Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia

Steve Cox | November 15, 2017

Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia: According to Yamaha, Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Davi Millsaps had surgery last week due to complications with his left elbow that he fractured in early October while practicing for the Monster Energy Cup. This has left an opening on the factory Yamaha squad, and Justin Barcia has filled that hole perfectly.

Barcia was actually offered to ride Millsaps’ vacated factory machine at the Monster Energy Cup, but turned the opportunity down because he had already committed to doing the race on the Honda with the support he had garnered at the time, and with elbows being such a tricky joint to have heal quickly and/or properly, we assumed Barcia was going to get the call at the first sign of an extended recovery time for Millsaps.

Why? Because the last time Barcia rode Yamahas – for the JGR team in 2016 – he finished up the last seven rounds of the 2016 AMA 450cc Nationals with 11 top-fives in 14 motos along with six podium finishes, including the last four motos of the year, where he went 3-3-2-2.

To put it simply, Barcia gets along with the motorcycle.

Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia

Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia
Justin Barcia will be on-board the 2018 Factory Yamaha YZ450F starting at Anaheim 1. PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COX

From the PR: “We initially hoped that Davi’s fractured elbow wouldn’t require surgery, but it’s been a particularly difficult injury, so he had surgery last week in order to take care of some lingering issues,” said Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. “We’re hopeful that the procedure will improve the timeline for his recovery.”

“Unfortunately, I pretty much shattered my elbow when I crashed last month, and Dr. Viola in Colorado performed surgery this past Wednesday, November 8, to repair the damage,” Millsaps said. “Dr. Viola said that everything went well with the procedure, and he’s confident that my elbow will be 100%. I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible.”

“Davi’s injury still needs time to heal properly,” McCarty added. “And we don’t want to risk making the situation worse by having him start the season when he is not completely ready. So, Justin Barcia has been contracted to race for what we anticipate will be the first six Monster Energy Supercross rounds. Anything beyond that is still dependent on Davi’s condition, and his fitness to race.”

Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia

Yamaha Signs Justin Barcia
The last time Davi Millsaps raced Yamahas, also for JGR, he finished second in the Supercross championship back in 2012. PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COX

Commenting on his return to Yamaha, Barcia said, “First of all, I wish Davi well in his recovery. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m really happy to be back with Yamaha again, and especially to be racing for the Yamaha Factory team. I’m proud to have my number 51 on the brand-new 2018 YZ450F, and A1 can’t come soon enough for me!”

Millsaps’ and Barcia’s teammate Cooper Webb, whose left thumb was injured during practice at the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA in Jacksonville, Florida, this past September, is now healthy and getting reacquainted with his #2 YZ450F. This week, he and the team will begin preseason conditioning and testing at the Yamaha supercross track in preparation for the opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross season on January 6 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.

“I rode last week on some outdoor tracks in Southern California, and it was awesome! My thumb didn’t give me any issues,” Webb said. “I’ve also been working hard off the bike to be in the best possible shape I can be in, and I feel really good. The new 2018 YZ450F is an amazing bike, so I know there won’t be a whole lot of time required to get it fine-tuned for A1. It just comes down to me putting the laps in and getting up to race speed and conditioning. I will be ready for A1.”

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Steve Cox