By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Justin Barcia used a pass in the final laps to win the 2019 season-opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. He led the final six laps of the race.
This is Barcia’s first win since Seattle in 2013. In addition, it was Yamaha’s first win in the 450sx class since 2012, which was 93 races ago.
“I’m really proud of myself for being so calm and collected,” Barcia said. “In the beginning of the race, I really wanted to get in the lead fast, but I’ve kind of grown up a little bit. I was a smarter rider that race and that’s what got me that win. All in all, rode just a smart, smooth race. My whole Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Team did a great job today.
“The prep up to this, even last year being a fill-in guy, to winning A1, it’s incredible. I’m really stoked and just proud of my whole team, my family, my friends, my wife and everyone that’s been behind me and supported me.”
Ken Roczen was the second-place finisher. The Clermont, Florida native started sixth, before ending in the second position.
“All in all, this is like a win to me,” Roczen said. “I mean, my first race back after my injury and got a 2nd here. I had to make a couple passes happen, but yeah, this is good to get out of here on the podium. We’re in a solid spot, because for these kind of conditions a lot can go wrong.”
Eli Tomac finished in third-place. The Cortez, Colorado rider rode his Kawasaki up from starting in the 10th position. He received 21 points for the third-place finish.
“First round, there’s always the nerves and just the hype from the race, so it was like a double whammy there [combined with the mud],” Tomac said. “I didn’t get the greatest of starts there, but just kind of relaxed, kept my vision clear and was able to make the moves.”
Dean Wilson, who was selling merchandise to fund his ride for this race, received the holeshot on his Husqvarna. He had the lead for the first 14 laps, before losing it to Barcia.
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