Justin Barcia delivered a strong performance at the opening round of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Pala, California.
Barcia established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the 450MX Championship, showing great speed and agility with 3-6 moto scores for a combined finish of fourth overall.
With a full gate of heavy hitters lining up in the 450 class, Barcia got a top-10 start in Moto 1 and he settled into his groove during the first few laps. About halfway through the 30-minute plus two-lap race, Barcia’s ‘BAM BAM’ instincts kicked in and he made an intense charge, refusing to let down for anything or anyone. Picking off former champ Ken Roczen for sixth, Barcia harnessed that momentum to break into the top-five around lap 10. Riding comfortably on the edge, he rallied his way into third with four laps to go, ultimately nailing a third-place podium finish in Moto 1.
In Moto 2, Barcia got a fifth-place start and immediately went for a big pass attempt early on but a little bobble robbed his momentum and he settled into the fifth spot. He kept the pressure on fourth early on, pulling the trigger on lap five and immediately setting his sights on the podium battle ahead. Chipping away, Barcia was able to overtake third for a few laps before dropping back to fourth heading into the final stretch. On the last lap, he encountered a small crash that ultimately dropped him back to sixth in the moto but his combined scores were enough to secure fourth overall on the day.
“The track was really gnarly today but my bike was working awesome,” Barcia said. “I got through practice and went into the first moto open-minded and that was a really good ride for me. All-in-all, fourth overall is a super good spot to be in going into the season. It’s a long, grueling season and I definitely need to be on the podium a lot, win races and just stay consistent. I am definitely looking forward to next weekend.”
Round 2 of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship heads to Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Lakewood, Colorado for the Thunder Valley National on June 5.
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-3)
2 Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (6-1)
3 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (4-2)
4 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (3-6)
5 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-10)
6 Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (10-4)
7 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (8-7)
8 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (5-11)
9 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (9-8)
10 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (13-5)
450 Class Championship Standings (Round 1 of 12)
1 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 45 Points
2 Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 40 Points
3 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 40 Points
4 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS – 35 Points
5 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 33 Points
6 Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 29 Points
7 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 27 Points
8 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 26 Points
9 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 25 Points
10 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 24 Points