Honda-supported rider Heath Voss will be the first rider to put Honda’s new 4-stroke CRF450R through the rigors of Supercross competition thisweekend at Round 16 of the AMA/EA Sports Supercross Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, May 5.
“We need some actual race time on the bike as a major step in our preparation for the 2002 Supercross season,” said Motorcycle Sports Manager Chuck Miller. “Ryan’s (Hughes) recent outing at Glen Helen helped prepare us for the upcoming outdoor series.”
“Supercross is a different kind of racing,” Miller continued, “and demands a very unique bike set-up. We’ll be using a modified, outdoor ‘450R, to get additional information, and help confirm the direction for the development of our Supercross machine for next season.”
When asked about the selection of Voss, Miller noted, “Heath is a natural choice. He’s riding well in Supercross right now. Our team riders – Ezra (Lusk), Sebastien (Tortelli), and Ryan Hughes are in final preparation for the outdoornationals. Plus, Mike LaRocco and Ezra are focused on top-5 finishes in the Supercross series.”
Going into the final round of the 2001 AMA/EA Sports Supercross Championship, Honda-support rider Mike LaRocco holds third position in the series standing with 271points, followed by Lusk with 254.
For Voss, being the first to ride Honda’s new 4-stroke motocrosser is like a dream come true. “Honda asked me to help them in this stage of (the bike’s) development, and I’m just happy that I can contribute. I’ve worked very hard this season to be here and I’m thankful Honda is giving me this opportunity. It’s exciting, that’s for sure.”
The 23-year old native of Prior Lake, Minnesota turned pro in 1994. Last year,he was the top finishing privateer in the 2000 Supercross series. For 2001, Voss rides for the Great Lakes Aviation/TMR/Larson Honda/D&M Motorsports Team. Voss regularly places in the top ten, his best finish coming in Round 14 at Texas Stadium in Irving, where he finished sixth overall. Voss currently sits in tenth position in the Supercross series standings.
On April 19, Honda announced that Ryan Hughes, 2000 Motocross Des Nations winner, will contest the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships aboard the CRF450R. The Hughes-mounted CRF450R will make its official racingdebut on Sunday May 13 in the first round of the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S.Motocross Championships at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California.