Honda-Team-Manager-Dan-Betley-5-15-13Torrance, CA: American Honda proudly announces Dan Betley as the new Honda Muscle Milk team manager beginning with the opening round of the 2013 Motocross season at the Hangtown Classic in Sacramento, CA. Betley successfully filled the role during the 2013 Supercross season as he led the team to two victories and six additional podiums.

Since he began his career with Honda in 1989, Betley has held multiple positions within the race team, including his most recent as Engine Development and R&D specialist. He has worked with many high profile motocross champions such as Jeff Stanton, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael, making him highly qualified for the role as team manager.

“Dan has been with Team Honda for many years and has played an important role in the team’s success,” explained Honda Race Team Director Ray Conway. “It seems natural for him to move up to Team Manager and he has done a great job filling in during the 2013 Supercross season.”

“I’m looking forward to transitioning into my new role,” explained Betley. “It’s a challenging job but I got a good feel for what it entails while filling in during the 2013 Supercross season and I’m grateful Honda chose me to continue as team manager. We have two extremely talented riders in Trey Canard and Justin Barcia and a great team behind them, so I am looking forward to a successful Motocross season.”

James-Stewart-Motocross-Preview-5-13-13CHINO, CA – Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart announced today that he is healthy and healed, and eagerly looking forward to next weekend’s action-packed kick-off of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross season at Hangtown in Sacramento, CA. Although Stewart opted out of the last three AMA/FIM Supercross rounds when he tweaked his already-injured wrist at the Minneapolis race, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider still finished in the top 10 in the overall championship points. Since then, Stewart took some much needed time off to recover and came back with a vengeance, focusing his considerable efforts on training and testing on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450.

“After Minneapolis when I hurt my wrist again, it was a struggle,” admitted Stewart. “With trying to rehab my wrist, I decided to take the last couple of rounds off and be as close to 100 percent as possible for Motocross. Even though Supercross didn’t go the way I had planned, I fell in love with my Yoshimura Suzuki team and I had a great time. We had some ups and downs, but we also had some great moments, whether that was winning or just accomplishing a goal together as a team. I was definitely bummed to sit out, but that gave me a chance to take a break, rehab my wrist and get ready for Hangtown. Last year, we came into the series and I only had a few days on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and now I’ve had a few weeks. I love racing Motocross, it’s got a more relaxed family-oriented atmosphere, there’s more time to focus on bike set-up and the racing is really fun. I’m looking forward to Hangtown and to the whole season.”

Torrance, CA: The final Motocross National of the season held at Southern California’s Pala Raceway in Pala, CA, saw the Honda Red Riders put in some of their best performances of the season on their Honda CRF250R and CRF450R race machines. American Honda Racing’s Ashley Fiolek wrapped up her third WMX title, while her teammate Justin Barcia finished third in the 450 class.

After winning back-to-back Women’s titles in 2008 and 2009, and finishing runner-up in the WMX series in 2010, Fiolek headed into the 2011 Motocross season determined to reclaim the crown. From the get-go, Fiolek demonstrated incredible speed on her CRF250R, winning five motos in the eight-round series and clinching three overall victories en route to the championship crown. Tarah Gieger raced her Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda–prepared CRF250R to third overall in the series while fellow Honda riders Kasie Creson and Lindsey Palmer finished the season in seventh and 10th, respectively.

“I am so happy to win back the Women’s title,” said Fiolek. “It was tough giving it up last year, so I was determined to do everything I needed to do to win it back this season. All the women racers rode exceptionally well, and we had some great battles. I knew consistency was going to be the key to winning the championship back, and that’s what I was all season, consistently on the podium each week. I’m really happy to put Honda on top again for another year.”

Barcia completed his fill-in ride with the factory Honda team at Pala by putting in two impressive rides at the Motocross grand finale. Barcia was a strong contender for the moto one win, running up front for the majority of the race before finishing in third. In the second moto, Barcia got a great start and took over the lead from Chad Reed on lap seven. Maintaining incredible speed out front, he led the next eight laps before surrendering a spot with two laps to go. Barcia’s stellar 3-2 result earned him third overall for the round.

“I’m really happy with my results this weekend,” said Barcia. “I have learned so much about myself as a racer and about riding, which I know has made me a much smarter rider. It’s been awesome working with the factory Honda team, and I can’t thank GEICO Honda enough for allowing me to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed put in solid performances aboard his American Honda Racing–prepared CRF450R, finishing moto one in 12th and nabbing fourth in the second moto for seventh overall. Reed led the championship for half the season and finished the championship in third—an impressive first season for the TwoTwo Motorsports team.

In the 250 class, GEICO Honda rookie Justin Bogle finished his fourth race as a professional on a high note. After finishing moto one in 10th place, Bogle got a great start in moto two, leading the opening 10 laps of the race before finishing in second place and earning a season-best fifth overall. GEICO Honda teammate Eli Tomac went 7-11 for ninth overall, while Honda rider Alex Martin rounded out 10th place. Tomac finished fourth overall in the championship, while Martin nabbed eighth place. Fellow Honda racer Darryn Durham finished the season in 10th.

Torrance, CA: American Honda announced today that American Honda Racing fill-in rider Kevin Windham has raced his final event for the 2011 Motocross season and will now turn his efforts toward preparing for the 2012 Supercross Championship. Windham has done a stellar job aboard his factory Honda–prepared CRF450R, filling in for injured Honda riders Trey Canard and Josh Grant during the first half of the 450 Class Motocross Championship. The fan favorite scored a string of top-10 finishes, including finishing just shy of the overall podium in fourth place at Hangtown, Budds Creek and Thunder Valley.

“I would like to thank both American Honda Racing and GEICO Honda for allowing me the opportunity to fill in for Canard and Grant while they were on the mend,” said Windham. “I would also like to thank all the fans at the races for cheering so loudly with every lap I raced. It was always factory Honda’s plan to have me around until their riders came back. I got so overwhelmed by the warm reception I was receiving at all the nationals that I thought I could race them all. The racer inside of me wants to be behind every starting gate that drops. However, throughout the season it has become obvious to me why I stepped away from racing the Motocross Championship a few years back. I feel that I’m struggling through the grueling Motocross season and it’s bringing me down mentally. Riding at less than 100 percent is a great way to bring on an injury. It is a must to always have your head in the game. I’ve had a blast at Motocross and now can start recharging my batteries for the 2012 Supercross season. I still want to focus on making 20 years as a professional racer by making it to 2014.”

American Honda Racing Team Manager Erik Kehoe praised Windham’s efforts throughout the Motocross season. “Kevin has done a tremendous job for the team at the first seven outdoor rounds,” said Kehoe. “I’ve always been a K-Dub fan and I’m proud of Kevin and his willingness to fill in on the factory team in times of need, even if it is on a part-time basis. The whole team has had a lot of fun working with Kevin. We respect his professional-life decisions about how and where he wants to focus his racing efforts, plus the fact he has a young family to take care of and a lot going on in his home life that requires much of his time and energy. We are fully supportive of his decision to now focus solely on training and preparing for the 2012 Supercross season.”