Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Colt Nichols and Christian Craig returned to the podium for the second race running, crossing the line second and third, respectively, on Tuesday night in Houston, Texas.
It was just a short turn around for Round 2 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 SX East Championship, but both riders picked up where they left off and showed strength straight away. Craig was once again the fastest qualifier with Nichols right behind in second. Both riders went on to kick off the evening program by scoring runner-up finishes in their Heat races.
In the Main Event, Nichols got off to a decent start in fifth and advanced to fourth by the second lap. The Oklahoman was holding steady in the position until his teammate passed him before the halfway mark. Shortly after, the riders battling for second came together and went down, advancing the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing duo into podium positions. As the race wore on, Nichols started to find his groove and passed his teammate in the final laps to finish second.
Craig’s third-place finish helped secure the red plate heading into Round three of the championship on Saturday night, January 23, at the NRG Stadium in Houston. Nichols moved into the number two spot in the 250SX East standings, three points behind his teammate.
Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team Manager
“We did really well all day. We just didn’t show up when it counted off of the gate in the Main. There were some rhythms we could have done better as well. We’re constantly striving to be on that top step, or a 1-2 finish, so we’ve got to be a little bit better than we were, plain and simple. At the same time, we ended the night second and third and still have the points lead, 1-2 in the points, actually. I think that’s still really positive, so we can’t lose sight of that.”
Colt Nichols – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“Tonight was pretty good overall. I got second, so I can’t really complain about that because I got some good points. I just didn’t execute the start like I needed to compete for the win, I’m kind of kicking myself for that. I need to be a little better at the beginning of the Main. The track broke down really well, and once it started to break down, I felt like I rode well. It just took too long to get going, and I was too far back to do anything for the win. I need to work on that, and we’ll be good to go to try and get a win. We’ll be better on Saturday.”
Christian Craig – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a pretty eventful Main Event. It’s cool to have these red plates. I’ve never been in this situation before, so I didn’t know what to expect. But yeah, it’s awesome. The Main Event started okay. I came around mid-pack and then went to work on passing people. I ended up getting Colt midway through, and then two riders went down. I had to manage a couple of things throughout the race. In the last three or four laps, I made some mistakes, and Colt got by me. I finished third, so I can’t be too mad, but on the other hand, I need to fix those mistakes for Saturday. It’s a quick turn around again. We’ve still got the red plate, which I’m happy about, and maintained some of our points lead. I’m ready to move on to Saturday now.”