Oakland, California (January 30, 2016) – Christian Craig keeps taking steps toward a career-first win in Monster Energy Supercross. After his first podium finish last week at Anaheim, California, the GEICO Honda rider came out even stronger on Saturday night in Oakland, California, grabbing the holeshot and leading the fastest 250SX class riders for several laps before a brief fall cost him the number-one spot. He fought back valiantly to salvage another podium with a third-place finish.
“I thought tonight was my night to win,” said Craig. “Worked on my starts last week and was confident on those. I pulled the holeshot in the heat race, but Cooper [Webb] was just on another level there, he got around me. In the main event I knew I had to get a good start and just try to run away with it. I ended up pulling the holeshot there, my first holeshot in a main event, ever, so I was pretty happy with that. Just focused on myself and tried to pull away as fast as possible, and on lap five I threw it away in a corner all by myself. That was it. Went back to sixth, fought my way back up. After holeshotting, I thought I could finally do it. Unfortunately, mistake on my part, but I learned. I know I can win now, it’s all just a matter of putting it together.”
Craig fell when he lost traction with his front tire in a tight, 180-degree corner. A similar crash also cost teammate Jordon Smith. Smith was fighting a sore shoulder coming into the race, and then crashed again in practice. He fought through all of tha pain to battle inside top five during the first half of the main event. When Craig crashed, Smith took over fourth, but then he too lost traction and crashed in one of the 180-degree turns. He ended up dropping back to 13th, and then picked off a few riders to take 11th at the finish.
“Day was pretty tough for me, I had a crash at the practice track during the week and had an AC separation in my shoulder,” said Smith. “Unfortunately a mistake by me in the main event cost me a pretty good finish. Just rehab the shoulder and get ready for next weekend.”
Jimmy Decotis had a quiet night, taking a ninth-place finish.
“I struggled a little bit in practice and the heat, really struggled in the main event. Just couldn’t get in a flow,” said Decotis, who was in the top five last weekend. “So I’m going to regroup and get ready for next weekend, that’s really all I can do now. Go punish myself in the gym this week, make up for it and get ready for next weekend.”
Craig’s Big Night Highlights Anaheim 2 Supercross for GEICO Honda
Anaheim, California (January 23, 2016) – The story of Christian Craig’s comeback to Monster Energy AMA Supercross just keeps getting better, and it now includes a career-first podium finish and a heat race victory. Craig had a spectacular night at the third race of the 2016 season, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, which included several laps battling for the lead against defending 250SX West Champion Cooper Webb. It was the stiffest challenge anyone given Webb this year, and the Anaheim fans cheered every move.
In their qualifying heat race, Craig passed and defeated Webb for the victory. “I had number one in the heat race with me, knew I had to get a good start to stay up front with him,” said Craig. “He ended up getting a holeshot, but the first lap I was quicker in the whoops and made the pass. I ended up winning my first heat race ever, that was a boost of confidence coming into the main.”
Craig and his GEICO Honda teammate Jimmy Decotis fought for the holeshot in the main event, with Decotis getting the nod. Craig lost a spot but quickly passed his way back into the lead. He led for eight laps before battling again with Webb, and the two went back and forth with numerous passes. Craig finally lost the lead for good on lap 11, and after that duel he admitted that he got tight and lost his pace, ultimately dropping to third.
“I just clicked those laps off, the first ten laps went quick,” said Craig after the race. “My last five laps were slow—but we know what we need to work on. This is my first podium ever, something to build on, and I’m happy.”
Craig had actually retired from racing in 2013, but decided to make a full-scale comeback in 2015. While on the podium at Anaheim, Craig spoke to the Fox Sports TV crew, and brought his son, Jagger, with him to explain his comeback.
“There’s no better feeling—it’s all learning for me,” he said to the live television audience. “I got to battle with the number one. I got tight, never been up there for that long. It’s good, it’s coming together now, all my hard work. I definitely do this for my son. He’s the reason I came back to racing. When he was born, I looked at him and said, ‘I don’t want him to grow up knowing his dad gave up on his dream.’ I’m back and I’m showing him that his dad can do it.”
The other two GEICO Honda 250 riders had solid nights as well. Decotis grabbed the holeshot and held fourth most of the way before losing a position in a last-lap battle.
