With both of its riders - Trey Canard and Josh Grant - on the injured list, Honda has announced it will graduate Geico Honda's Justin Barcia to the big team and the 450 class with the Georgia resident set to ride a factory Honda CR450R for the remainder of the season.
Barcia will make his debut on the 450 this weekend at Unadilla after riding the Geico-backed CR250F for the season - through the last round at Washougal. He is currently seventh in the 250cc Motocross Championship.
"I'm so grateful to have this opportunity to ride the Honda CRF450R in the 450 class," said Barcia in a team release. "I can't thank Geico Honda team owners Rick Zielfelder and Jeff Majkrzak enough for allowing me to take advantage of this opportunity. I raced the CRF450R to the overall win at the Bercy Supercross last year and I felt great competing on the bike, so I'm excited to now get the chance to race several rounds in the motocross series on it. I'm also really looking forward to working with the factory Honda team. I feel I've grown a lot as a professional racer over the past three years and this whole experience is only going to help me develop my skills even more."American Honda Racing Team Manager Erik Kehoe is happy to have Barcia on board."Justin has been a part of the Honda family for many years now, having entered the professional ranks through Honda's amateur support program," said Kehoe. "He has a lot of experience racing Honda motorcycles and he's earned a lot of success in both his amateur and professional careers.
Trey Canard showcased his talents aboard the factory-prepared Honda CRF450R last year when he filled in for six Supercross rounds, and obviously that was a significant career opportunity for him, while Cole Seely enjoyed racing several Supercross' with the team this year. We are pleased to work with Honda-supported teams and give the younger Honda riders the chance to gain valuable experience riding for the factory team when opportunities arise."