Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia overcame obstacles to take a runner-up finish in St. Louis, Missouri, to advance his lead in the 450SX standings at the second round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
Heading into the weekend, Barcia was one of the many riders in the Supercross paddock to find himself battling illness in addition to the competition.
Although feeling under the weather, he was determined to hold on to his advantage in the title chase, and the coveted red plate.
In addition to not feeling well, a crash earlier in the day had the team pulling together to get the bike setup back to optimum for conditions at The Dome at America’s Center. Barcia was able to rebound to qualify fifth. Although the 27-year-old got a poor start in his Heat, he pushed through to salvage a decent gate pick with a third-place finish.
In the Main Event, Barcia got a much better start and quickly worked his way into third.
He didn’t waste any time advancing to second and was able to put some separation between himself and the competition while they were locked in a heated battle for third. From there on out, the Florida resident maintained a solid spot in second and scored some very valuable championship points on a day that wasn’t his best.
“It was a pretty tough day for me. I was really sick all week, and I just had to be mentally tough and push through the difficulties I was having today,” said Barcia.
“My Heat race went really well. I got a bad start, but I fought through the pack and got up to third. I made some really great passes, so that was awesome.
“In the Main Event, I got a much better start and quickly moved into second. I was pushing really hard, but tonight the best I had was second. I rode really well, considering.
“I felt like I rode better today than I did in Anaheim. I just unfortunately was a little under the weather. So, all in all, a really good day. The team did a great job with the motorcycle and setting it up. I’m really looking to get better this week and feeling better for Anaheim.”
Justin Barcia now heads back West to Southern California for Round Three at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim, on Saturday, January 18.