” Beginning of the day was bad, I struggled in practice, but we made a bike change and I felt awesome for the night show,” said Decotis. “My heat race was great, and then I got the holeshot in the main event. I’m struggling with the first few laps. I’m just getting eaten up, I have to work on that. My last lap was a bad lap and Joey Savatgy got me. Fifth place is okay, but not great because it should have been fourth. I’m a little bummed on it.”
Behind him came teammate Jordon Smith, who took sixth to follow his podium finish from a week ago in San Diego. Smith, a second-year pro, is working on his consistency, and tried to avoid a big mistake on a very difficult Anaheim track.
“The day for me was a little rough,” said Smith, who is fourth in the series standings. “I felt good but I was just struggling a little bit in the big whoops. I crashed there in practice and kind of hurt my wrist a little bit. Overall I got out of it pretty safe and scored some points, it’s a long season and we’re all right there still. Just want to be consistent every week and put ourselves in a good position at the end of the year.”
Posted In: Christian Craig, Jimmy Decotis, Jordon Smith, News, Team
17 Jan, 2016
GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith Scores First Career Podium in San Diego
San Diego, CA (Jan 17, 2016) – The GEICO Honda supercross team ran at the front all of the pack all night at the second Monster Energy Supercross race of the season, at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. While some of the riders bounced through ups and downs, second-year pro Jordon Smith held steady to score his first career podium with third place in the 250SX West class.
It was a particularly satisfying result since Smith had shown speed before, only to have his results undone by bad starts or crashes. This time he showed the full package, leading the race early and riding consistently throughout.
“My day went really well, I’m so happy,” said Smith, of North Carolina. “Felt comfortable all day throughout practice and into the night show. My GEICO Honda pulled me to a really good start, and I was able to get out front early. Last week I got to experience racing toward the front, and I got to do that again here and learn how to lead. I tried to ride my own laps, but I got a little tight in the middle of the moto. Just learning. I went back to third, but I’m happy I was able to pull it back together and got a strong podium! Overall it was a great night and now I can’t wait for Anaheim 2!”
Teammate Christian Craig followed Smith in fourth, which is a career-best result for him as well. Coming into the season, Craig generated some buzz with quick times at the test track, and he brought that speed to San Diego, even topping defending 250 West Region Champion Cooper Webb to grab top honors in the first timed qualifying session.
“Last week was not me, I rode tight,” said Craig to the fans after topping to the qualifying session. “This is where I want to be: up front.”
Craig and Webb diced for top qualifying time again in the second timed session, with Webb just edging him. Craig then holeshot his heat race and began to pull away from the field, until he crashed, dragging him back to sixth. In the main event, he overcame a bad start to net fourth, but again feels he got tight, and didn’t quite show his full game.
“In the main, I got a terrible start, but I tucked to the inside in the first turn. I don’t know where I came out, but it was toward the front,” Craig said. “Rode around, got tight around lap five and started making a lot of mistakes. I wasn’t happy with that, but I held on, got fourth. It’s a career-best for me, but I want to get on the podium, and I’m not going to be happy until I get there. Other than that, though, it was a good night.”
Looked like it was going to be a good night for Jimmy Decotis, too, who was right behind Smith early in the main, putting the GEICO Hondas in first and second in the early laps.
“Today the result was not good,” said Decotis, who ended up falling down and settling for eighth. “I felt really good all day riding wise, I was getting the sections down good and I was strong in the whoops. I was really looking forward to the main event, and I put myself in a good position off the start, right behind Jordon in second. I made a bobble and washed the front, came back through the pack. Overall, I felt like I rode really good all day, and I had strong points. I think I’m starting to believe I’m one of those guys and I can be up there every week, so I just need to keep working hard and hopefully it can just snowball from here.”
As you may have seen on our social media channels, we announced there would be an opportunity for our DiRECT 2 RiDER members to be randomly selected to receive a free set of 2016 gear! This was simply to show appreciation to our loyal members!
The following DiRECT 2 RiDER Members that have been randomly selected to receive a free set of 2016 ALiAS gear. The following members get their choice of a 2016 A2 Series or Youth combo, featuring a jersey, pant and glove:
Patrick Long – Monroe, NC
Jena Smith – Pinon Hills, CA
Daniel Gagnon – Goffstown, NH
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Goerke claims MX1 Championship in final round thriller
(Vaughan, ON – August 17, 2015) Press Release – The final round of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals in Walton, ON this past Sunday, which was staged on the super-fast Walton Speedway track under a blazing sun and a humid 28°C temperature, turned out to be a thriller that didn’t fade away until the checkered flag signalled the end of the second MX1 moto. That’s how long it took to confirm that Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke could call himself the 2015 premier class champion.
