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#17 GEICO/Factory Connection Honda
Residence: Ochlocknee, GA
Born: March 17th, 1993 (20 years old)
Justin Barcia is redefining the phrase "serious contender." The 17-year-old rider burst onto the professional Motocross scene in 2009 - following a hugely successful and dominant amateur racing career - by taking the overall win at the Moto-X 338 National and scoring nine podium finishes in his professional Motocross racing debut. He may be a new kid on the block with the GEICO Powersports Honda team, but he is anything but a newcomer to racing - or to Hondas.
"I've had a solid amateur racing career and won a lot of titles over the years on my Honda CRF250R, which I'm really proud of," says Barcia. "When I turned pro at the outdoor nationals in 2009 and lined up on the start line, I was next to guys I have looked up to my entire life - it was a little daunting. But each week I got stronger and worked out how to compete with the top guys at their own race and eventually beat them all to get my first overall round win. I put everything I had into the season and scored some great results."
After a successful 2009 Motocross series debut, the lightning-fast racer is shifting his focus toward racing professional Supercross for the first time and doing it in front of tens of thousands of people.
"I'm pumped to race Supercross this year. I won a few Supercross events as an amateur, but the professional tracks are a whole different beast to battle. The Lites class is stacked with fast, talented, young racers, so I'll be laying it all on the line each week. Learning to race in front of thousands of screaming fans will be different though."
In 2010, Barcia's talents couldn't be in better hands as former Motocross champion and longtime Factory Connection racing icon Mike LaRocco joins GEICO Powersports Honda as Team Manager.
"To have Mike LaRocco as Team Manager is just awesome. For a good 10 to 15 years, Mike was among the top competitors in the sport and his relationship with the team goes way back. He understands what we as racers need to perform at our best, and it's awesome to be able to go to him and get advice. When we are at the test track riding and I'm trying to explain something about the bike, Mike has on occasion ridden my bike. It's great to have someone so knowledgeable overseeing what we do, but it also means I have to be at the top of my game or he will call me out."
The easygoing Barcia has a reputation for being blistering-fast on the track, but he believes much of that reputation is owed to his success racing a bike he feels good on.
"I've been riding and winning on Hondas for years because they just feel so good to ride. The new CRF250R is amazing! I thought my racebike last year was great, but when I rode the new bike for the first time I was blown away. I love the fuel injection and am really excited to see what I can do in competition next season."
Justin Barcia's Website: http://www.justinbarcia.com/