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Atlanta: Powersports Honda preview

Georgia resident Barcia and Australian Metcalfe taking two different roads to Atlanta ATLANTA (Feb. 24) -- On the surface, GEICO Powersports Honda riders Brett Metcalfe and Justin Barcia don't have much in common. One is an extremely focused ...

Georgia resident Barcia and Australian Metcalfe taking two different roads to Atlanta

ATLANTA (Feb. 24) -- On the surface, GEICO Powersports Honda riders Brett Metcalfe and Justin Barcia don't have much in common. One is an extremely focused 25-year-old veteran from Mannum, Australia, who brings worldwide experience to this weekend's Monster Energy Supercross race at the Georgia Dome. The other is a 17-year-old rookie from New York State who rides with the devil-may-care attitude of a precocious teenager.

But the common thread bonding the two young men is their burning desire to win races, which was on display last weekend at the Supercross Lites East season opener in Indianapolis where Barcia (bar-sha) finished third and Metcalfe took fifth.

"I can't wait to ride again, especially at home," said Barcia, who now resides in Ochlocknee, Ga. "It's good to get past my first Supercross race because you work your whole life waiting to get to this level and it was a pretty nerve-wracking day for me until the race started. Now I know what to expect and I can concentrate a lot more on my riding.

"We started strong and it's great to have guys like Metty (Metcalfe) and K-Dub (Kevin Windham) around to talk to. Those guys have been out here for a long time and they know how to race at this level."

Barcia is considered one of the top rookies in the sport having won 10 amateur titles in the last three years.

Coming off an injured-shortened 2009 campaign, Metcalfe also is hoping for big things in 2010, although he did tweak an already tender ankle in Indy. Nevertheless, he managed a great finish, just off the podium.

"When your body is physically right, you are good to go," Metcalfe said. "If you are a little bit off physically, sometimes you are lacking a bit on the mental side. That's what I was kind of feeling like last week. It's going to get better and go in the right direction.

"I had some rough landings during the heat race but we pulled it together and still managed to finish fifth in the main. I felt like I was at 80 percent at best, so there's still quite a bit more room for improvement."

In just a few days time, Metcalfe says he's gotten much stronger and that his confidence is exponentially growing.

"Over the next few weeks I expect to get better and better," Metcalfe said. "I'm just trying to make a smooth transition. I'm coming to Atlanta feeling a bit better and have another good main event ride.

"It would be great if Justin and me both made it to the podium."

In the 450cc Supercross class, the GEICO Powersports Honda team will enter Kevin Windham and Trey Canard into competition.

-source: Powersports Honda

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Justin Barcia , Trey Canard