For Goerke, it was the end of a long season that saw him engaged in epic battles for the title with defending champ Colton Facciotti, 2013 champ Brett Metcalfe, and up-and-coming star Cole Thompson. Goerke, who took command of the points chase at Round 3, was never able to break away into a comfort zone from that moment on. In addition to numerous second and third place finishes, he would go on to claim six moto wins and two overalls.
With a points spread that never exceeded 29 at its peak, and only 10 going into the ultimate round, Goerke exhibited true grit and grace under pressure to rise above his rivals and record his second MX1 National Championship title in Walton. The first time the Florida native cleared the task was in 2012, his debut year in Canada. The following two seasons he raced in the U.S., to make his return to the Canadian series this year.
Goerke’s MX1 teammate, Bobby Kiniry, riding injured since a hard crash in the first moto at Round 8, stayed the course to finish sixth in the points, tied with fellow American Cade Clason. Kiniry occupied sixth on the scoreboard since Round 6. The veteran proved to be steady finisher at most rounds despite some crashes and a DNF at Round 8.
In the MX2 title chase, Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF’s Shawn Maffenbeier finished the season with a respectable No.4 ranking. Like Kiniry the Saskatchewan native faced a number of setbacks, including a DNF at Round 9. He came into the series off an injury and despite a number of podium finishes, was unable to have a say in the championship.
While Facciotti pulled out all the stops to win the last battle of the season with 1-3 motos, Goerke stepped up to the plate to win the war. The first moto holeshot went to Tyler Medaglia, with Kiniry, Thompson, Facciotti and Goerke in tow. Unfortunately Kiniry could not capitalize on his excellent start, washing out his front end a few turns into the race. He remounted at the back of the pack and managed to work his way to a 24th place finish.
Medaglia was relegated to fourth within a few laps with Facciotti at the helm, Thompson in second and Goerke in third. Goerke stayed on Thompson’s rear fender until the midway point of the moto, when he made a definitive pass. Facciotti had by this time carved out a substantial lead and Goerke focused on defending his second place to the finish line.
The start of the second moto was about as tense as it could get for Goerke and Facciotti. Goerke still had a 10-point edge, but Facciotti was also within reach of the title, depending on where they would finish. Fast starter Goerke took his YZ450F into what looked like a potential holeshot with Facciotti next to him. Going into the first turn they collided, however, taking each other down in the process.
For race fans it didn’t get any better than that; for Goerke and Facciotti and their respective teams it was a worst case scenario. Although both riders got their bikes restarted, the big question was what shape were their bikes in? What shape were they in? Facciotti got back into the fray second last, Goerke dead last.
Facciotti sliced and diced through the pack with Goerke a few seconds behind. Around the halfway mark of the moto Facciotti had clawed his way into third, 21 seconds behind second place Thompson. Goerke found himself in seventh but lappers were becoming an issue by this time.
With four laps left, Goerke commandeered fifth place. Since Facciotti was unable to make up time on Thompson, it was all Goerke needed to secure the title with still a handful of points to spare. He just had to bring the finish home. To his relief and the entire team Goerke prevailed and cleared the task, recording fourth overall on the day, thanks to his 2-5 results. He was the new MX1 Champion.
“It’s certainly a relief to get this day over with. The second moto was more nerve wracking than the first. It couldn’t have been any crazier or tougher. I knew I had to ride smart and not let my emotions take over. So I let my bike do its job, which it did remarkably well, and I did mine,” Goerke said. “I knew I had to keep Colt in my sights, pass a lot of people and finish within a few positions of him, which was going to have to be fifth or better. It was a fantastic season and I would like to thank everybody that helped to make it happen. The list of people and sponsors is endless. They know who they are. I also want to thank all Canadian motocross fans for making me feel welcome in their country.”
Meanwhile, Kiniry, got another top start. After Goerke and Facciotti’s crash, he was in second behind Metcalfe, who ended up with the holeshot. Metcalfe would go on to win the moto, ahead of Thompson and Facciotti. Kiniry, despite not being in tip-top condition, hung in to finish the race in sixth place behind Goerke, recording 14th overall.
