AMA

Pala: Powersports Honda preview

Championship contender Canard buzzing as final race looms SAN DIEGO (Sept. 10) -- Two motos at this weekend's Pala National, seven points, and Frenchman Christophe Pourcel are all that stand between GEICO Powersports Honda rider Trey Canard and...

Championship contender Canard buzzing as final race looms

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 10) -- Two motos at this weekend's Pala National, seven points, and Frenchman Christophe Pourcel are all that stand between GEICO Powersports Honda rider Trey Canard and a season title in the 250cc class of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

"I'm excited; if I wasn't I'm not sure why I'd be doing this," Canard said. "There's so much excitement but you have to keep yourself in check and keep things as normal as possible."

Normal hasn't been easy to come by these days, one check of Canard's cell phone tells the story.

"People have been really encouraging me," Canard said. "I've been getting a lot of text messages and phones calls. I appreciate that. It's good to have all the support."

Canard was a distant fourth, 57 points down, after the race in Denver at the end of June. Since then he's won five of six overall titles and whittled Pourcel's lead down to seven points with the two motos at Pala Raceway remaining.

"There's been a handful of things that changed," Canard said. "Winning helps your self-confidence, obviously. The bike has been a lot better. It's just turned into a great season.

"I always want to have fun, win races, and win the championship. For me, I just do the best I can and have the most fun I can."

GEICO Powersports' 450cc pro Brett Metcalfe has two chief goals for his season finale -- earn that moto win that's eluded him all season and maintain his grip on second place. First place was long ago decided.

"I'm looking forward to the weekend and trying to win this race," Metcalfe said. "That's my biggest goal. I've come close the last couple of races. I've won some nice mementos (for podium finishes.) Now I just want to try to win this thing."

After finishing second overall last week at Steel City, behind Supercross teammate Kevin Windham, who has been riding for Red Bull Honda this summer, Metcalfe passed Andrew Short for second place in the 450cc standings. The affable Aussie leads Short by five points heading into Saturday's finale.

"I've been getting more comfortable on this bike every race," Metcalfe said. "Riding the 450 really suits me.

"There's no strategy other than, 'win the race.' But I'm still not going to do anything crazy. I'm not thinking championship or anything like that; I just want to win the race."

GEICO Powersports Honda's other 250 riders are looking to finish off the season on a strong note. Justin Barcia is a solid fifth in the points with rookie Eli Tomac 21 points behind in sixth. Blake Wharton is 11 points behind Tomac in seventh place.

-source: powersports honda

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Christophe Pourcel , Eli Tomac , Justin Barcia , Trey Canard , Andrew Short