Justin Barcia’s third win in a row at the opening round and the American was understandably delighted in the press conference to deliver after so much expectation coming in especially after the A1 video! Barcia looked superb all day and refused to crumble under the pressure of Roczen, hitting his marks for the entire 20 minutes to take a huge win and position himself as a title contender for 20201.

Different feel to Anaheim

It felt a little different, it’s not Anaheim. The pressure on Anaheim is a little bit bigger, especially it would have been a little bit bigger me because I won the last two years. It felt good to come here and not have that pressure, the three-peat thing was not even a thought. I had enough pressure doing that Anaheim video!

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The race

It was a lot to take in, it was an intense race. me and Kenny checked out, he kept the pressure on me, I made a few little mistakes but all in all it was a really intense race. The off-season training went extremely smooth, the transition to the team went really well so I felt really good coming into this you just don’t know here you are at. I knew I could win but there is more to it. It’s a lot of emotions to take in, it feels really good. I was really, really happy. It’s a lot take in – a lot of people smiling.

If I had finished top three it would have been great, if I had finished top five it would have been great! But to win it was awesome, I am really stoked on my starts, I have always been a really good starter but past five years it’s been difficult so tonight to rip starts on my bike was cool, I felt really good riding I felt I could throw the bike around and do whatever I wanted. It was cool that Kenny was pushing me the, we were definitely going for it, it was a rad first race.

Pressure coming in

I felt phenomenal in press day but the pressure was still there, I felt great in practice, I haven’t qualified like that or had starts like that in a long time but the pressure is still there. The heat race was better, it made think, okay you are in a good sport it will be good night, whatever happens, happens. So yeah, after the heat the pressure was definitely a little less.

The good starts

It’s a bike thing for sure. The bike is really good, steel frame is sick, the engine the power of it is incredible I got on it and never tested anything with the engine, I just rode what they gave me, it’s a really good bike. the KTM brand, Gas Gas, Husky they do a really good job. I have always been good at starts in the 250s I was great, the bike was good then, then I struggled a lot and then this bike fits me really well, it’s skinny, it’s a rocket off the gate not like loop-out but goes! Obviously I have a tendency to go form 0 to 100 on the throttle so I still need to be smooth and have to ride the bike good but all in all it’s a very forgiving bike when you make little mistakes, I just think it’s a great fit for me, I’m glad I made the choice.

Gaining belief again

For sure, at a point I lost a little belief for sure after all the years of struggling but I knew I had done all my off-season training. I kind of know what to do know, I am 28 years old so it’s time to do it or not. The off-season went really smooth and easy, once I won that heat race I was like, that felt really good, it relieved some pressure, the main event it was sick. definitely I felt like I needed to do that.

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