Do not read into what happens at Anaheim 1 too much. How must has that line been marched out in the last week? There were a lot of eyes on Justin Barcia in St. Louis, bearing that in mind, but he backed up his victory with a solid runner-up finish. Barcia even faced some adversity – he was sick in the week and not firing on all cylinders. That is discussed, as well as some other hot topics, in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: Last year you started the season with a first and a sixth. This year it is a first and a second, so this is way better. All positive things, right?
Justin Barcia: For sure. This was quite difficult for me. I was pretty under the weather all week and really struggled today – I rode really well though. In the heat race I did not get the greatest start but pushed through the pack. I made some great passes and got up to third. It was a short race, six minutes, so I rode really well. In the main event I was in third.
Kenny [Roczen] made a good pass on [Zach] Osborne, then I kind of saw my opportunity and had to make that pass quick as well. I did that and then charged hard, but Kenny was on a little bit of another level tonight riding-wise. He rode really well. Jason [Anderson] was behind me, so I was kind of sandwiched all night. It was a good one. Those guys kept me on my toes tonight. That is for sure.
You say Kenny rode well but in the first half you were closing on him pretty good. I thought you were going to get him at one point.
No excuses. Obviously, I just didn’t feel that well tonight. Like I said, Kenny to me was riding really well and really smooth. There were no mistakes. This track was a track that was easy to make mistakes on, but I felt like in the beginning I was able to use some energy that I pulled out of somewhere and push pretty hard. I just didn’t have enough tonight. It was all good.
Your heat race was phenomenal considering that you are not at one hundred percent. Do you feel like maybe you used too much energy in that, which cost you later in the main?
It’s so hard to say. When I get on the bike, I always ride at one hundred percent. I don’t know. Obviously, the heat race took a lot of energy. I started from behind, made a lot of passes and rode really hard. I did not feel down on energy by any means in the main event – I just didn’t have the super good energy, just because I haven’t slept well all week and I was sick. It just took a toll on the body. All in all, what a race it was. The boys rode well. I felt like I managed it good. To me this was a bad day for me – feeling-wise – so I did well to get second.
Winding back to the beginning of the day, I saw some footage of you hitting the concrete and the wall pretty good. Talk us through that one.
That sucked. There was someone rolling through the section and I had to switch up my line. I just hit a low spot and cased the triple in the rhythm. Kind of sent me into an endo into the next jump, then the next jump sent me into the tuff blocks. After that I was on the concrete sliding. Kind of got my side pretty good with some road rash. That sucked. I was on such a good lap as well. I felt like I was hauling the mail, and then to be lying on the concrete sucked. That was frustrating.
There were a couple little tricky sections out there. I don’t think you even pulled a 2-3 or the 3-2 after the finish until the heat race. What was it about committing to that particular section?
Everything was really steep in the beginning of the day, so once everything started getting worn out it got better. I did it once in the heat race, the 2-3, and then in the main I did it pretty much every lap. The quad jump over the tabletop… I did that right away. I was not fully there today. I was just not one hundred percent, so I just struggled with little things like that. I cannot wait to be feeling better next weekend and racing hard again.
Just building on what we talked about last week a little bit. You are really happy with the bike, team and everything at the moment. When was the last time that you actually felt this good with a bike? Has that even happened in your time on a 450?
I felt decent a couple times on the factory Honda back in the day, but no. I’ve never felt this mature and this comfortable on my motorcycle, like really at one. It’s an awesome feeling. It’s phenomenal. I feel really happy with my motorcycle and I’m really proud of the team and myself for the hard work. It’s going to be a fun year.
I am a British guy, obviously, and from a British website. I have seen a few people this week credit your A1 win to riding in the sand at FatCat like a week before. That seems to have caught on pretty good.
I’ll take it. In the UK if you want to win races, you go to FatCat.
When I think of prepping for the Anaheim 1 supercross, I think of that deep sand.
Yeah, that’s the first thing I want to do. It’s all about fun a little bit. I went out with some buddies from the UK.
Stock bike as well, right?
Yeah, a new stock bike. The boys hooked me up over there. It was fun. I’ll take it.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden