Fans were shocked when Josh Hill was announced as a fill-in rider for Justin Barcia, especially considering that the latter pointed to Seattle as the event that he would like to return at. However, according to a statement that was released by the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing team, it is unrealistic for him to attempt to ride in the slop on Saturday night.
"I was shooting to race this weekend in Seattle but it's just not realistic," Justin Barcia said in a team statement. "My hand has not progressed fast enough, unfortunately. I'm really shooting to race Salt Lake City – that is the goal –but we'll see how the next week goes and how I progress." If Barcia does indeed make it back for Salt Lake City, he will contest just two Monster Energy Supercross rounds before the outdoors begin. It is uncommon for a rider to return so late in the season, although some have opted to take that approach in the past. Jake Weimer returned at the penultimate round during his maiden term in the premier division.
Justin Barcia had three podium finishes before sustaining an injury in Arlington and will undoubtedly be looking to replicate those results at round sixteen in a couple of weeks. It remains to be seen if Josh Hill will continue to act as a fill-in rider at the next two events.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Octopi