AMA Supercross SX450 Atlanta Tried to Replicate Daytona Speedway but

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Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis blazed his way through the field, coming back from a first-turn crash to finish fifth at yesterday’s opening round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tripleheader in Atlanta, Georgia. Aaron Plessinger led the first half of the race but unfortunately had a tip-over, ending the night sixth. Their teammate Malcolm Stewart finished just outside of the top-10 in 11th.

The 13th round of the championship was a bit outside of the norm, with only one session instead of three after rain arrived at the Atlanta Motor Speedway during the first 450 practice. Ferrandis qualified 11th but got a good start in his heat race and finished third. In the Main Event, he came together with another rider in the first turn and found himself at the back of the pack. The Frenchman put his head down and set a blistering pace to weave his way through the pack and move into fifth on the final lap.

Plessinger had a great start to the day with his best qualifying result in third. He followed that up with a great start in his heat and led for most of the race but was passed in the final moments. The Ohio rider grabbed the holeshot in the Main Event and started to build a healthy gap on the competition. Unfortunately, a tip-over at the halfway mark had Plessinger rejoin in fourth. He kept battling but was unable to regain his flow and finished sixth.

Coming off of a fourth-place finish in his heat race, Stewart got a good start and was sixth after the first lap. Before the halfway point, he moved into fifth and was slotted right behind Plessinger. He advanced to fourth but started to struggle with arm pump issues in the final laps, ultimately ending the night 11th.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 team lines back up on the gate at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday, April 13, for Round 14 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

Jeremy Coker

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team Manager

“It was a very odd day. We had one practice session and then a five-hour break and then went straight into the heat race. It’s hard on the riders, and it’s hard on us to get the bike set up, but I think we did a good job. In the Main Event, Aaron pulled the holeshot and opened the gap to I think 5.8 seconds, but then had an unfortunate little tip-over. I think for him to run up front for as long as he did, it took a mental toll on him. Then once he crashed it kind of deflated him. It was just hard for him to get going again. I think now that he knows he belongs there, it’s going to be a lot better. Then, unfortunately, Dylan crashed in the first turn. He put on an exceptional ride and came through the pack from dead last. I couldn’t have been more proud of him. Malcolm was riding well before some arm pump issues. We will get back to work and be ready for Tuesday.”

Dylan Ferrandis

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“For sure, it was a good ride, but I’m a little disappointed because crashing at the start is never good. I was all the way back in last and came back through. I didn’t rush but just gave everything I had until the last lap. I passed some really strong guys, so that was a good feeling. I was really tired and had a little bit of arm pump, but it was good. It’s always good to be back in the top five, and with that kind of riding, it’s also good for your confidence. We made some small changes on the bike, and the team decided to go in one direction, and it was really good. The bike was much better today than the previous race, so we made one step in a good direction. I’m really happy.”

Aaron Plessinger

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“I felt good coming into this race and had a really good week of riding. Even though I felt great, I was just kind of pumped up a little bit all day. It was just something about this track – big jumps, two sets of whoops, I think I held my breath a lot. It was a good day overall, and we’ll take the positives. I got some really good starts and led the heat race for a long time. Before that, I had my best qualifying result in third. I was leading the main for half the race, and then I tossed it in one of the tighter sections. I just tightened up and couldn’t really get a flow back after that. We’re going to come back Tuesday with a vengeance.”

Malcolm Stewart

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

 

“The weekend wasn’t that bad. We were riding really well. It was just a long day, sitting around and not really riding that much because of the rain. We had a really good Main Event going, but I had really bad arm pump and hit a wall. It was kind of devastating because we were fifth and then went all the way back to 11th. It’s a bummer, but part of racing, you’re not going to feel great every race. The only thing that we can do from here is build on it. We had a really good talk with the team and we have to look at the positives. We were riding so great except for the last few laps, so that’s a good starting point. I think we had the potential to fight for a podium if we had a better start.

“I think this is the longest racetrack I’ve probably ever been on. They tried to replicate Daytona, but I think now I can say Atlanta has its own style. It’s set up like a Daytona track – fast and a lot of switchbacks and things like that, but it has the technical jumps like a regular supercross track, they’re really steep. The whoops are really cupped, so it definitely kind of threw a curveball for everybody, especially with the rain today. We’ve got Tuesday to come back out swinging, hopefully, the track will be a little bit different and the rain stays away. We’ll be ready and I’m excited for Tuesday, it will be here before you know it.”

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