some points and stuff. So I’ll go to the next round and learn from it, and I’ll definitely not do that again. I’m not going to let it happen again. I want to run up front, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Wharton ended up eighth overall.
From here, the GEICO Powersports Honda team heads to Buchanan, Michigan, for round six of the championship at infamous RedBud.
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.
Thunder Valley 250cc Overall:
1. Jake Weimer Kaw
2. Christophe Pourcel Kaw
3. Tommy Searle KTM
4. Justin Barcia GEICO Powersports Honda
5. Ryan Dungey Suz
6. Broc Tickle Yam
7. Brett Metcalfe GEICO Powersports Honda
8. Blake Wharton GEICO Powersports Honda
9. Tyla Rattray Kaw
10. Darryn Durham Yam
Thunder Valley WMA Overall:
1. Ashley Fiolek Hon
2. Sherri Cruse Suz
3. Mariana Balbi Hon
4. Vicki Golden GEICO Powersports Honda
5. Jessica Patterson Hon
6. Sara Price Kaw
7. Elizabeth Bash Kaw
8. Tatum Sik Suz
9. Sara Whitmore KTM
10. Penni Cyrus Kaw