Photo by: Ryne Swanberg / Garth Milan
Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger is a fun loving guy (see above picture) who always has a smile on his face. This year, he has been able to find an intensity that we have not seen from him in the past. Aaron has always been scary fast on soft rutted tracks, but at the Glendale Supercross, he proved he can be just as fast and aggressive on a cement-like, hard packed soil.
In Glendale on Saturday night, Aaron set the fastest lap time when the track was at its softest in free practice, but as the track got more hard packed, he dropped to the ninth fastest qualifying time. That obviously did not mean to much to the #23 because he handily won his heat race and went on the win the main event with the fastest lap time of the race–when the track was like concrete. The win gave Aaron sole possession of the red plate heading to Oakland.
The win was a big one, but it pales in comparison to what he has going on off the track. Aaron has recently announced that he has a baby on the way and I suspect having to plan for new baby has ramped up his intensity. Aaron was candid with his answers and seems to have made a big advancement in his career and life.
Aaron, some of your critics have said that you haven’t been that serious on the track these days, and that that’s something that you have been lacking these days–that kind of killer instinct. Is that something you’ve changed this season?
I’m trying to. I’m definitely trying to. I’m definitely not trying to be dirty in any way. I’ve never really had that aggression in me. This year… I’ve gotten second two years in a row, so I’m kind of getting tired of getting 2nd. I’m trying to get that aggression to win this Championship.
I’m 6 foot 4 inches tall and you’re looking me right in the eye. You’re a big dude. Everyone is always asking if you’re going to move up to 450’s when your contract is up at the end of this year. Have you considered that?
My contract actually is up at the end of the year. I still have the choice to–if I win the Championship at the end of this year–back it up [defend it]. I might do that, but I definitely want to ride the 450 for the outdoors in 2019.
That was an extremely aggressive pass you put on Shane McElrath in the main event. Do you worry about retaliation at all when you make an aggressive pass like that one on someone?
Honestly, I did not realize it was that gnarly of a pass. I seen him in the corner of my eye and I didn’t realize I was that close. I apologized to him.
You know Oakland is going to be soft dirt. With your reputation for riding ruts so well, are you licking your chops after getting a win on hard pack and now heading there?
I’m definitely looking forward to it. I was fastest in [free] practice when it was soft and rutted but ended up 9th fastest (laughs) and came out and won it, so I’m definitely stoked on the soft track.
What do you do during the week? You seem like a really fun loving guy. When you’re not riding or racing, what do you do?
I love fishing. I actually really didn’t do much last week. I moved my girlfriend into my house. I like going go karting. Just anything fun. I like playing Xbox. I like doing a lot. Anything you throw at me I love doing.
By the way, congratulations on the new addition. I saw a picture of you with a little baby on the way. Are you excited about that? When is she due?
The due date is July 30. I was nervous at first and nervous about what everybody would think. Overall, I was just like, it’s our decision, it was a surprise and I’m excited. I’m really excited!
Awesome. Thank you, brother. I appreciate the time.