CORONA, Calif. – The GEICO Honda race team will be led by champion rider Justin Bogle in 2016 through a continued partnership with the American Honda Factory team.
Bogle, who won the 250SX East title in 2014 and finished a close second in the same category this year, will take over the CRF 450 ride vacated by Eli Tomac.
“The time is right to move up, and I’m really excited it’s with the GEICO Honda team,” Bogle said. “Knowing everyone here and working with the same group of people will make this transition so much easier. I’m really comfortable with this team, always have been, and I trust in everything these guys do for the riders.
“Big thanks to (team owners) Jeff Majkrzak, Ziggy (Rick Zielfelder), Mike Grondahl, and everyone at Honda for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. This is what you dream about as a kid when you’re racing every weekend at the local track and pushing yourself to get better. It’s for all the work you put in when your friends are going out and having fun. This is the ultimate dream come true.”
In the last two seasons Bogle scored three wins and had 14 podium finishes in 250SX action, never finishing below fifth place. He also bagged two overall and seven individual podium finishes in one full season of Motocross.
Bogle, from Cushing, Okla., joined the GEICO Honda team as an amateur in 2011, the same year he earned the AMA Racing Motocross Horizon Award, which is given to the amateur racer best poised for success in the pro ranks.
“Justin has earned this chance and we’re happy to have a spot for him, thanks to our long association and partnership with Honda,” Zielfelder said. “Justin earned GEICO Honda a championship last year and almost defended it this year. He was always up front and in the mix on a 250 and we expect more of the same on a 450.”
To prepare for his transition to the top tier of his sport, Bogle returned from injury and competed on a GEICO Honda CRF 450 in the last three outdoor races this year, giving him some experience at the top level.
“I wasn’t going all-out when I rode a 450 those last three races, but it did give me a chance to see what I’ll be up against,” Bogle said. “It’s the best riders in the world, the fastest guys, the guys that have worked just as hard as you have. It’ll be a great challenge. But at the end of the day it’s riding a dirt bike, which is something I’ve done my whole life.
“I’m very comfortable on the 450 and I’ve already been training quite a bit. I’m excited to continue the off-season work and to prepare for A1. It’ll be here soon.”