Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia crossed the line ninth to score valuable points on a technical track in the early stages of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX title chase. His teammate Aaron Plessinger also made the best of challenging conditions to finish 15th at Anaheim 2.

Barcia came into the third round of the championship with the coveted red plate and was looking to repeat his winning form at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. He and his team spent the day working to overcome those obstacles and the Florida resident made strides forward in his Heat race to finish fourth. In the Main Event he didn’t make a strong start but charged forward from 12th to seventh in four laps. Barcia held that position until the halfway mark, but ultimately got shuffled back to ninth. With the main focus being the number-one plate rather than red plate, he managed his race to finish inside the top 10, just three points behind the championship leader.

Plessinger led the way for the team in qualifying and finished seventh in his Heat. The sophomore Supercross rider got the great start he was looking for in the Main Event and was right in the mix up front battling for third. Unfortunately, he ultimately got shuffled back through the pack. The 2018 250SX West Champion went down after contact with another rider battling for the top 10. Not willing to quit, Plessinger rejoined the race and advanced to finish 15th.

Next up is Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, January 25.

Jim Perry
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
A2 was a tough day, but something to learn from and move forward. We came into the weekend with a positive outlook and the goal of a podium finish while challenging for the win, but it was a very challenging track. The team worked hard making adjustments throughout the day, making improvements, but the set up was off for that technical back-to-back whoops section.

Aaron made great progress and started the Main Event up front, but rode tight and slid back out of contention. Justin on the other hand started mid-pack but worked his way to sixth. He too fell back, but managed to cross the ninth. Obviously, we’re disappointed to lose the red plate and points lead, but we will regroup and head to Glendale next week focused on the task at hand of regaining the points lead.”

Justin Barcia
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Anaheim 2 was a difficult one to say the least. I really struggled in the whoops all day, also in the race. I definitely rode really smart, I didn’t want to lose too many points so I managed the race as good as I could. Ninth was the best we had tonight. I tried really hard, rode as hard as I could but it just was a little bit of a struggle. We have some work to do for tracks with whoops like that. I’m just happy to get out of Anaheim healthy. That’s the biggest thing. In the past I haven’t been able to get through the first three rounds healthy, so we’re in a good position. We’re only three points down. I’m feeling good about that. I’m really excited for Glendale next weekend, I really like that track and stadium, so I’m just going to keep moving forward and get ready for the next race.

Aaron Plessinger
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Yeah, tonight was tough. I got off to a really good start in the Main and kind of froze up. It was a gnarly track. The whoops were really gnarly, a lot of moisture in the track. I’m going to put my head down and keep on focusing on getting better – take the positives and work on the negatives. We’ll be back next week in Phoenix, so I just need to get another start like that and keep it up front.

Aaron Plessinger
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Anaheim 2 Results

Courtesy Yamaha