GEICO Honda team remains on top despite bumps and bruises
INDIANAPOLIS (March 7) -- It is said that times heals all wounds. For the Monster Energy AMA Supercross riders of GEICO Honda, time just isn't passing fast enough.
After various scrapes and crashes over the last few weeks, the front-running GEICO Honda team heads into the March 12 race at Lucas Oil Stadium a little banged up.
The team's 17-year Supercross veteran, Kevin Windham, says nagging injuries are part of the game, but he said they do take their toll over the course of the long season.
When you land on your head enough times you start to get a little cautious...
"When you land on your head enough times you start to get a little cautious," Windham said. "Every time I cough or sneeze, I still feel the effects of crashes from several weeks ago and it's a reminder.
"Still, you have to put it behind you and let your work and your prep speak for themselves."
Windham said the competition in the 450cc class this season is so intense that every rider in the field is pushing themselves to the limit to gain every spot.
"You are riding with guys who are in the top of their game and the top of the sport," Windham said. "One little hiccup – a tenth (of a second) here or there – all adds up.
"The margin is razor thin, and you can see how fast we're going because we've all had crashes – even (two-time world champ) James Stewart went down hard in Daytona. We're racing so hard that crashes happen."
Lites East championship points leader Justin Barcia is nursing injuries of his own. He's been riding with a brace on his right wrist, which has a couple of broken bones. Barcia said he'll be managing the pain at Indy and won't be changing his aggressive riding style.
"We're going to Indy for press day, which I enjoy," Barcia said. "I'll get to ride the track a little, which is always a plus for me because I get to adjust to track a little early. At the same time, it's more wear and tear on your body.
"I've been able to get great treatment on my wrist and every week I know it's going to get a little better, so it's helping me keep my focus on winning this championship."
GEICO Honda's other 250cc rider Blake Wharton has taken a few tumbles of his own in the early going of the Lites East season, but it hasn't hampered him physically. For Wharton, a trip to the podium in Indy, which would be the eighth straight time a GEICO Honda Lites rider has finished in the top three, would do far more him than a week of rest would do for his teammates.
"I've shown I can reach the podium the first three rounds," said Wharton, who is fifth in Lites East points. "I know my starts have been good, but I know I need to get a holeshot and then just go. Everyone's speeds are so close, so I want to get the best start and let everyone else make mistakes.
"It's close and I want to make some points and get closer to the top. I know a lot can change in these upcoming rounds."
Practice and qualifying for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross stop in Indy starts at 12:30 p.m. EST. Opening ceremonies start at 7 p.m. SPEED will cover the event starting at 8 p.m. EST.
-source: powersports honda