Young rookie didn’t panic at Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship Atlanta

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Nate Thrasher returned to the top step of the podium last night at the final round of the tripleheader at Atlanta Motor Speedway, repeating last Saturday’s LCQ victory en route to the Main Event win. It was also a top night for Justin Cooper, who finished second and made big gains in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship. Teammate Jarrett Frye continued to make progress but unfortunately had another tough Main Event, ending the night 15th.

Thrasher got a decent start to the day, qualifying fifth but unfortunately went down in the first corner of his heat race. He rejoined and put his head down to try and make up as much ground as possible, ultimately finishing 11th. The LCQ is not traditionally the path taken to success in the Main Event, but after last weekend’s performance, the young rookie didn’t panic. He grabbed the holeshot and never looked back to take another LCQ win.

With not a lot of time between the two races, Thrasher lined back up for the Main Event and got a good start, but the race was red-flagged shortly after. The 18-year-old got an even better start the second time around and slotted behind his teammate Cooper who grabbed the holeshot. The New Yorker made a mistake and was able to keep it on two wheels, but Thrasher took over the lead and pulled off another disappearing act, earning his second-career victory by 6.7 seconds. Cooper rode a smart race on a challenging track to finish comfortably in second and leave Atlanta with a 20-point lead in the championship.

Frye continued to make improvements from Tuesday’s Atlanta 2, earning his best qualifying result in sixth and then finishing fifth in his heat race. Unfortunately, it was another tough Main Event as the 20-year-old found himself 12th after the start. Frye quickly made his way to ninth but struggled in the challenging conditions, ultimately crossing the line in 15th.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250SX West team gets a weekend off as the East team returns to action next Saturday, April 24, for the penultimate round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wil Hahn

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team Manager

“Honestly, tonight couldn’t have gone much better than it did. Justin gained a lot of valuable points in our fight for the championship, and Nate won his second race in his rookie season. I don’t know if you can write a much better Cinderella story than that. We’re going to Salt Lake City with good points for the finale in the West championship, and we’ll go back to the East championship next weekend and see what we’ve got to do there.”

Nate Thrasher

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“It was amazing! The LCQ wasn’t part of the plan, but I went down after the start of the heat race and just kept chugging away to get back into 11th to get me a good gate pick for the LCQ. I grabbed the holeshot and just tried to stay calm and cool because the LCQ is a little nerve-racking. I put some solid laps in and tried to keep myself from getting super tired because I knew I had a long Main Event coming up next. We had a red flag, but I ended up getting a great start both times. Then Justin made a little mistake, and I capitalized on it and tried to put in solid laps and ended up with the win. It feels so great. We have got to keep it going.”

Justin Cooper

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“The last one here in Atlanta went pretty good. The track was pretty tricky, especially the whoops. It challenged us all day, and it was hard to find my flow, so second place is awesome. I’m glad to get out of this one safe and that I was able to get two good starts tonight with that red flag to put myself in a good spot. I made that mistake early, so I was just riding behind Nate and didn’t really feel the need to push tonight. He was riding awesome, so hats off to him. It was a great night for us points-wise! We get a weekend off before the East-West Shootout. I’m excited for that and am looking to go to Salt Lake City in two weeks to try and wrap this thing up.”

Jarrett Frye

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“The day started out pretty good. I had a better qualifying and was able to get a good start in my heat and finish fifth. I just struggled with this track and ended up finishing 15th in the main. We get a weekend off before the finale, so we’re going to go back to work and try to end the season on a high note.”

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