LOS ANGELES (June 28) – GEICO Honda Endurocross rider Geoff Aaron is 100 percent healthy and has some X Games revenge on his mind.
For a second straight year, the GEICO AMA Pro Endurocross Series will be the final event for X Games at Staples Center on Sunday. Last year in endurocross' X Games debut, Aaron had one of the strongest bikes in the arena. He won his heat race handily but a stall coming off an obstacle in the main event knocked him down to a fifth-place finish.
"That was a real bummer for me last year," Aaron said. "You never want to struggle at any race, but on live TV it's really bad. I have way more races under my belt on my Honda this time around, so I'll be much better prepared for anything."
A shoulder injury knocked Aaron out of this year's season opener in Las Vegas. He returned to the series in Sacramento last time out and successfully reached the main event before finishing 15th.
"I'm feeling like I'm back to 100 percent with my shoulder," said Aaron, a 10-time national Trials champion. "I've been training great and I'm looking forward to another crack at getting a medal at the X Games."
The other GEICO Honda rider who qualified for X Games, Kevin Rookstool, is coming to the race on a high note following his second career podium finish, which happened at Sacramento earlier this month.
"It was a perfect time for that third-place finish," Rookstool said. "The course suited my style, but mainly I felt good on the bike and was having a good time. It all worked out for me."
Rookstool finished 10th at X Games last year with a different team, and he's expecting a huge challenge on Sunday in his quest for a medal.
"There's a lot more pressure on you when you are out there at the X Games," said Rookstool, currently fourth in the season standings. "I just try to go out there and do the same things I do at any other race."
The format of this weekend's race is slightly different than a normal Endurocross race and will closely resemble a Supercross race with a couple of heat races followed by a last chance qualifier that will lead straight into the main event.
"You definitely want to have a good heat race," Rookstool said. "In the end it all kind of equals out, but you don't want to fall behind and have to race in the LCQ. If you do you have to make the best of it. Trust me; I know the pressure of racing in the LCQ."
The GEICO AMA Pro Endurocross race from X Games gets under way at 7:30 p.m. PDT (10:30 p.m. EDT) at Staples Center and all racing will be broadcast live on ESPN2.