Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Aaron Plessinger brought home another solid result, finishing sixth at Round 11 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Dylan Ferrandis bounced back to cross the line eighth and score a double top-10 finish for the team. After a tip over early in the race, Malcolm Stewart charged back to 13th.
Although he struggled a bit early on in practice, Plessinger came out swinging when the gate dropped. The 2018 250SX West Champion backed up last weekend’s first 450 heat race win with another one, leading from start to finish at Arlington 2. In the Main Event, he didn’t get the same flying start and found himself in eighth. Plessinger pushed his way forward to fifth but ultimately finished sixth on a very demanding, technical track.
Aaron Plessinger: ”It started out a little shaky. We made some changes to the bike that I didn’t really gel with, so we decided to go back to what we had before, and it was better. We got a really good start in the heat race, and I pulled off the win again. So with two heat race wins under my belt, back-to-back wins, I was feeling pretty good going into the main. I got a decent start but got pinched off by a couple of guys. The track was super hard-packed, kind of slick and sketchy, and the whoops broke down a lot. It was a solid race, but not the result we wanted. We’ll come back and be better on Saturday.”
Not feeling 100% after Saturday’s crash in the Main Event, Ferrandis put forth a good qualifying effort in eighth and went on to finish fifth in his heat race. The Frenchman was just outside of the top 10 after the start of the main and then lost another position while trying to avoid his teammate Stewart after he went down. Ferrandis put his head down and worked his way to seventh with four laps to go but was struggling with some arm pump issues and was passed in the final laps, crossing the line eighth.
Dylan Ferrandis: “It was a tough day for me. My leg was hurting me a little, but I was lucky to have a shot from the medical crew to get rid of the pain. Unfortunately, I had a big crash in the second timed qualifying, and I couldn’t get a good lap. After that, I gave everything I had for the main. I didn’t get a good start, and then there was a racing incident, and I had to go off track. I still didn’t feel the best on the bike, and also had a little bit of arm pump for pretty much the whole race, so it was hard to manage. It’s good to be back in the top 10, but it’s not where I want to be. It’s part of racing, though. We’ll come back Saturday and work to get a better result.”
Stewart started Round 11 with a good heat race finish in third. In the Main Event, the Florida rider was 10th but unfortunately had a tip over in front of the mechanics’ area in the opening laps and rejoined at the back of the field. Stewart quickly went to work, making his way to 13th by Lap 7, where he would finish.
Malcolm Stewart: “I washed out the front end in the Main Event, which sucks when you do that early in the race because everyone is running strong. We made a few mistakes and kind of let the race go at the end. There were a few riders ahead of me still, but when you’ve got blue flags, you have to respect them. It was just bad timing. I shouldn’t have been back there in the first place. Overall, there were some positives to take away. Practice went great, the heat race was a good race, and I’m finally starting to figure out my starts. I think we’ve got the bike in a better place than what it was at Arlington 1 and I felt better. I’ve just got to avoid hitting the ground, keep the rubber side down and keep moving forward. We’ve got a couple of days off and we’re going to talk with the team and come up with a plan. I’ve got nothing to lose at this point. I’m just ready to get back up there and battle with the boys.”
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 team returns to action for the final round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tripleheader at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, March 20.