ARLINGTON, Texas (Feb. 15) — Anticipation is high for the GEICO Honda team as three of the top motorcycle riders in the world — veteran Kevin Windham, defending Lites East champion Justin Barcia and rookie extraordinaire Justin Bogle — arrive at Cowboys Stadium for this weekend’s AMA Supercross race.
Leading the gang is megastar Windham, an 18-year pro who at almost 34 years of age is the oldest competitor on tour. Windham has been steady over the first six events on his CRF450R and enters Texas ranked fifth in the world, just behind multi-time series champion James Stewart.
“It seems like I say this every year but the competition is top-notch right now,” Windham said. “There’s so much going on every race because the talent level is so high and everyone is fighting for every inch. I’m happy with fifth place for now but I know that if I ride to my ability, we can get on the podium and move up. It just hasn’t happened for us yet.
“My speed has been increasing and my riding has been solid. It’s just a matter of time. I’d love to get up there this weekend because we’re closer to home (in Mississippi) and I know we’ll have a lot of people pulling for us.”
This weekend’s race is the first on the Lites East schedule. Last year, Barcia won three of nine Lites East events and never finished off the podium in securing his first SX world title. Now it’s time to prove himself all over again.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t win it again,” Barcia said. “They’ll be five or six riders that can win each weekend and we’re confident we’ll be one of them.
“I know last year doesn’t mean much but it’s pretty awesome to have that red plate on my GEICO Honda. It’s crazy to say I’m the defending champ but that’s where we are. I have to go out there and show everyone I’m still as hungry as ever. We have trained hard and we even raced a couple of times in Europe so I feel very prepared. Now it’s time to race.”
Barcia could get one of his biggest challenges from teammate Bogle, who makes his Supercross debut this weekend on his similarly prepared CRF250R. After tearing up the amateur ranks, Bogle rode the last four Motocross events last season, turning in a runner-up finish in the final moto of the year in Pala, Calif.
“I’m ready,” said Bogle, who hails from Cushing, Okla. “I’ve definitely put in the work and this GEICO Honda team is top-notch. I’m healthy, which is huge, and I’ve spent the last six weeks watching everyone race out West so I think I know what to expect. I’m excited and anxious to see how I match up.
“I think we can run up front. I need to remember that I’ll be on a learning curve but if I can get good starts I should be able to keep the pace of the top riders.”
Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m. CST with the main event kicking off at 7 p.m. SPEED TV will carry all the action as it happens.