HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 26, 2015) – Washougal MX Park in scenic Washougal, Wash. was the site of the ninth round of the 2015 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The first motos aired live on MAVTV, and the second motos were broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network.
Mother nature intervened again, and rain the day before and leading up to the race made the track muddy and treacherous for the first moto. Justin Barcia pulled the holeshot leading teammate Phil Nicoletti across the official stripe by approximately one inch. It was Barcia’s fifth consecutive holeshot. Weston Peick was inside the top-10 but was getting a lot of mud blasting his face and body by the pack of 450s all around him. Meanwhile Barcia and Nicoletti were running first and second until lap four when Nicoletti dropped to fourth. Barcia had some company during the early laps but as the race went on he started to gap the field. On lap six Peick had to stop in the mechanics area and get fresh Oakley goggles relegating him to 17th. Barcia navigated the slippery track with precision and focus finishing 29 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ryan Dungey. Nicoletti remained in fourth where he finished, and Peick was able to move up to 12th at the checkers.
MAVTV’s Georgia Lindsey interviewed Barcia on the podium, “wow what a dominating performance from Justin Barcia there, huge congratulations, it started with that holeshot. How do you prepare for a holeshot like that and then lead every single lap?” Barcia replied, “mentally it’s tough because I didn’t go out for a parade lap so I just wanted to keep my bike light (the riders get a parade, or sight lap prior to each moto to have a look at the track before the start of the race, Barcia skipped the parade lap because his Yamaha would have collected quite a bit of mud on it) and get a lot power down that Yamaha is fast. I can’t thank my AutoTrader Toyota Yamaha team enough, track was fun out there the lappers were actually pretty good today they moved out of the way nice so that was good and I just rode a smooth smart race with the least mistakes and just pulled a big lead so that felt really awesome, I can’t thank everyone enough.” Lindsey interjected, “and Kyle Busch, he actually just won the Xfinity race just now so we could make it a two for two (Busch drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR and had just won in Indianapolis, Ind. moments before). Preparations going into the second moto?” “Yeah for sure my mental game is strong right now, definitely Coach (Joe Gibbs) is probably happy at the NASCAR race and we are going to try and keep it on two wheels and get the overall today and it will be a good day,” said Barcia.
Incredibly Barcia again led the field around the first turn at the start of the second moto, his sixth straight holeshot. Nicoletti and Peick were fifth and six respectively after lap one. The track had dried out for the second moto and while conditions were far from perfect they were much better than the first moto. Ryan Dungey who finished second in moto one was determined to pass Barcia and take the overall for the day (in motocross if two riders trade first and second places in the two motos the overall win goes to the rider who wins the second moto). Dungey applied extreme pressure and tried to pass Barcia on several occasions in the early running but Barcia would not be denied and held strong. Peick and Nicoletti were both having a good moto as well, and the AutoTrader/Toyota/Yamaha Team had several laps where the entire team was in the top-five. With the laps winding down it appeared Barcia, who had pulled a small gap over Dungey would sweep the day when suddenly he found himself cross rutted in a turn, he made a valiant effort to avoid falling but could not stay up and briefly went down, the few seconds it took to get back up and under way gave Dungey the chance to get by with only four laps remaining. Barcia made a determined charge to try and catch Dungey but his pace was so intense that it caused him to make a few mistakes, he would settle for second place and a well-earned second overall on the day, his fourth consecutive podium finish. Peick was fourth, his 12 – four scores equated to sixth overall. Nicoletti was sixth, his four – six finishes gave him fifth overall. Barcia advanced to second in series points while Nicoletti is eighth, and Peick ninth with three rounds remaining.
Georgia Lindsey, this time with an NBC Sports Network microphone, again interviewed Barcia on the podium. “Wow Justin Barcia, what an unbelievable day, your speed was absolutely phenomenal, unfortunately that little mistake cost you but you got to be a little bit proud of yourself,” said Lindsey. Barcia replied, “proud but very disappointed, that mistake really blew it, I think I had that race, I was charging really hard, Ryan rode a super good race. I can’t thank my whole team enough, the whole AutoTrader Toyota Yamaha team, Monster, Alpinestars, just everyone for sticking behind me. We’re getting better and better, we should have won but this is motocross and this is what happens especially when you are racing great guys like these, it’s tough for sure.”
After a week off, Unadilla Sports Valley in New Berlin, N.Y. will host round 10 of the series on Aug. 8. The first motos will be broadcast live starting at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on MAVTV, the second 450 moto airs live on NBC at 4:00 p.m. (EST).