One of American motocross and supercross’ most exciting stars – JGR Suzuki’s Justin Barcia – has his sets firmly set on the launch of the 2017 AMA campaign in the first days of January after some promising speed at the noisy and atmospheric Geneva Supercross last weekend. The 24 year old was competing in the Swiss town for the first time and in the final international supercross of 2016, and took a set of fourth positions on both Friday and Saturday evenings at the Palexpo arena.
Completing his trip of premier European warm-up races after appearing at the Paris-Lille SX in France last month, Barcia was still getting to full grips with the RM-Z450 after two years steering Yamaha equipment for the potent JGR set-up. He led the field that included countryman and 2016 East Coast 250SX Champ Malcolm Stewart, French supercross specialist Cedric Soubeyras and 450SX rival Marvin Musquin on the first night but suffered a crash and then gated badly in the second Main Event on Saturday…meaning his scorecard showed a 4-4 for his maiden trip to Switzerland.
“The venue was awesome! The fans were phenomenal and it reminded me of Bercy in Paris but actually a step-up which is kinda crazy,” he said. “It was loud and exciting.”
“On the first night I had a pretty good crash through the whoops and it threw me off a little bit. We had to fix and fine-tune the bike through the Heat but I got the start in the main event and led pretty much half of it until losing the front end and went back to fourth. On the second I didn't get the start this time and pushed back up until third and [reached] Malcolm. We battled back and fourth and he ended up pinching me out at the end. All in all it was a bit frustrating. I wanted to be battling for the win.”
“The Suzuki was really good, “#51 offered on what was just his second major outing in ‘yellow’. “It is pretty much stock for the most part. We are a little under the gun for some things but we have some good parts to work on; that's why I like coming over here to Europe and racing because you learn so much you wouldn't at the practice track. I can go back to Florida now, test a few times more and get the bike ready for A1. That's the goal. These were warm-up races and they were successful for getting the bike right and learning a lot of things. I’m excited to head home and get ready for Anaheim.”
The seventeen round Monster Energy AMA/FIM World Championship Supercross series begins at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, east of Los Angeles, on January 7th.