GEICO Honda Endurocross team ready to kick off 2012 season in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (May 1) – The curtain goes up on the 2012 GEICO AMA Endurocross season this Friday at the Orleans Arena, and GEICO Honda's newest riders can't wait to get started.
The GEICO Honda team will feature three riders this season: team stalwart Geoff Aaron and newcomers Kevin Rookstool and Keith Wineland.
"These new bikes are great," Rookstool said. "I've been putting a lot of time in on them, and coming together awesome – I can't be more pumped for Vegas."
Rookstool, who finished 11th last year in the season standings, said he's been busy building his race bike and practicing live gate drops in preparation for a fast start to the season.
"I'm getting suspension and motors to get my race bike done this week," Rookstool said. "I've been doing a lot of motos and miscellaneous races on the weekends, to stay busy on the bike.
"There's nothing like getting gate drops around a bunch of other people. That's the best practice for sure."
Aaron has encountered a more difficult path on the way to Las Vegas. Aaron, who finished fourth last season, injured his shoulder during training two weeks ago and has been busy with physical therapy to get back into the game as soon as possible.
"I've been doing everything I can to get healthy," Aaron said. "Part of what I need is time to heal. I'm not ruling anything out for this weekend, but I'm just going to have to see how it feels when I get to the track."
Wineland said he's been getting a lot of track time in preparation for his first season as a member of the GEICO Honda team.
"I've been on the bike around the clock," Wineland said. "I've been racing motocross and endurocross. I know all the other guys out there are working just as hard. I see pictures they are posting to Facebook where they are building tracks and adding stuff to them.
"I was on my trials bike last weekend doing some cross-training. Hopefully I'll put it all together and have a lot of success this season, starting this weekend."
Rookstool said there is always a little extra electricity when the series heads to Vegas.
"It's one of the most fun rounds we have all year," he said. "We get a lot of industry people and your buddies show up because it's Vegas, so it's a really good time."
Joining Aaron, Rookstool and Wineland at a prerace autograpgh party on Friday will be the members of the GEICO Honda Monster Energy AMA Supercross team – Kevin Windham, two-time Lites East champ Justin Barcia, newly crowned Lites West champ Eli Tomac, Justin Bogle and Wil Hahn. The whole group will meet with fans from 7-7:45 p.m. inside the Orleans Arena.
Pro practice for the GEICO AMA Endurocross series race gets under way at 9:30 a.m. on Friday inside the Orleans Arena. Opening ceremonies begin at 8 p.m.