This Saturday, the Honda Red Riders head to round six of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in Southwick, Massachusetts, located on the northern boarder of Connecticut. Southwick is the championship’s only sand track, known for being extremely rough and physically exhausting. The track held its first national event in 1976 and was won by Dutch sand specialist and Honda factory rider Pierre Karsmakers. Since then Honda has claimed a total of 14 victories in the premiere (now 450) class, the most of any other brand. Ironman Jeff Stanton won four consecutive times aboard his CR250 between 1989 and 1992, making him the second most successful rider in the track’s history. In the support (now 250) class, Honda has 10 wins, with the last being Justin Barcia in 2009.
It was quite a showing last weekend at Budds Creek with Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard capturing his first podium finish of the season with a third overall. Teammate Barcia rode strong all day, placing fifth overall with 4-8 finishes. Malcolm Stewart, who is standing in for the injured Christian Craig on the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda team, had a breakthrough weekend, finishing ninth in the first moto and third in the second moto to take fourth overall on his Honda CRF450R. GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac took second overall for the day with 5-1 scores, allowing him to move six points closer to taking over the championship lead in the 250 class.
“I am a sand rider so for me Southwick is fun,” stated Barcia. “The track is always really rough and it can get extremely hot, which makes it even more intense. I haven’t had the best of luck there the last few years, but in 2009 I got my first-ever professional 250 class overall win there. I am hoping I can put together two good motos this weekend and get back on the podium, preferably with a win. Since this is the last year we will be racing at Southwick, it would be nice to go out on a high note.”