Chino, CA (April 3, 2012) – Yoshimura-backed teams showed their strength at the 13th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Series at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX, on Saturday night. The Honda Racing, Yoshimura Suzuki and Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki teams dug deep and used the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products to produce strong results in Houston.
The Yoshimura-backed Honda Red Riders grabbed valuable points in Texas. Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton rode a noteworthy race finishing in fifth; leaving him fourth overall in the points chase while teammate Wil Hahn placed a respectable 13th. Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia had a solid outing aboard his Yoshimura-equipped CRF250R, scoring a second-place finish and increasing his championship lead to 32 points.
Brayton had a successful night, finishing in second in his heat race and working his way up to fifth from a mid-pack start in the main in the Supercross class. “I really wanted to be back on the podium this weekend, but after not getting a great start I had my work cut out for me,” said Brayton. “I felt good so I’m excited to get a little more riding in during the week and head to New Orleans strong.”
Supercross Lites rider Justin Barcia was heading for his sixth win of the season until getting tangled with a lapper and going down on the last lap. Barcia had such a big lead that he was able to recover and finish second.
“I am really upset with how the raced ended up,” said Barcia. “Regardless though we still ended in second and earned points which is most important. We are that much closer to the ultimate goal of a championship but I can’t help but be bummed about not getting that sixth win.”
Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda teammate Justin Bogle had a noteworthy night, taking the win in his heat and finishing a respectable eighth in the main.
Also in Supercross, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe suffered some bad luck in Houston. The Australian had a good heat race and finished fourth. But in the main, Metcalfe stalled his bike after getting closed up in the first turn and was recovering from that when another rider crashed in his path and he went down himself. Again, Metcalfe rallied and worked his way through the field from 20th to finish 12th.
“I’ve always done well in Houston,” said Metcalfe. “So this was bit of a bummer. In the heat race, I ended up fourth but I was feeling good on the track and I had a nice rhythm going. In the main, in the first corner, I got pushed off balance and accidentally hit my rear brake and stalled my bike. I should have come out fifth or sixth, but I ended up at the back. So I got going and was putting passes together when someone crashed in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I ran into him and went down and stalled the bike. So I got restarted in complete last, and put my head down and managed to climb back up to 12th. But we’ll keep at it and come back strong for New Orleans and these last few races.”
In the Lites class, Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton started the night with a bang, getting the holeshot in his six-lap heat race and leading the first few laps before suffering a get-off. Undaunted, he rallied and worked his way up to seventh. In the 15-lap main event, Wharton got a good start and made a play for a podium spot before finishing fourth. Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing’s Hunter Hewitt remains out from injury but hopes to return for the New Orleans race in two weeks.
“It was a rough night for me,” said Wharton. “But I salvaged fourth, even though I definitely wanted to be on the podium. But I had a crash in my heat race and that put me in a bad position. But that’s racing; you have to go through your good times and your bad times. But I still felt pretty good and I managed to get some points, so I’m happy about that. But I definitely want to get going for Louisiana. New Orleans is going to be a great race, I’ve raced there and I want to win.”
The next stop of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is the 14th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, April 14th, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
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