Justin Barcia chats about his first official 450 pro outdoor season.
Justin Barcia (No. 51) has struggled to get a good set-up with his new kit Showa-sourced air fork.
Justin Barcia’s 3-3 finish at Southwick put him on the overall 450 podium in third.
Justin Barcia finished fifth overall at Budds Creek with a 4-8 result.
Justin Barcia ripped the Moto 1 Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot at High Point and finished in third-place.
Justin Barcia missed the overall 450 podium at Spring Creek, finishing fourth with a 3-5 result.
Justin Barcia (51), Ryan Villopoto (2) and Ryan Dungey (1) battling for the front in 450 motocross at Thunder Valley.
This summer marks two-time 250 East Coast Supercross Champion Justin Barcia’s official foray into the ultra-competitive world of pro 450 outdoor motocross racing. Although the 21-year-old has some experience via factory Honda fill-in rides for the injured Trey Canard in ‘11, the East Coast native is still learning the ropes in an effort to consistently run up front week in and week out with the likes of the Ryans (Villopoto and Dungey). So far he’s done a pretty admirable job as he comfortably sits third in championship points with one round remaining this weekend at Southern California’s Lake Elsinore circuit. Recently we caught up with the class rookie to get some insight on how his race season has been thus far.
HIS ROOKIE 450 MOTOCROSS SEASON:
It’s been alright; it hasn’t been the best toward the end of year. I’ve been struggling to get a real good set-up on some of the rougher tracks. It’s definitely been an up and down year for me. I’ve had some good races. I’d love to get another win by the end of the season. But none of those guys are making it easy for me.
ON HIS BIKE SET-UP WOES:
The new suspension, the air stuff, it’s definitely really good but with new stuff there are a lot of things you can work on and fine-tune. You get a good setting on one track then the next track will be completely different. So it’s a little tough. But we’re started to figure it out slowly but surely.
I think I’ve won a moto or two, but not an overall (In fact, Barcia hasn’t won a race yet but has come close a couple times with a best finish of 2-2 in Tennessee). That’s how long the season has been and how much traveling we do. I don’t even remember if I won a moto or not. And that just shows that you can win a moto and forget about it. If you don’t just keep winning it doesn’t mean anything. Definitely looking for an overall this year and the season is coming to an end so I need to make it happen sooner than later.
RACING WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST:
Like crazy. It’s really crazy. Racing the guys that I watched on TV for so long and now to be batting with them and getting beat by them most of the time isn’t very fun [laughs]. But it is my first year in the 450 class. Definitely I am learning so much [but] trying to keep up with those guys and win races is tough.
WHICH BIKE DO YOU PREFER TO RACE, 250F OR 450F:
When you’re on a 250 you’re like ‘I can’t wait to race a 450’ and now that I am on a 450 I definitely miss riding a 250—being able to throw it around. But the 450 is a great bike there is so much more power. It’s a huge difference. It has changed me as a rider. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But it’s such a different bike to ride. There is so much power you need to be a man to ride that thing. You need to be smoother and not use as much energy. Because 30 minutes plus two laps on a 450… it takes a lot out of you. It’s a whole new learning curve for me. You get tired at different points of the race. It was harder than I thought… actually I didn’t think it was harder because I knew Dungey and Villopoto and all those guys would be really fast and hard to beat as two years ago I did get to race them at Unadilla and Southwick. It’s a tough class.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL WEEK FOR YOU IN-SEASON:
A normal week is usually lots of training and riding. But you have to recover too. Fly to the race Friday, race Saturday, fly home Sunday, and then Monday do your recovery workouts. I ride Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and also do training in-between riding. That’s the one thing I’ve learned a lot on the 450. You have to pay attention to your body and how it feels. Know when not to ride, and when to ride. That’s been a big thing for me. I think in the 250 class I took advantage of my body and it got kind of beat down and tired toward the end of the season. I’ve learned not to beat up my body so much and I feel good right now.
PLANS AFTER THE MOTOCROSS SEASON:
I’m going to race Bercy this year. I’ve done that a few times. It’s a fun race. It’s cool and the fans are wild and usually it’s some good battles. Racing with different guys is always fun, too.