“Considering everything that went down this season, starting with a broken nose and ending with a broken foot, I’m happy to still salvage a single digit plate ranking. I had some misfortune along the way but the entire team was there to support me all the way and helped keep me stay focused. Thanks to everybody, including my family, for being there for me,” Kiniry said.
In MX2 action, Shawn Maffenbeier did what he had to do to secure his fourth place ranking in the points. He started inside the top 10 and worked his way into second by lap five. A few laps later a bobble relegated him to a fifth place finish. The second moto again saw Maffenbeier with a start just inside the top 10. He put his head down and took his YZ250 into the top five by lap three, running in fourth till the last lap, when he made a pass for third, finishing fourth overall on the day, and fourth in the title hunt.
“It’s never fun when you drop a ranking instead of moving up one, but coming into the season with very little time on the bike, is already something that’s not in your favour. You know you’re not going to be competitive from the get-go. It took a while to find my groove but finishing top five was my hope, although my goal was top three. At this point I want to thank everybody on the team, our sponsors, and especially Andre [Laurin] for their support and believing in me,” Maffenbeier said.
Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha would like to congratulate Matt Goerke for winning the 2015 MX1 Championship. A tip of the hat goes to Bobby Kiniry for maintaining a top-10 MX1 ranking, as well as to Shawn Maffenbeier for maintaining a top-five ranking in MX2. Thanks to all our invaluable sponsors for making this the best season ever!
Matt Bisceglia snares top-five finish for GEICO Honda 250 team
TOOELE, Utah (Aug. 15) — GEICO Honda 250 rider Matt Bisceglia continued his late-season surge with a top-five finish in the Utah National Pro Motocross race on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park. The result was his best of the outdoor season and follows a top-10 finish last weekend at Unadilla.
“Best weekend of the season so far,” said Bisceglia, who finished sixth in each of the two motos. “Got a couple good starts and I rode pretty well for the most part. I put in as many good laps as I could, even with the heat. We were out here racing in the desert, but I did pretty well in spite of the heat.”
Temperatures approached 90 degrees in the blazing Utah sun, but Bisceglia fought through it with determination for an overall fifth.
“That’s my best finish this year and my best finish in motocross, so I can’t complain,” Bisceglia said. “The heat definitely started getting to me; 20 minutes into the moto you start getting overheated. I’m in good physical shape and rode consistent overall.”
Teammate R.J. Hampshire rode well, too, finishing 7-7 for an overall seventh, the best of his rookie season. He was heading to a podium finish in the first moto before a fall just before the finish line.
“I got off to a great start, the best start I have had all year,” Hampshire said. “I led the pack for a few laps, but then (Cooper) Webb and (Marvin) Musquin got by me. After that I settled in my pace and rode in third.
“I had third place locked in but I got excited the last lap and the last turn. I came into the turn a little hot and got sideways and threw it away. I learned from it and that is where we have wanted to be all season long.”
Hampshire had a good start in the second moto, but that race was red-flagged to cause a restart.
“I did not have a great restart; I was back in 15th,” Hampshire said. “The first start I was up in the top 10 and moved to eighth but then we had the red flag. I was putting good lap times together and I had some pretty good battles with the other riders.”
Christian Craig and Jordon Smith each had days they’d like to forget. Craig, who has been solid since joining the team two races into the outdoor season, tweaked his back in the first practice and struggled for most of the day. He gutted through the pain to finish 10th in the first moto, but he had to pull off in the second.
“During the first practice I tweaked my back going off a jump, so from that point it was pretty much downhill from there,” Craig said. “I did have a great lap time in the second practice, which qualified me for second, and then I had to pull off because I was in so much pain. I tried to do some stuff to it to help.
“The first moto I just tried to ride through it and I finished 10th, which just isn’t me. I’m way faster than that.”
After a good start in the second moto, the pain became too much.
“Pretty much every bump I hit I was gritting my teeth in my helmet,” Craig said. “Hopefully it is something minor, so I should be good for next week.”
Smith got the holeshot in the first moto and raced in the top five before going down. He failed to finish and was ruled out for the second moto.
“First moto I had the best start I’ve had all season, taking the holeshot, so I was very happy about that,” Smith said. “After leading the pack for a few laps I came off my bike, but I was still holding onto the handlebars and basically running beside my bike. I got back on my bike but also got passed for the lead.
“I then rode pretty well for a while but then got passed by a few more riders. I took a breath and relaxed and made my way back up the pack until I fell. I got pretty banged up on the fall, so I was unable to race Moto 2.”