Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia battled back through the pack in tough conditions to finish ninth at Round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium. His teammate Aaron Plessinger continued to make forward progress in Salt Lake City, finishing 11th in Sunday’s race.
With heavy rains Saturday night and early that morning, the practice schedule was dropped to one qualifying session. When it came time for the Heat races the sun was out and the conditions on the track changed again. Both Barcia and Plessinger had a solid race finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, putting them in a good position going into the Main Event. However, the conditions changed once again as the rain picked up during the 250SX race, making for a challenging track in the 20-minute-plus-one-lap Main.
Barcia did not get the start he was hoping for and was pushed off track, putting him back in 16th. Undeterred, he put his head down and worked towards the front. As the laps and the track wore down, the Florida rider was on the heels of his teammate and made the pass to take 10th. Barcia was able to take another spot and had his eyes set on eighth, but he ran out of time and had to settle for ninth.
It was a different story for Plessinger. The sophomore supercross rider got off to a good start inside the top 10 and worked his way forwards to seventh. He was poised to challenge for sixth but got passed in the whoops and then started to struggle in the conditions and ultimately, was shuffled backwards. Although he was hoping for better, the 11th-place finish was his best result so far in the demanding conditions in Salt Lake City.
The team returns for more action at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Wednesday, June 10, for Round 14 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
Jim Perry – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Today in Salt Lake City the weather was tough, it played havoc on the team and the riders throughout the day. The practice session was cut to one qualifying session, which didn’t give us much time to make adjustments on the bike. It seemed like every time the guys went out on the track the conditions were different. Both guys qualified well out of their heat races, finishing in the top five, but in the Main Event the conditions were brutal. Aaron rode well the first half of the race and then started to struggle with the conditions. Justin got off to a slow start after getting pushed off track and then towards the end picked up the pace, but the damage was done. It was a tough day in the muddy conditions in Salt Lake City. We’ll regroup and come back Wednesday for the next round.”
Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It was a tough day. Not a whole lot more to say than that. It didn’t go the way I wanted to. We’re definitely going to keep trying, stay positive and keep moving forward. I’m really looking forward to going racing in two days to try and turn things around.”
Aaron Plessinger – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It started out pretty muddy and I was doing really well in practice. I went out for the Heat race and I struggled pretty hard. The track dried out, got pretty rough but I got a good start and was moving forward before I started to struggle and fell back to fifth. In the Main, it was pretty much the same thing. I was moving forward and got up into seventh and was right on (Ken) Roczen for sixth, then I tightened up and couldn’t hold on anymore and fell back to 11th.
“Before the next race we’re going to make some changes and hopefully get the bike dialed in for the next round so that we can go out there and show them what we’ve got. I’m better than what I have been finishing, I’ve shown it before. We just need to figure out what the problem is and dive in on it.”