Little hairy with gnarly whoops at 450SX Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Atlanta

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Aaron Plessinger completed a solid week of racing with a fourth-place finish last night at Round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Teammates Malcolm Stewart and Dylan Ferrandis joined him inside the top 10, crossing the line sixth and seventh, respectively.

Riders were met with another demanding, technical track at Saturday’s final round of the tripleheader at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Plessinger struggled in practice, but he and the team kept working and were able to turn it around for the evening program. The Ohio native got a good start in his heat and finished third to draw the fifth gate pick for the Main Event. From there, he grabbed the holeshot and led the first lap. Plessinger battled for a podium position but was passed with three laps to go and ultimately had to settle for fourth.

After a big crash in Tuesday’s race, Stewart rebounded to earn his best result of the week. He got the day off to a good start, qualifying fourth, and then backed it up with a second-place finish in his heat. The Florida rider didn’t get the start he was looking for in the Main Event and was seventh after the first lap. Stewart advanced to sixth a couple of laps later and maintained that position in the challenging conditions.

Ferrandis also had a better Atlanta 3, making big improvements with his starts. The Frenchman grabbed the holeshot in his heat race but had a tip-over early on and finished fifth. He got another good start with the front runners in the Main Event but unfortunately came together with another rider on the opening lap and found himself back in 13th. Undeterred, Ferrandis kept pushing and worked his way to seventh.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team heads to Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, April 24, for the penultimate round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Jeremy Coker

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team Manager

“We had a rough start to the day, but we worked really well together as a team and turned things around, and it definitely showed in the Main Event for all three of our guys. Aaron and Dylan had amazing starts. Unfortunately, Dylan came together with Jason (Anderson) in the opening lap and went down but fought back through the pack as hard as he could. Aaron had a great race. There was one section that kind of got him; otherwise, that podium was his. Malcolm had a good heat race but got a mid-pack start in the main. All in all, it was a good end to our week in Atlanta. We’ll get back to work for the final two rounds in Salt Lake City.”

Aaron Plessinger

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

 

“It started off a little hairy. I qualified thirteenth, but we made quite a few changes throughout the day, and we turned it around after practice. We went out for the heat race and got a good start, and ended up third. So that put me with a fifth-place gate pick for the main. I knew I had to get a really good start, and that’s what I did; I pulled the holeshot. Kenny (Roczen) got me after the first lap. Then at the end, I was right behind Eli (Tomac) in fourth. It sucks that I couldn’t get back up there for the podium, but I’m happy with my riding, and I’m happy with the way I started the race.

“The track was so rough, and the whoops were gnarly. There was one little rut, a little goat trail through the whole set that I was staying with during the race. It definitely was demanding, but my fitness is pretty good, and I stayed up there. I wish I could’ve got Eli in the end, but we can only build off of this and bring the momentum into Salt Lake City.”

 

Malcolm Stewart

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

 

“It was definitely a big improvement from Atlanta 2. We came into this race not really sure if we were even going to be able to race, just because I was in so much pain after my crash on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, I was like, ‘uh oh, we’re in some trouble.’ I just want to say hats off to Dr. G. for helping me get back in this race.

“So actually, I would say the day went great. We got to go back to the basics and just tried to have fun. Sometimes not feeling 100% can kind of take the pressure off of you, too. We had a good practice, and the heat race went well. The track was pretty tough, especially the whoops. It was really easy to make a mistake out there, so one of the key things tonight was definitely trying not to get too fatigued. I think Atlanta treated us fairly well. Again, we had some crashes, and we had some bad luck, but it’s good to leave here with a better result. Now we’ve got two races left in Salt Lake City, so let’s go out there and have some fun again and end this season on a high note.”

 

Dylan Ferrandis

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“I felt good all day. Having one more day to recover was great, so I felt better physically compared to Tuesday. The whoops were really difficult tonight. I kind of found some good solutions with the bike and on the track. I got the holeshot in my heat but had a small tip-over. In the main, I had a really good start from the outside, so I was really happy with that. On the first lap, Jason Anderson rolled one jump when I expected him to jump. I jumped behind him, and I hit his rear wheel, and we both crashed. That pretty much ruined my Main Event, but I came back and fought until the end to seventh. I felt that I had the pace and the bike tonight, so I’m really disappointed, but that’s the sport. The 450 class is very difficult. We will keep learning and working hard to get the result we are looking for.”

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