Talk about clutch. For 20 mins plus 1 lap, Barcia rode nearly flawless with what looks like, a 100% healthy & hungry German, stalking his every move. It was a near repeat of their heat race. The 51 out front with Kenny in his back pocket, just waiting for a mistake to come. But that mistake never came.
It reminded me of 2015 RedBud. Moto 2. Barcia grabbed the holeshot with Dungey chasing. For 30 mins plus two laps, the two were never separated by more than a couple seconds.
The Diesel chasing & just waiting for he thought would be an inevitable mistake by BamBam. But like Saturday night, that mistake never came. It's crazy how we all think Barcia is such a wild man, who sometimes makes irrational decision at the most inopportune moments. Yet, when need be, the 51 can be totally calm. Click off the laps. And in the process, take down two of the smoothest and best the sport has ever seen.
Back in November, RacerX invited me to give my opinion on Barcia going to TLD / GasGas in their 3 on 3.
"I think it’s great. I had read some stuff that said that Roger De Coster was trying to push for Joey Savatgy, but then I heard how bad Troy (Lee) and those guys wanted to get Justin. Justin is just a guy who brings a lot of color to a situation. He’s a big name. He’s aggressive and popular. Why not bring a guy that’s full of color and flair to a team known for color and flair? We all know he can win at any moment. I don’t think it will be quite the change in results like Cooper Webb had when he went from Yamaha to KTM—Barcia is going from Yamaha to a red KTM—but it’s cool. He gets some new life with a new team and new brand. Anytime something like that happens it’s good, but especially in a time like this."
Perhaps I was wrong. Maybe Justin is going to pull another Webb. Either way, that's 3 for 3 at round 1 for Justin Barcia. Can he do it again at RD2? Lucky for us, we won't have to wait long to find out.