On Saturday, the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team capped off a positive week in Atlanta Motor Speedway with Round 15 of the AMA Supercross Championship. Justin Barcia was on the gas aboard his MC 450F, rounding out the top-five in the premier 450SX class. Teammate Pierce Brown had an incredible come-from-behind performance on his MC 250F until a last-lap mistake shuffled him back to 14th just before the checkers.
In the heat, Barcia started off back in seventh and worked his way into the top-five before the end of lap one. Overtaking fourth on the second lap, Barcia kept it pinned to secure fourth in the heat race. In the Main Event, he grabbed a top-five start and powered through the opening lap chaos to settle into fourth early on. He set his sights on the podium battle and kept the pressure high but a small bobble caused him to go down in a corner and from there he was left to play catch-up for the rest of the race. He put on a good battle but it wasn’t enough to catch the top-three, so he cruised it in for a top-five finish on the day.
Barcia: “I definitely missed out on the podium, which was a bummer, but all-in-all salvaged what I could. I just need to keep it on two wheels. I’m really looking forward to the last two rounds in Utah, I really want to get another win before the season’s out. Two wins would be even better, so we’re going to give it our all in Salt Lake, full GasGas!”
In the 250SX West division, Pierce Brown put himself into a favorable position off the start of the heat race as he rounded the opening lap in second. He raced hard to earn a valuable second-place transfer into the Main Event. With a sixth-place start in the Main Event, Brown set himself up for a top-five charge early on but he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting caught up in another rider’s mistake through the whoops. Brown went down and was forced to battle back from dead last, where he made his way back up to an impressive seventh late in the race but a last-lap mishap caused him to go down once again and ultimately finish 14th.
Brown: “The result didn’t show but my riding in the heat and the main was the best it’s been in a while. I left everything I had on the track to charge back through and I made it up to seventh but on the last lap I got sideways in the sand section and fell, ending up 14th. The result was nowhere near what we wanted or are capable of but the riding was really good, so onto the next one.”
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team now heads to Salt Lake City, Utah for the final two rounds of the 2021 AMA Supercross Championship beginning next Saturday, April 24.
Results – 2021 AMA Supercross Championship, Round 15
450SX – Main Event
1. Cooper Webb (KTM) 14 laps; 2. Ken Roczen (Honda) +0.957; 3. Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) +03.847… 5. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) +10.297
250SX West – Main Event
1. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) 11 laps; 2. Justin Cooper (Yamaha) +06.705; 3. Seth Hammaker (Kawasaki) +13.204… 11. Derek Kelley (GASGAS); 12. Cedric Soubeyras (GASGAS); 14. Pierce Brown (GASGAS); DNS. Chris Blose (GASGAS)
Championship Standings – After Round 15
1. Cooper Webb (KTM) 339pts; 2. Ken Roczen (Honda) 323; 3. Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) 299; 4. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) 264
1. Justin Cooper (Yamaha) 180pts; 2. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 160; 3. Cameron Mcadoo (Kawasaki) 158… 11. Chris Blose (GASGAS) 86; 12. Pierce Brown (GASGAS) 59