News 17 Dec 2013

GEICO Honda re-signs Wharton for East Coast SX Lites

Current series number three reunites with former team.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

GEICO Honda has announced that Blake Wharton will return to the team in 2014, replacing Justin Bogle in the East Coast Supercross Lites series.

Bogle was injured earlier this month and expects to return in time for the East Coast series, however the team has signed Wharton to ensure a complete line-up come mid-February.

“We’re confident Justin will bounce back in time but with Blake available we thought it was a good opportunity to hedge our bets a little in case Justin needs a couple of extra weeks to get back out there,” said GEICO Honda team manager Mike LaRocco.

Wharton rode for the GEICO Honda team from 2008 to 2011. Last year, he finished third overall in the East championship standings, winning in Houston and finishing on the podium five times.

“I think it’s going to be fun,” Wharton said. “It feels like going home again. They’ve made a few changes since I was last on the team, but other than those minor changes these are pretty much the same guys I’ve worked with in the past.

“I feel like the transition will be seamless, which really allows me to focus on what I need to do to be ready to race.”

Wharton will race the East regardless of Bogle’s timetable of return, which has him full of confidence that he can make a championship run.

“I’ve had success with this team before,” Wharton added. “Over the last few years I’ve become a better rider and a better racer. I feel like I’ll be able to pull all that together to have that one strong year every rider dreams of.

“Even though I wasn’t on the team the last two years I’ve seen what GEICO Honda has done to grow and make their riders better. You get a lot of confidence when you go with a team that’s had that past success and is so committed to keeping their guys out front.

“You feel like you can be that next guy to have a championship-caliber year.”