Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia broke through the top 10 to claim eighth as Monster Energy AMA Supercross returned to racing at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. With 85 days in between races, the riders acclimated to the high altitude and demanding, dry track. As Barcia crossed the line in eighth, his teammate Aaron Plessinger was overcoming his challenges to finish 12th on the night.
Barcia felt comfortable on the dry track, but didn’t get a chance to translate that confidence to race position. On the main event start, Barcia was pushed outside the top 10 and had to fight for position all race. He was able to make some good passes and get up to eighth by the end of the long 29-lap race.
Plessinger was also on the fighting end of a good start, coming around the first lap in 17th. Despite the nearly triple digit temperatures, altitude, and dry, short track, Plessinger made up some ground and was able to walk out healthy with a 12th-place finish.
The team will get a few short days of rest before Round 12 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship on Wednesday, June 2, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Jim Perry – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Today was a tough day for the team. We came into the event with high hopes for both Aaron and Justin. We were looking to challenge for wins and podiums. However it didn’t pan out like we’d hoped. The track was really brutal. The temperatures were really hot out today with the added high elevation. We’ll come back on Wednesday looking for better results, taking what we learned and be ready to push hard to get back into contention for this championship.”
Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It’s nice to get the first round out of the way. It definitely wasn’t how I wanted it to go. It was quite hot and being up here at altitude was definitely difficult. I had high expectations for myself coming into this round and kind of let myself down a bit. I think it’s all things that can be easily fixed and turned around for Wednesday.
“The main event didn’t get off to the greatest start, and the first lap was chaos. Guys were falling down, and then it was really windy and dusty. The track got down to concrete, it was a pretty gnarly track. All in all, we got out of the first one healthy and still have six more to go. I’m really looking forward to racing again Wednesday. I don’t have to wait another whole week to redeem myself.”
Aaron Plessinger – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It was no doubt a tough one for me. I was alright at the beginning of the day, but when the dry, slick conditions started coming out, I really started struggling. It was like riding on concrete with some rocks thrown in there. It’s something that I need to get used to by Wednesday for a good result. I’m going to go back and get some redemption at the next one. Thankfully, we don’t have that long to wait for it.”