GEICO Supercross team gets 2011 off to solid start
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 8) -- GEICO Honda rider Kevin Windham got the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross season off to a solid start, finishing sixth at Angel Stadium on his 450cc machine. Teammate Eli Tomac also had a top-10 finish in the 250 Lites class.
Windham, who is embarking on his 17th season as a pro, ran as high as third in the Main Event before falling back a few places at the end.
"It's good to have the first race out of the way," Windham said. "I wanted to finish a little better and probably should have but we made it through without any major issues and we'll go from here. Phoenix is just a week away and we'll be ready."
Windham got a great start on his first moto and cruised to a second-place finish to earn one of the top gate picks in the Main. The veteran got a clean start in his moto and settled into third. But it only took about a lap for Windham to cruise into second and stay there for the remainder of the eight-lap heat.
"I was really happy with my riding," Windham said. "I had a better start in the heat race and that helps a bunch on these tighter courses. Everyone was pushing it at the start of the Main and you're on that edge of being super aggressive or playing it smart and staying out of trouble. It's a long season so I didn't want to do anything crazy."
In Lite West racing, Tomac finished 10th in his Supercross debut and had to work hard to get there after starting the main on the wrong foot.
"There was a hole near the gate that was a lot deeper than I thought it was," Tomac said. "I hit it, the front wheel came up, I had to let the clutch out and that was pretty much it for me. When you get shuffled back at the start you're in trouble."
Tomac rode in 17th after the start but systematically picked off rider after rider, working his way through the field and into the top 10.
"I've now got a Supercross race under my belt," said Tomac, who turned pro in last year's outdoor season. "I'm just going to have to look forward to going out there next week."
Tomac overcame a slight error at the start to finish third in his heat. The Supercross Lites rookie said he popped a little wheelie at the start which cost him a few seconds. However it proved to work to his advantage as a group of riders wadded up in the first corner and Tomac came through clean and in seventh place.
Then Tomac picked his way through the field making a pass on each lap before finally settling into third and an automatic transfer to the main.
GEICO Honda's other Lites West rider Wil Hahn crashed and was injured during practice and was not able to race on Saturday. Team co-owner Jeff Majkrzak said Hahn broke a bone in his back and is facing 6 to 8 weeks of recovery. He hopes to have Hahn back at full strength in time for the Motocross campaign.
The Monster Energy Supercross series rolls on to its next stop, Phoenix's Chase Field, on Jan. 15.