Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Shane McElrath bounced back from a tough first moto to lead laps and come out third overall based on his 8-2 moto scores at Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at RedBud in Buchanan, Michigan. The first of two rounds held at the infamous track was full of ups and downs, with one of the top moments being Ty Masterpool grabbing the holeshot in his return to racing, eventually ending the day in eighth overall (3-13). Dylan Ferrandis came through the pack in both motos, finishing just off the podium in fourth with a 7-3 tally, while Justin Cooper also found himself inside the top-10 with his 9-6 results awarding him ninth overall.
McElrath got a decent start at the start of Moto 1, but couldn’t make the charge forward like he was hoping. He maintained a top 10 position, eventually finishing the moto in eighth. The North Carolinian was out for redemption in Moto 2 and put down the perfect start to claim the holeshot. The evolving track was challenging, but McElrath was able to lead for almost half the race. His second-place finish was rewarded with the final podium spot in the overall results.
The Frenchman Ferrandis was clearly the fastest ride on the track in qualifying but was forced to rely on his never-quit attitude at the opening round of the RedBud doubleheader, coming through the pack in both motos. When the gate dropped in Moto 1, Ferrandis was in great position but went down on the opening lap and did what he could to quickly get back up. He came around the first lap in 28th and started to make up ground, ultimately using up the entire 30 minutes plus two laps to finish seventh. Moto 2 found Ferrandis outside the top-20 on the start, coming around the first lap in 18th. He was able to be much quicker to the front this time around, nearly passing his teammate at the end for the runner-up position, finishing third for the moto and fourth on the day.
After having to wait to start his season because of injury, Masterpool was cleared to ride this week and was clearly happy to be back. He collected the first holeshot of the day, giving a quick point to the sky in homage to his late brother Jessy. While there was a ton of chaos happening behind him, Masterpool didn’t know as he pulled away from the rest of the pack and led over 20 minutes before being passed. With three laps to go, he lost another position but maintained third to the end. The 18-year-old left it all out on the track for Moto 1. His second moto was a battle of willpower after getting a start outside the top-20. Masterpool did what he could to make passes to the front and he would use the whole race to finish 13th, claiming eighth overall.
Cooper started the day second fastest behind teammate Ferrandis, hoping to make a good mark to start the doubleheader. He got a top-10 start in the first moto, but had a tough time moving forward and finished the race in ninth. Trying to keep his consistency going, Cooper got another top-10 start and maintained his speed in the second moto, finishing the day with a sixth-place finish that scored him ninth overall.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team will finish out the doubleheader in Buchanan, Michigan for Round 5 at RedBud National, Monday, September 7.
Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Today we were a little off, but all in all, some decent results for the team. We’re glad to have Ty back at the races! He had a great first race back from injury with the holeshot and a great ride in Moto 1. Shane also had a good ride, got the holeshot in the second moto, and was able to finish on the podium. We need to get our starts back and bring the speed early. We’re looking forward to another one here at RedBud.”
Shane McElrath – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“The track was tough today but it was good to be on the podium finally. The first moto I really struggled finding a flow and with line choice. I had a much better second moto after a few small changes and I’m excited to go racing again on Monday.”
Dylan Ferrandis – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a tough day for me and I’m disappointed about how my day ended. I had a crash in the first moto and hurt my body a bit. Then I got a bad start in Moto 2. I finished fourth overall and lost some precious points in the championship. Hopefully, we will have a better day on Monday.”
Ty Masterpool – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was so good to be back. We got third in qualifying and third in the first moto, which was great. Overall I felt good, I just made some small mistakes. In the second moto I got a really bad start and just tried to salvage it from there. I’m really hyped to be back.”
Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a tough day. We got off to a good start with second in qualifying, but unfortunately, I got really screwed up on both starts. Everyone was riding at a good pace. I got stuck in the pack and didn’t make passes quickly enough. We will come back in a few days and fight for a better result.”