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Barcia impressive at season opener

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With only a week and a half to train for the grueling outdoor Motocross season, newly-crowned Supercross Lites East champion Justin Barcia turned in a pair of solid motos Saturday at the Hangtown National to earn second place overall.

Barcia’s effort was the best of the four-bike GEICO Honda attack. Eli Tomac, who just captured the Supercross Lites West title, finished fourth and 10th in his two motos, Wil Hahn went 7-13, while Justin Bogle was 21-7 on the day.

After earning the holeshot in both races, Barcia finished third and second, respectively, for a total of 42 points earned, the same as third-place finisher Ken Roczen. However, Barcia was awarded second place overall based on his better finish in Moto 2. Blake Baggett won both motos.

“It was a good weekend overall,” Barcia said. “I got two great holeshots and led a bunch of laps in both races. Coming into the season I told myself I wanted to be top five every moto and we were 3-2 today, so that’s awesome.

“I’ve been working really hard to prepare for the outdoors. We went straight from Vegas (at the SX finale) to the test track in Southern California and we went at it hard. I know Baggett has a head start on us as far as training for the outdoors because he was kind of out of the Supercross championship awhile ago, and that’s good for him, but now it’s our job to catch up to him.”

Tomac looked strong in both motos, overcoming a mid-pack start in the first race to finish fourth. In Moto 2, Tomac was collected in a pile-up that included teammate Hahn, dropping all the way back to 37th place before rallying hard to finish 10th. Overall he was slotted fifth in the final standings.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go,” Tomac said of the accident with Hahn and three other riders. “But you know it’s my fault for even being in that position. I needed better starts. I need better endurance. It will come. The SX season was a fight and it just finished so I probably need another week.

“It was the first race of outdoors so, although it could have gone better, it wasn’t bad.”

Hahn was pleased with his two motos, although he wishes he could take back the first-turn accident in Moto 2 that took down his teammate and relegated him to last place.

“The first moto was good and I felt like I gained a lot of valuable seat time,” Hahn said. “I was able to pass some guys and ride the way I wanted to ride. I was really feeling good and had a great start in the second moto but the front end washed out in the first turn and I took down me and Eli. I felt horrible about that but all you can do is make the most of it. I rode from dead last to 13th place so I passed 26 guys.”

Bogle’s day started on an ominous note as he crashed hard in practice, jamming his shoulder. But after some treatment and ice, he fought his way through both races.

“That was quite a crash I had,” Bogle said. “It started the day off on the wrong foot and it was touch and go there for a little while. I knew I needed to race so I made it through the first moto and finished mid-pack. I came back in Moto 2 and had another lousy start but was able to get up to seventh place so that was a big boost. I know what I need to work on for next week and we’ll do everything we can to pick it up.”

The next event on the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross series takes place Saturday in Freestone, Texas, an hour south of Dallas.

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