Cooper Makes Championship Gains with Moto 2 Victory at RedBud

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Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper scored his second moto win of the season in yesterday’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX Moto 2 to finish second overall at the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan. The New Yorker made gains in the title chase closing the gap to the championship leader to eight points, while Jeremy Martin toughed it out for a top-five finish. Rookie Levi Kitchen had a solid debut race inside the top 10 in Moto 1, ending the day 12th overall. Nate Thrasher was ninth in Moto 2 to finish right behind his teammate in 13th and Colt Nichols and Jarrett Frye were 17th and 18th, respectively.

Once again, Cooper was the fastest 250 qualifier. He got off to a flying start from the number one gate pick to grab the holeshot but unfortunately lost the rear end and crashed over the finish line jump. The #32 rider rejoined in 10th and fought his way back to fourth. He took the holeshot again in the second moto and led the race for the first six laps. He ran a smart race and was able to reclaim the lead after the frontrunner went down, then dropped the hammer, setting his fastest time on Lap 14 to ride on to his second moto win of the season. His second overall finish also kept his podium streak alive, going four-for-four so far this season.

Not feeling 100% after his big crash at Round 2 of the championship in Colorado, Martin had an inspired ride with two great moto starts at RedBud. He finished fifth in his first moto and had a solid third-place finish in Moto 2 for fifth overall, moving back into the top five in the standings.

Kitchen impressed with a ninth-place finish in his debut moto. In the second moto, he had three crashes in the challenging conditions but kept fighting to finish 19th for 12th overall. It was a reversal of fortune for his teammate Thrasher who was sidelined in the first moto with a technical issue, but he bounced back to finish ninth in Moto 2 despite having the second-to-last gate pick.

Nichols also had a tough day at RedBud. He fought his way back to 11th after a bad start in Moto 1 and then had to retire early from Moto 2 with a technical issue, ending the day 17th. After finishing 16th in the first moto, Frye had a great start in Moto 2, slotted third behind Cooper and Martin. In the end, he was shuffled back to 17th, scoring 18th overall.

Next weekend, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team lines up for the Southwick National on July 10, Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in Southwick, Massachusetts.

Seth Rarick

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team Manager

“It was an up and down day for the team. Jeremy and Justin had a great day, and Levi rode well all day, I’m happy with his speed. Jarrett is struggling with a few things, but we will keep chipping away at it to get him where he needs to be. Unfortunately, we had some technical issues that hurt Nate and Colt today, but we are going to regroup and come back swinging next weekend at Southwick.”

Justin Cooper

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“It was a great day for me to pick up where we left off. I made a mistake in Moto 1 and crashed on the first lap, but other than that, I’m happy with my riding. We also made up some points in the championship, and we will keep digging for a better result at the next round.”

Jeremy Martin

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“It was a solid day for me going 5-3 for fifth overall. I didn’t have the speed of the top guys today on a very rough track, so I’ll see what I can do this week to find a little more!”

Levi Kitchen

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“I’m glad to get my first National out of the way! I’m pretty happy with the way my day went, I came here to learn, and I feel that’s what I accomplished. The track was a little tricky but a lot of fun! I’m already looking forward to my next one.”

Nate Thrasher

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“I started the day with some issues before the first moto, but I lined up to give it a shot and had to pull off after a few laps due to a technical issue. I had a decent start from the outside gate in the second moto and managed to come through the pack to finish ninth. The track got pretty beat up and made it pretty tricky, but we made the best of it, and we’re ready for more next weekend.”

Colt Nichols

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“It was not our best RedBud. I had a bad start in the first moto and struggled to move my way forward. I managed to finish 11th, but then we had an issue at the second moto and was unable to finish. That’s racing sometimes. We are going to put it behind us and move onward and upward at ‘The Wick.’”

Jarrett Frye

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“I got a great start in Moto 2, but I kind of struggled to find my flow today at RedBud. I ended up finishing 16th and 17th for 18th overall, which is not the results I want. We are going to keep working and try for better at Southwick.”

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