Roughly twenty-four hours after Davi Millsaps announced his retirement from professional racing, Yamaha has confirmed that fill-in rider Justin Barcia will remain with the team for the remainder of the 2018 race season. This comes as no surprise since the Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing rider has claimed podium finishes through the opening rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series and is in the hunt for the 450 championship. Barcia’s original deal was for the first six races of the series, which would have ended this weekend in San Diego.
We’ve pestered the team for weeks about Barcia’s status and were repeatedly told that things were in the works. The contract extension will run through the rest of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series and the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
The press release from Yamaha is posted in full below…
Justin Barcia, who is currently ranked third in the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, has been signed by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), to continue racing his #51 Yamaha YZ450F for the Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing team throughout the remainder of the Supercross season, as well as the 2018 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which begins in late May. The announcement was made by Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for YMUS.
According to Keith, "We're delighted to extend Justin's contract through the completion of both the 2018 supercross and motocross seasons. Justin's results aboard the all-new 2018 YZ450F have been as great as we hoped they would be. We knew when we signed him to the original six-race deal and saw how well he rode the new bike in testing, that it was the start of something special. We believe in Justin, and all of us at Yamaha are looking forward to his continued success with our factory team."
Justin commented, "When I first threw my leg over the 2018 factory YZ450F, I knew that I had a weapon with which to go for the Championship. I’m just super-happy and grateful to be with Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing, and I'm glad that it's now full steam ahead for the rest of the supercross season and through the motocross season, as well. I get along really well with everyone on the team, and knowing that I have the best team behind me gives me a ton of confidence!"
Justin and his Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Cooper Webb (#2) are getting ready for Round 6 of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, which is this weekend in San Diego.