Avoiding mental errors, physical mistakes and mechanical failures is only part of it.
Lead Photo by: James Lissimore
It’s no secret that Justin Barcia has always been a rider who never shy’s from contact. In all honesty, he may just prefer to leave a little rubber on every racer he overtakes, as opposed to an uncontroversial encounter. Justin had to be brimming with frustration over his sidelining wrist injury just prior to the 2017 Supercross series kickoff but the frustration could only add up to a fraction of what he has brought to the plates of a handful of competitors in only two rounds since his return.
Bam bam is clearly not yet up to race pace and perhaps that has something to do with him racing Royal Rumble style through the two rounds he has participated in. Making contact has always been in Barcia’s blood and instead of taking the long road to get back to race pace, I think he’s using every offensive tactic in his Bam Bam Barcia handbook to get his adrenaline flowing triple-time, to be back up to maximum intensity within 4 rounds. I gotta think there is some higher purpose for the way he’s been riding other than just to get under the skin of his competitors more than he already always has. Right?!
It’s not just a case of Justin running it in deep on guys, it’s blatant redirection of his own trajectory to intersect with riders at angles that either put them in the tuff blocks, or in Cole Seely’s instance from last week in Atlanta, attempting to saw-off his front end completely. This week in Toronto it was the Bam Bam Trifecta of Justin going after the RCH crew of Justin Bogle and Broc Tickle and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Blake Baggett. There is a clear pattern here in that the racers Justin has recently been attempting to tune-up, are all guys he once was inarguably faster than but that can no longer be said quite so matter-of-factly. That’s where the real confusion lies for me and so many others. Justin isn’t comperable to a Jason Anderson-style of contact pass because he’s typically not passing the riders he is engaging, he’s being passed. In this manner, Justin is much more like Vince Friese. Justin also isn’t quite the road-block that Friese is; he is so much more the heat seeking projectile at the moment of pass-initiation. I don’t understand at all the idea behind these moves. It feels a lot like a local hot shot jumping in behind a Pro on a public track practice day. What’s the point? These guys are going faster than Justin and just trying to move past him. Bam Bam knows they’re faster, so what’s the point in putting them on the ground? Is his idea of the pinnacle of success when riding this way, to take down every rider on the track at some point during the 20 min + 1 race and win??!! Is taking faster dudes out when they go to pass him going to make JGR happy and extend his contract? Little man's syndrome?
WHAT IS THE GOAL?
Justin started as the golden child of Honda, highlighted in the CRF150 commercials and he brought the Red squad plenty of excitement and victory before departing for the JGR squad in 2015 but since signing with JGR, initially on Yamaha and now Suzuki, Justin has struggled to live up to the contract numbers he is being paid.
I can’t wait to see how this storyline plays out. Is it going to result in Justin getting back up to race pace much faster? Is it going to result with more Peick/Friese style blows mid-race? Disqualifications? Injuries?
We’re certainly going to find out because it doesn’t look like Justin is ever going to learn a lesson or change his ways. Remember, this is the guy who roosted Doc Bodnar and cried when Lance Vincent got in his way, robbing him of a 250SX main event win.