Barcia Earns a Second Place Podium Finish in Houston

4/7/2014 8:55:00 PM

This past Saturday, the Honda Red Riders took on round 14 of the 2014 AMA Supercross series at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. It was a stellar night for Team Honda Muscle Milk's Justin Barcia, who landed on the podium for the fourth time this season with an impressive second, while teammate Trey Canard finished in fourth. This weekend also played host to round seven of the Western Regional 250 SX class and Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda's Zach Osborne scored a fifth-place finish.

450 Class
Barcia looked impressive all day. He laid down the fourth fastest time in qualifying practice and finished third in his heat race after an intense five-way battle. In the main event, he launched his CRF450R off the line to a top-five start and quickly worked his way into second, which is where he stayed the remainder of the 20-lap race. Barcia now sits fifth in the championship standings.

"It's awesome to be on the podium again. I should have been doing this all season, but better late than never I guess," Barcia stated. "I want that win so bad though, so until I get that I won't be completely satisfied. Practice went good and the heat race was intense; we were all so close. I got a good start in the main event and just rode in second basically the entire time. I'm looking forward to going to Seattle. I won there last year so maybe I'll have the same luck this year."

In only his second race back, Canard showed increasing speed all night. Once again, he transferred directly into the main event with a fourth in his heat race. He then got away to a good start in the main, and battled challenges to finish fourth.

"It was an all-around better night for sure. I felt much better in timed qualifying and the jitters were definitely gone," said Canard. "My starts could have been a little better but all in all I'm really happy with a fourth place. It is a big step up from last week considering I got two positions on the last lap in St. Louis from guys being on the ground. It was a tough track for sure. Hopefully next week the track is good and I can be up there battling with these guys."

Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac finished a respectable ninth place. After qualifying seventh quickest in qualifying practice, Tomac transferred into the main event via a second-place finish in the semi-qualifying race. Early in the main event, Tomac worked his way up to fifth before going down on lap 10. He remounted to finish ninth.

"This day was pretty much like the whole season has been going for me. In practice we were consistently top three or four in every session, so I felt pretty comfortable," explained Tomac. "The heat races have been a bit of a struggle. I've been struggling myself and we've struggled with the bike a bit. It was no different here. We did make a change for the semi and I rode really well there and almost won it but ended up second, so that put us in a fairly good spot for the main. In the main event, I got an okay start and worked up to fifth before casing a jump pretty hard and going down in the next turn."

250 Class
After a seven-week hiatus the Western Regional 250 Supercross class resumed the battle this weekend for round seven of the series and Muscle Milk-supported GEICO Honda's Zach Osborne put together a solid fifth-place finish. After missing two rounds earlier in the season due to injury, Osborne now sits eighth overall in the championship standings.

"Tonight offered a lot of positives, especially being my first race back from injury," Osborne said. "To finish top five, when you look at it, is pretty decent. Even so, I don't feel like that finish really shows how I am able to ride. It seems like I deserved to be up front, but I struggled just enough in the whoops to kill my chances."

It was an impressive night for the Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda team who had all four of their riders finish in the top 10. Malcolm Stewart launched his CRF250R off the line to a notable start in the main event, putting together a consistent 15-lap race to finish third and earn a podium spot. Teammate and championship contender Cole Seely finished right behind him in fourth, with Shane McElrath in seventh and Jessy Nelson rounding out the top 10.

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450 Supercross Results
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Justin Barcia (Honda)
3. Ken Roczen
4. Trey Canard (Honda)
5. James Stewart
6. Andrew Short
7. Ryan Dungey
8. Mike Alessi
9. Eli Tomac (Honda)
10. Chris Blose

450 Supercross Championship Points (after 14 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto 293
2. James Stewart 248
3. Ryan Dungey 247
4. Ken Roczen 235
5. Justin Barcia 198
6. Justin Brayton 196
7. Andrew Short 181
8. Broc Tickle 126
9.  Wil Hahn 122
10. Josh Hill 112

250 Supercross West Results
1. Jason Anderson
2. Dean Wilson
3. Malcolm Stewart (Honda)
4. Cole Seely (Honda)
5. Zach Osborne (Honda)
6. Cooper Webb
7. Shane McElrath (Honda)
8. Jake Canada
9. Justin Hill
10. Jessy Nelson (Honda)

250 Supercross West Championship Points (after 7 of 9 rounds)
1. Jason Anderson 156
2. Cole Seely 145
3. Dean Wilson 120
4. Justin Hill 119
5. Malcolm Stewart 109
6. Cooper Webb 107
7. Jessy Nelson 87
8. Zach Osborne 85
9. Shane McElrath 85
10. Dean Ferris 63