MECHANICSVILLE, Md. – GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia placed third overall in the 250cc class to lead the team's effort at the Budds Creek National on Saturday afternoon in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
Barcia won the first moto but got caught in traffic after a subpar start in the second moto, which led to a finish there of fifth.
"I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but the first moto was sweet," Barcia said. "I got a bad start in the second moto, which put me in a bad position. It's just stupid. I get such good starts, and when you get that one bad one it just kind of ruins everything.
"I had a little crash in the second moto, but I was able to regroup quickly. However I still lost contact with those top four guys. First moto, I felt great, but the second one just didn't feel right."
Eli Tomac, who finished fourth overall after moto finishes of fifth and third, said the passing lanes didn't open up like they had in previous years, which made coming through the field difficult.
"The first moto did my overall (score) in," Barcia said. "I got stuck behind Marvin Musquin too long, which allowed Blake Baggett to get around me. It took some luck to get around guys because the track was kind of one-line in a lot of places today, so little mistakes really killed you.
"It was really luck of the draw with the lappers today. There were points where I'd get close to Musquin, we'd hit lappers, then by the time we'd get through the lappers, he'd stretch his lead all over again."
Wil Hahn finished seventh overall after moto finishes of sixth and seventh said he just needs to be more aggressive in the early stages of the motos.
"I'm strong at the end every week, but those first laps I need to be better," Hahn said. "It's just not enough. I need to bring it from the beginning. I want to be part of that elite group of riders. To do that, I need to fix my first part of the moto."
GEICO Honda's riders lost a little bit of ground in the season standings to championship leader and Saturday's overall winner, Blake Baggett. Barcia remains in second but now trails Baggett by 13 points. Tomac is in third, 22 out of the lead. Hahn is in sixth and trails fifth place by 23 points.
The GEICO Honda team gets a little bit of time to regroup before the next stop on the series schedule, the Redbud National on July 7 at Buchanan, Mich.
"We'll get to go home, but it's not really a break," Barcia said. "We're going to go back and work hard if we want to be back on top when it comes time to go to Redbud."