The highly anticipated 2014 AMA Supercross season is just around the corner, and the Honda Red Riders are in crunch time to make last minute preparations for the opening round on Saturday, January 4 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. This year’s series sports one of the most competitive fields in ages, with Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia returning to the line and the likes of GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn moving up to the premier class.
Barcia is returning to Team Honda Muscle Milk for his second season as one of the fastest young riders every to race for Honda. With his first full year on the Honda CRF450R behind him, Barcia is gunning hard for championships in 2014. He’s already proven he can win. Now it’s a matter of winning more. During the 2013 Supercross season, Barcia finished in the top five at 13 of 17 rounds, including two wins and three additional podiums en route to fourth overall.
Unfortunately, teammate Trey Canard was involved in a crash during practice over the Thanksgiving weekend while preparing for the 2014 Supercross season, sustaining a broken arm. Canard underwent successful surgery, and is in the process of rehabilitation but will miss the opening rounds of the 2014 season.
The GEICO Honda team has developed a reputation as having one of the most elite 250 programs in the paddock, but for 2014 the team expands their stable to include two 450 riders, both of whom were promoted from within the teams ranks.
Making their premier class debut at the season opener are 250 class champions Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn. During the 2013 Supercross season, Tomac finished second overall in the 250 West standings after winning five out of nine races. He also competed in four 450 Supercross events during his mid-season break, claiming an impressive fourth place overall at the Daytona Supercross by Honda. Tomac then went on to claim his first-ever 250 Motocross Championship, finishing on the podium at all 12 rounds and posting seven overall victories. It was a breakthrough year for Hahn, who landed on the podium at every round of the nine-race circuit to clinch his first 250SX East Championship title.
In the 250 competition, GEICO Honda has a full roster of some of the most talented young riders including Zach Osborne, Zach Bell and rookie Matt Bisceglia. Osborne joined the team in 2013, posting respectable results all season including a third place podium appearance in Seattle to finish seventh overall in the Supercross standings. He continued his success with the team during the Motocross season, finishing fifth overall with two podium finishes and six additional top five’s. Bell is a remarkably talented 19-year-old who raced his first professional season in 2013, and despite ups and downs he showed a lot of speed. Now heading into 2104 he is ready to show his true potential and run up front with some of the fastest racers in the circuit. Bisceglia is the newest GEICO Honda recruit, who made his professional debut during the 2013 AMA Motocross series. With multiple Loretta Lynn tittles to his name, and winning the coveted AMA Horizon Award in 2013, Bisceglia is ready to take on the 2014 Supercross season.
Unfortunately, while practicing at the team’s test track in early December Bogle crashed and sustained several injuries that will prevent him from lining up for the 250SX West class at Anaheim. He has begun the recovery process and is hopeful for a return later in the season. Bogle finished a respectable seventh overall in the 2013 AMA Motocross standing.
Leading the charge for the Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda squad is Cole Seely, who has been with the team since his professional debut in 2009. Seely finished a solid third overall in the 2013 Supercross West series, and has his sights set on his first championship. Joining him in the 250SX West class are teammates Malcolm Stewart, Jessy Nelson and rookie Shane McElrath. Stewart made his Troy Lee Designs debut as a replacement rider during the 2013 Motocross season and demonstrated a lot of promise on the 450, showing both the speed and the desire to run up front. He posted favorable results all season including a career best 4th overall at Budds Creek, which landed him a full time position with the team. He will make the jump to the 450 class again for the Motocross series.
The 2014 AMA Supercross season kicks off on January 4th at Angel stadium in Anaheim, CA and concludes on May 3th at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. Make sure to watch for the Honda Red Riders on podiums across the country.