Supercross rider Wharton getting comfortable at the top on his GEICO Powersports Honda ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 21) -- The third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series will take place at soggy Angel Stadium this weekend, and the GEICO ...
Supercross rider Wharton getting comfortable at the top on his GEICO Powersports Honda
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 21) -- The third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series will take place at soggy Angel Stadium this weekend, and the GEICO Powersports Honda race team is ready to master the mud. While a relentless rain has soaked Southern California, Supercross veteran Kevin Windham and Lites riders Trey Canard and Blake Wharton have been sharpening their skills on dry land with strenuous practice sessions at Motoland MX Park near Phoenix.
Sophomore Lites competitor Wharton is aiming to capitalize on a strong finish at last weekend's event in the Valley of the Sun and surge further ahead in the standings, where he is currently third. In Phoenix, Wharton emerged as a true threat, leading the main on his Honda CRF250R for 12 of the 15 laps before slipping to third late in the race.
"It felt great to get out front for 12 laps," Wharton said. "It wasn't the full 15 laps I wanted but now I know what to work on and what to change. Any time you lead a race you come away with something different, and I came away with a lot from that race. I didn't win but I can see what I could have done better, especially racing against all of those other guys with so much Supercross experience. It's about keeping an eye out for anything I can fix to go faster, be better, and ride smoother."
Wharton, whose pro career started last season in the Lites East Series where he won one race and finished fourth overall, is anxious to return to Anaheim and put his fresh observations into play.
"Last weekend set a standard for me," Wharton said. "I expect myself to get to the front; I expect to lead. I expect to get on the box and win. I know I'm racing fast guys but I know I can do it."
Wharton's fellow Lites competitor, Canard, suffered an injury in the Phoenix time trial when another rider drove over his left foot as he planted it in a turn but the 2008 Lites East champion is on the mend and put in some time on the practice course in preparation to come back strong in Anaheim. Canard is currently ranked fourth in the series point standings.
Anaheim 1 third-place finisher Windham, fourth in the Supercross standings after two of 17 events, will be looking to utilize his expansive experience and build on his respectable start to ride his Honda CRF450R to another podium finish when the team returns to Angel Stadium this weekend.
The torrential downpours in Southern California are expected to subside before the weekend and the track was prepared before the rains started earlier in the week and covered to preserve the race surface. In the mean time, all three GEICO Powersports Honda riders are amped to push the limits in the third round of the series, especially 17-year-old budding phenom Wharton.
"I'm really looking forward to leading more laps now," Wharton said. "If I can lead for 12, I know I can lead 15. I'm going to focus and get out front."
-source: powersports honda