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Phoenix: Powersports Honda preview

Plenty left in Windham's tank as GEICO Powersports Honda rider eyes 2010 title run PHOENIX (Jan. 13) -- There are no gray hairs in veteran Supercross rider Kevin Windham's thick black mop, and he doesn't need a hearing aid to catch the whispers...

Plenty left in Windham's tank as GEICO Powersports Honda rider eyes 2010 title run

PHOENIX (Jan. 13) -- There are no gray hairs in veteran Supercross rider Kevin Windham's thick black mop, and he doesn't need a hearing aid to catch the whispers about his age. In fact, the 32-year-old rider of the GEICO Powersports Honda will be the first to admit he has fewer races in front of him than behind.

But it would be foolish for anyone to underestimate the competitive fire still burning brightly in the popular rider from Centerville, Miss., as the Monster Energy Supercross Series arrives in Phoenix for Saturday's FIM World Championship event at Chase Field.

Last weekend at the season-opening race in Anaheim, Calif., Windham proved he'd once again be a serious contender on the circuit by moving up several spaces in the main event to nab a third-place finish. For Windham, the result validated what he already knew in his mind -- that he still has what it takes to run at the top level of the sport.

"When you look at how sick the field is it was very rewarding to reach the podium," Windham said from his home in Centerville, Miss. "We had an off year in 2009 and we all put our heads down this off season because we really feel like we have something to prove. I certainly know what's expected of me, both from my team and the media and fans, and after such a good start I'm already looking forward to Phoenix and beyond.

"The age thing, yeah, I know it's there. We all know riders seem to hit a wall in their mid-30s but I feel like I have a lot left to do before I'm done. I think the focus comes around to that more and more simply because of how long I've been racing out here. I'm only 32 but this will be my 16th year on tour."

Windham is much happier to concern himself with securing an AMA Supercross championship. He's been whisker-close many times in the past but has yet to get over that final jump and win it all.

"It'll feel like I've left something behind if it doesn't happen," Windham admitted. "But I know I've beaten the best in the world many times and I've got the coolest and most dedicated fans in the sport. If it all ended tomorrow I wouldn't complain. I've already lived my dream beyond anything I could have hoped for. But of course, I want a title. That's why we ride."

To that end, the GEICO Powersports Honda team brought multi-time champion Mike LaRocco into the fold to serve as team manager. The two longtime competitors quickly found a rhythm as boss and employee and Windham says the new pairing has even pushed him to new heights.

"Mike and I always had a great relationship and that hasn't changed," Windham said. "And having 16 years into this deal, I guess I could easily say, 'This is how I ride,' and be done with it. But Mike has challenged me on a number of levels and I have to say I'm enjoying the process of lifting my game to meet his expectations."

Having GEICO Powersports around for a second season also helps.

"GEICO Powersports' dedication to the sport is huge and when you have a company like that behind you as your backbone then it allows you to focus all your energy on riding," Windham said. "We're reaching levels with GEICO Powersports I didn't think were attainable before.

"The financial support of the team is hugely important but the things they have done to market our operation and the riders has put us on a new platform. It's been an exciting ride with them and one I look forward to continuing for many years.

"I very happy with where we are and the potential we have. We all know anything can happen in this crazy sport but it would be hard to ask for a better starting point."

Windham will be joined in Phoenix by teammates Trey Canard and Blake Wharton, who are second and fourth, respectively, in the AMA Western Regional Supercross Lites.

-source: powersports honda

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Trey Canard , Mike LaRocco