Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger finished ninth and 10th, respectively, on Sunday night in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium for Round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
The lap times were close and the competition fever pitched. Building on their progress at the previous round, the team continued to fine tune the setup to give both riders more comfort. Barcia got the night off to a good start in his Heat race and worked his way up from a seventh-gate pick to cross the finish line third. In the Main Event, he chose an inside gate pick and got a decent start inside the top 10, but went down a few laps later in a soft rut before the mechanics area. The Florida rider rejoined in 16th and kept pushing forward. Before the halfway mark, a multi-rider incident created a traffic jam and Barcia was able clear the melee and rejoin in 12th. He kept his forward momentum going and passed his teammate towards the end of the race to take ninth, enough to move him back up into fourth in the standings.
Plessinger had a solid start as well, finishing sixth in his Heat. Once again, his start in the Main Event hurt the sophomore supercross rider. He was able to work his way to seventh, but around five minutes to go he started to struggle in the whoops and got shuffled back to 10th. The Ohio native sits two-points shy of breaking into the top 10 in the standings.
The team returns for more action at Rice-Eccles Stadium next Wednesday, June 17, for Round 17 of the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“It was a good day for the boys in blue. We definitely made a step in the right direction. We learned a couple things from last Wednesday and changed a couple things in the bike setup. The guys were comfortable right off the bat. Both guys qualified in their Heat races with good rides, Justin finished third so that was definitely a step in the right direction. In the Main Event, both guys struggled with the start but put in solid laps. Justin crashed early on and had to come from outside the top 15 to finish in ninth, and Aaron rounded out the top 10. We will keep working hard to get back up into contention for a podium. We’re looking forward to Wednesday’s race.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“I had a solid ride in the Heat race in third. It was the best I’ve ridden in a while. In the Main Event, I came out inside the top 10 and was riding really good. I feel like tonight would’ve been a top-five finish, it just didn’t work out that way. I went into one of the ruts before the mechanic’s area, and unfortunately that was like the only soft spot on the track. The rut caved in, my front wheel hit it and I ended up falling. I went all the way back to 16th and charged back to ninth.
“The result really doesn’t show the way I rode today and the progress that we’ve made on the bike. So that was definitely a little disappointing, but I think overall that’s the best day I’ve ridden and the best I’ve felt on the bike. We just have to take the positives going into these next two races and try to keep it on two wheels, and just keep moving forward.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“I think today was pretty good, all in all. I got off to a really bad start in the Main. I really have to figure that out. I have got to get the jump on those guys and just bull dog my way to the front. I was riding really good though and made my way back up to seventh. At about five minutes to go, I started struggling in the whoops quite a bit. The whoops were really slick, one side of them was cupped out and the middle was really slick. I just kind of tightened up in the last few laps and (Justin) Brayton got by me, (Blake) Baggett got by me and then Justin got by me. So yeah, I was a little frustrated with the way I rode in the last five minutes, but I have to take the positives out of it and move forward. Come Wednesday, I will try and get a better start and just ride the whole race as hard as I can. I’m looking forward to the next one and hopefully we can get off the line and break into the top five.”