Mechanical drama in heat forces title threat to qualify via LCQ.
A high-pressure engine change has been hailed by Monster Energy Yamaha team manager Jim Perry following Justin Barcia’s mechanical problem in his 450SX heat at Oakland.
Barcia was in a transfer position when he ran into technical troubles that forced him out, prompting a rushed motor swap prior to the LCQ in which he won.
Despite those difficulties causing Barcia to select a poor gate pick for the main event, he managed to work his way through to sixth and salvage an impressive haul of points on Saturday night.
“Today in Oakland, it was a difficult and challenging day for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team,” explained Perry. “In the Heat race Justin had a mechanical that eliminated him from a qualifying position, but the team really came together like a fine oiled machine and got the engine changed in time for the LCQ.
“Justin started towards the front, quickly got into the lead and won the LCQ. However, that put him on the outside gate pick in the main event and an outside position on the start was definitely a disadvantage and put us in the back.
“Justin rode strong all moto long. He came from outside the top 15 to finish sixth and, maybe with a couple more laps he would’ve been able to close in to round out the top five – he put in a great ride. It was a great team effort all around with the engine swap.”
Anaheim 1 winner Barcia remains right there in the fight for the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross crown, positioned third in the standings behind Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) and Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) five rounds in.