BARCIA AND MOSIMAN KICK OFF THE SEASON WITH FOURTH-OVERALL FINISHES
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team was fired up for the opening round of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Pala, California, delivering strong performances by riders Justin Barcia and Michael Mosiman. 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. Mosiman was consistently fast all day, tallying 4-4 moto scores to also come away with fourth overall at Round 1.
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.
Justin Barcia: “The track was really gnarly today but my bike was working awesome. 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.”
With a fresh slate outdoors, both Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing 250cc teammates were fired up to kick off the Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday. In Moto 1, it was Mosiman who went to work early on climbing his way back from a 13th place start. He got up to seventh around the midway point before kicking his MC 250F into overdrive and charging up to fourth. He chased down the podium battle later in the race but simply ran out of time, finishing just off the box in fourth.
In Moto 2, Mosiman jumped out to a top-five position on the start, and he found himself in a dicey battle for the next few laps. He overtook fourth later in the race and once again made a big push for the podium battle, nabbing a fourth-place finish in Moto 2 and fourth overall on the day.
Michael Mosiman: “It was a good day. I rode really smooth and had a couple mistakes that cost me a podium but to be honest, coming out here I wasn’t really sure where I was going to be. I thought I was going to be really good but it’s comforting to have the first one out of the way and have a good result. There’s a lot to look forward to this season, so I’m really excited.”
It was an eventful day for Pierce Brown, but he kept his head held high and pushed through the adversity. In Moto 1, he got a decent jump aboard his MC 250F, but he collided with another rider off the start and broke his shifter, which forced him to ride in second gear until the team was able to pull him in for a quick repair in the mechanic’s area. Despite losing ample time, Brown was able to finish out the moto with 23rd place. In Moto 2, he began just inside the top-10, and he hovered around that spot for most of the race. With a 10th place finish in Moto 2, Brown was able to turn things around and salvage a 15th overall finish.
Pierce Brown: “I was stoked for the first moto, I got a decent start and collided with another rider, breaking my shifter right after the start. After getting the shifter on, I felt like I was riding decent but I was just too far back to make anything happen. I wanted to come out swinging for the second moto but I just started off too slow. It took me a while to find my flow and once I did, I was feeling good. It was good to be in the mix with the whole crew, that’s something I haven’t done in a while. I definitely want more, so we’re going to come out swinging for Colorado next weekend.”
Team rider Max Vohland made his official Pro Motocross Championship debut on Saturday with an impressive performance all-around. In his very first gate drop, Vohland shot off the line aboard his KTM 250 SX-F to claim the holeshot and early lead in the race. With a hard-charging duo behind him, the rookie held off two-time series champ Jeremy Martin for the first eight laps before dropping into second. With five laps to go, Vohland experienced a bike issue that ended his race early and he took the time to re-group before the next moto.
In Moto 2, Vohland came back just as strong as he powered his way to a top-three position off the start. He maintained an incredible pace to hold onto fourth for the next five laps, but another rider came into him from behind causing him to go down at the halfway point and he found himself battling just inside the top-10 later in the race. He was able to make up a few spots before the checkers, ultimately finishing seventh in the race to salvage 13th overall at Round 1.
Vohland: “Overall, today went really good. I got a holeshot in the first moto and ended up leading for 23 minutes, which was awesome. You learn a lot and gain a lot of confidence believing you can do it when you’re actually doing it! For my first National as a rookie, I think I performed really well today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.”
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.