In just his first attempt at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Triple Crown format, Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper finished fourth overall in the 250SX East class, Saturday night at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. His teammate Mitchell Oldenburg battled to score seventh overall.

With three main events on the evening race schedule, race starts were more important than ever, and both Cooper and Oldenburg struggled all night to get out of the gate, which meant that the pair had to play catch-up as the laps wound down.

In main event 1, Cooper was fifth at the start, and Oldenburg tenth. Undaunted, both riders put their heads down and focused on moving towards the front. Although just his fourth Supercross round, Cooper showed some maturity in running his own race and was able to cross the line third after another rider went off the track on the final lap. His teammate also made great strides forward to finish sixth.

Main event 2 saw the teammates battle for position from the start with Cooper in seventh and Oldenburg right behind him in eighth. Oldenburg managed to get around Cooper, but Cooper re-passed him and won the battle for fifth at the finish with Oldenburg behind in sixth.

Once again, both riders came out of the gate in tandem in main event 3, with Oldenburg in sixth and Cooper seventh. Oldenburg unfortunately washed out his bike in a turn, which shuffled him back to ninth, but he was able to regroup and improve by one position with an eight-place result at the finish line. Meanwhile, Cooper got past two riders in succession and put himself in fourth. Then, on the final lap, he made a perfect pass for third and capped of his night with his second podium result.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team heads south to Atlanta, Georgia, where all four of the team’s 250SX East and West riders—Dylan Ferrandis, Colt Nichols, Justin Cooper, and Mitchell Oldenburg—will compete in round nine of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. The East-West Showdown takes place Saturday, March 2, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Wil Hahn

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“The results may not have shown it, but both guys had really good speed tonight. We need to improve on the starts and our first laps. Justin made big strides all day long on the track and it showed in the final main. Now it’s on to the East-West Showdown in Atlanta with all four riders hitting the track next week!”

Justin Cooper

Justin Cooper

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“The bike was really good all night. We didn’t really play around with the setting, we were pretty happy with it. The track was really tough tonight, though. It was breaking down really quick, so it was important to keep on your toes and stay focused out there. I think I managed the races pretty well, besides my starts. I felt really good on the bike, again, I just put myself in bad situations right off the start. So I’m definitely going to work on those this week and be better for next weekend. We’re making improvements, even if the results don’t show every week. I think it’s just a matter of time. We’re on the right track.”

Mitchell Oldenburg

Mitchell Oldenburg

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“Tonight as a whole was all right. It’s just a little frustrating that my results aren’t showing what I’m capable of and how good I’m feeling and riding. We’re going to work on the starts. Starts are definitely slacking right now. So we’ll go back to the drawing board this week, get some good starts.

“The track was really fun. I really enjoyed the Triple Crown format, with the three mains. It was a pretty quick night for us and we were go, go, go. Like I said before, results aren’t showing what I’m capable of and how good I’m riding. If we can get a start, we’ll be up there for some wins and some podiums. I know it.”

2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Detroit Results

1. Austin Forkner (1-1-1)

2. Jordon Smith (2-2-4)

3. Chase Sexton (4-4-2)

4. Justin Cooper (3-5-3)

5. Martin Davalos (5-7-5)

6. Alex Martin (10-3-6)

7. Mitchell Oldenburg (6-6-8)

8. Kyle Peters (11-8-7)

9. Kyle Cunningham (8-11-10)

10. Blake Wharton (9-10-16)

2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship Standings

1. Austin Forkner 78

2. Jordon Smith 65

3. Justin Cooper 63

4. Chase Sexton 60

5. Alex Martin 51

6. Mitchell Oldenburg 50

7. Kyle Peters 44

8. Martin Davalos 43

9. Kyle Cunningham 43

10. Brandon Hartranft 41