Here we are, a stone’s throw away from the biggest supercross/motocross race in the entire world – and we mean the ENTIRE world – and Justin Barcia is slowly packing his gearbag and getting into an ass-kicking state of mind. On New Year’s Day, we spoke with No. 51.
Anaheim 1 is but a mere four days away. What’s Justin Barcia’s current state of the nation right now as you begin to start your tenth professional season?
Ah man, life’s good, you know? It’s been a good off-season and we are less than a week out for Anaheim 1. I’m just ready to go racing. Like I said, it’s been a good off-season. I went overseas to race at Geneva, which was good. I got married, which was awesome. I got to sign a two-year with Yamaha, which was awesome. 2018 was very positive and I have a lot of momentum going into 2019.
I was around you and the team at the RedBud Motocross of Nations. I came to see you right after the last moto was run and when I walked into the Yamaha pit area, you were covered head-to-boot toe in mud and there were upwards of 10 people around you. Everyone looked a bit bewildered. I just realized that A1 will mark three months from the ’18 MXoN. What did you make of that whole thing?
Yeah, you know it was difficult. It was like anything where the odds were against us, they were against us. No excuses, but it just wasn’t ideal. We had a tough one. We tried our hardest, which we always do as racers, but yeah, it was difficult.
Both Eli and Aaron told have talked about that the RedBud track was significantly different from the AMA race they ran there in July. What was your take on it?
For sure it was different. I even talked to the owners of RedBud and they weren’t even allowed to do anything to their own track, so that was pretty crazy. But yeah, the track was nothing like when we raced there this year. The scheduling was also weird for us. We’re not used to that. It seemed like they did a lot of things to benefit the Europeans, so it’s pretty difficult to be testing for supercross and then try to go race that race. We do it, but we’re lacking a bit compared to the Europeans right now in motocross. It’s hard when we have to race two series. I think if you asked any Euro racer, they’d say the same thing. All in all, definitely a lot of odds against us, but it is what it is.
Anaheim 1 is but a few days out. What do you think of that baseball stadium and the races you’ve run there? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
Anaheim has been good to me. I have no complaints about Anaheim. I like going there. I think there is a lot of excitement around it and there are a lot of people there. For me, I had a great off-season and I’m happy where I’m at and I’m comfortable on the bike and I’m really comfortable with the team. We’re all working together really well. Things are going great. For me, Anaheim 1 is exciting. I’ve been waiting for this for a while now and I’m just kind of ready to get there and go racing. Obviously, that’s what we’ve all been working at, so yeah, we can say we’re great or whatever, but all in all it just comes down to Saturday night when we go racing. That’s all that matters.
You and your new rookie teammate Aaron Plessinger certainly seem to get along well. Have you guys been able to use that off-season collectivization to the optimize you, Aaron and those YZ450Fs?
100-precent. Yeah, AP is a good kid. Unfortunately now, I’m the veteran! That’s kind of weird. I’m getting old. AP is like my little brother on the team, in a way. It’s funny. It’s cool. We get along really well. We have similar personalities, but we’re different at the same time, so it works well. We bounce off each other with motivation. We bond with the team well. Like I said, it’s been a good off-season and having a teammate that you can bond with a little more is cool, but at the end of the day we’re going racing and we both want to win, so it’s going to be fun. It’s definitely cool someone can joke around with in the semi.
Well, you’ve sort of been the good man in the storm inside that Yamaha team the past year. There’s a lot to be said for that, isn’t there?
Yeah, a little bit. It’s pretty cool. I came in as a fill-in guy and did some good stuff. I was solid through the beginning of supercross and had a little injury and came back and had a couple good races and was then solid through outdoors. I don’t want to be the solid guy. I have goals to win championships. That’s my goal.