Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia charged his way back in both 450MX motos to finish third and seventh, respectively, and end the day fifth overall in Saturday’s Pro Motocross season opener at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. In his first Outdoor race in three years, Broc Tickle finished 13th overall with a 15-13 tally.
Barcia got the day off to a good start, qualifying fifth at the iconic venue in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Unfortunately, he got pinched off at the start and found himself in 14th. He put his head down and steadily worked his way to sixth before the halfway mark on the tight, technical track. As the race wore on, the Florida rider stayed tough and was able to throw down some fast laps and keep making passes on the competition. With around a minute to go, Barcia made the pass for the final podium spot and finished there comfortably.
His charge to the front had him geared up for Moto 2. He got off to a better start but unfortunately, a tip over had him back in 22nd. Barcia once again went to work and quickly made his way into the top 10 within the first five minutes of the moto. Holding a solid eighth position, he kept whittling down the big gap to seventh and was able to make the pass with four laps remaining. Barcia kept pushing forward but there wasn’t enough time to advance further. The seventh-place result earned him fifth overall and has him fourth in the standings, tied with Marvin Musquin at 34 points.
Tickle had a decent start in his debut race with the team. He made improvements throughout the day as he got more comfortable and finished 15th in the first moto. In the second moto, the Michigan rider didn’t get off to a great start in 20th, but he was able to run a faster pace and cross the line 13th to earn a 13th-overall finish.
Jim Roach – Yamaha Racing Department Manager for YMUS
“Overall today was a pretty good start to the motocross season for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team. Justin didn’t have the best of starts in the first moto but worked his way up to a solid finish in third. Broc spent some time getting comfortable in the first moto. We made a couple of subtle changes and the bikes were working well for the second moto. Justin overcame challenges to put in another good moto to finish fifth overall. Broc was hoping for a top 10 and was close. It was a good effort for his first Pro Motocross race in three years and he looks to finish solidly in the top 10 next week.”
Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“Loretta Lynn’s was a good weekend overall. I had some good practice times and ended up qualifying fifth. I didn’t get the greatest start in the first moto, but I had one of the greatest charges I’ve had in a long time. I charged all the way up to third but just ran out of time. In the second moto, I ended up going down two times. I just used a lot of energy in that first moto and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get back up to the front, seventh was all I could muster up. There are definitely some positives on the weekend. I’m going to go back and work on a few things and be even better at Loretta’s next weekend.”
Broc Tickle – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“Today was a positive day for myself. I haven’t raced an Outdoor National in three years now. Yeah, the goal was to be in the top 10. I didn’t manage to finish there but it was good to get our first race under our belt. We’ll be back next week. We’re in a good place and we have a direction now after racing. I’m looking forward to heading back to California this week and working with the team to make some improvements and come back next weekend to build off of today.”