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Hahn has breakthrough night; finishes third for GEICO Honda


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ARLINGTON, Texas (Feb. 16) - GEICO Honda 250SX East rider Wil Hahn scored his first
podium finish with the team in the year's first east coast round of the Monster 
Energy AMA Supercross Series at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night.

"I feel good about it," Hahn said after finishing third. "It's a new year, and everything's
going forward. It feels so good to pay these guys back after sticking behind me 
after two really tough years. They never gave up hope on me, and I gave it my all
this off-season."

Hahn begins his championship chase in third place, with eight races remaining.

"I'm going after this championship full force," Hahn said. "Obviously, I want better
than third, but I'll take it for this first round. I'll get these jitters out and
move forward."

Hahn led his heat race before falling, though he rallied to finish fifth and advance
to the main. There, he started seventh but made steady progress to come home third.
That's his first podium finish with the GEICO Honda team and his first podium since
2010.

"The track was slick," Hahn said. "You had to be pretty patient tonight. I made 
the most of it. My first three laps, I threw the race away. I didn't ride well. 
I didn't stick to my game plan in the first three laps, but looking forward, I've
got to learn from that and go challenge for the win."

Rookie teammate Zach Bell had a trying night, crashing while leading his heat race
before advancing to the main event via the Last Chance Qualifier. Bell was in ninth
when he crashed in the main, and he finished 18th.

Bell led three laps in the heat race before suffering a crash that damaged his bike.

"I got out to a great start and had one lap to go, but I couldn't get my foot back
on before the triple, so I was either going to frame-case it or do what I did," 
Bell said. "I just kind of went for it, and my foot hit the ground, and I did a 
side-side, can-can and couldn't get back on the bike."

Bell's crew repaired the bike in time for the LCQ, and Bell made a strong run.

"I was in pain, for sure," Bell said. "My hands and wrist were hurting, and I could
barely hang on. I got in the very last gate pick and just went for it. I ended up
crashing again in the main, and I just pulled off. I need to be safe for next weekend
and get through this season healthy."

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series turns to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta next
Saturday for round 2 of the 250SX East series.