TROY LEE DESIGNS/RED BULL/GASGAS FACTORY RACING’S JUSTIN BARCIA FINISHES SIXTH AT ROUND 9
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Pierce Brown enjoyed a sweet welcome back to the racing scene on Saturday as he capped the night with a career-first podium finish at the legendary Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Teammate Justin Barcia scored sixth in the 450SX class with another solid night on the gas.
Brown missed the opening round of the 250SX West Championship two weeks ago as he wrapped up his recovery process from a recent ACL surgery. Eager to debut his MC 250F at ‘The World Center of Racing,’ Brown lined up on Saturday for the first time in 2021 and he hit the ground running with a pair of podium finishes throughout the day. In the heat race, he got off to a fifth-place start and worked his way into third halfway through. Finishing strong, Brown locked in a third-place transfer to the main. He got a decent top-10 start in the Main Event and he went to work right away. With five laps to go, Brown made his move into a podium position and he didn’t let up as he crossed the checkers with third overall in his first race aboard the MC 250F.
Brown: “I had some highs and some lows during my downtime and thought it would be a while before I was back up here but first race back and a podium – this is awesome and I’m so stoked! I had a really good start, I got shuffled back for the first couple of corners, but I got into my pace, started making passes and next thing I know I was in third. I saw the white flag coming and I knew Justin [Cooper] was right on me, so I knew I had to make it happen.”
In 450SX racing, Barcia had a strong performance with sixth overall in the Main Event. Qualifying 10th earlier in the day, he kept his focus ahead to secure a great start in the heat race, battling from second early on. After getting passed on the second lap, he settled into third and held strong for a top-three finish. In the Main Event, he started off in eighth and worked his way up to seventh in the first few laps. He raced back and forth inside the top-eight, battling with a deep field of premier class riders on arguably the most physically demanding track of the series. Digging deep in the final laps, Barcia clawed his way up to sixth where he finished just outside the top-five for the night. After nine rounds, he sits fourth overall in the championship standings.
Barcia: “Daytona was a tough day. I kind of struggled with the track a bit and trying to find the comfort, which unfortunately didn’t happen. I’m going back to California this week to do some work, get more comfortable so we can head into Texas and crush it. I’m definitely not pleased with the results today so I’m trying to put this one in the past, move forward and regroup next week to come out swinging in the next three races, I’m looking forward to it.”
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team welcomed the incredible all-rounder, Ryan Sipes, to the supercross paddock on Saturday where he kicked off his tour of fun aboard the MC 250F. Sipes qualified 11th overall in the 250SX West division, where he lined up alongside the sport’s rising talent. Following a red-flag restart due to his own crash, Sipes rebounded and cruised to a top-five finish in the heat race, advancing himself into the Main Event with ease. He suffered a minor hand injury in his heat race crash, but he lined up for the main and salvaged what he could to finish 21st.
Sipes: “The day was cool! We had some rain, and it made the track perfect. My hand was pretty sore, but adrenaline kicked in and I was able to mix it up with those guys for a little while in the heat race, so that felt cool. The adrenaline wasn’t quite there in the main, and I had a lot more swelling, so I was having a hard time hanging on. I went and got X-rayed and no broken bones, just some bruising, so we’ll go back and recoup to be back for Atlanta.”
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team continues into the second half of the 2021 season next Saturday, March 13 in Arlington, Texas.