Justin Cooper captured a hard-fought third-place finish to get on the podium for the fourth time this season at the sixth round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship with his teammate Mitchell Oldenburg right behind in fourth.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250SX East teammates seem to be like a magnet and steel. Despite their positions at the start of races, they have a knack for finishing in tandem, which they did again on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Cooper and Oldenburg lined up second and third, respectively, in the gate, and Oldenburg battled for the holeshot before getting shuffled back to fifth. The Texan moved up to fourth at about the halfway point of the race. Then, with a little more than six minutes and one lap remaining, Oldenburg moved into a podium position in third.
Meanwhile, Cooper got caught up in the first-turn melee after the start and was pushed completely off the track. Rejoining the race in 10th, the New Yorker immediately went to work moving back to the front. With a minute and one lap to go, he was in fourth and stalking his teammate. Oldenburg and Cooper then swapped positions on the final lap, as Cooper overtook his teammate just before the checkered flag flew
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team’s 250SX East riders will take a one-week break while their West teammates Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols return to action next Saturday, March 23, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Tonight was a great step. The guys were solid right off the bat in qualifying and nailed their starts in the heat races, which we have been working on, and it paid off tonight. In the main Mitch just barely missed the podium after Justin’s late charge after starting from around 17th on the first lap. We’re going to spend the time during the break to keep our forward momentum rolling.”
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a hard fight all night, honestly. I had to work for the heat win and then main event time, I got a really good start and was just leaning in to the inside and everyone came in and kind of pushed me wide. I had to go off the track and it put me way back. Honestly, it was a pretty crappy feeling going around the first lap in 19th; looking over and seeing those guys already two straightaways ahead. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me, so I just put my head down and made some quick passes.
“I think I was up to seventh or eighth… I had raced with so much energy getting to that point and trying to make quick passes that I kind of hit a wall and was like, ‘Wow. I got to breathe a little bit and regroup.’ That’s kind of what did it. I kind of got a second wind towards the end and felt really good. I felt like I was back on pace and just making up a lot of time. I was keeping an eye on third. I didn’t even know if it was going to happen, but was I able to get in position to make a pass last lap for third. It was a good night for me. Good learning, good building, good progress. So I can’t complain. It just would have been nice to get away clean in that firs turn in that top three to see what we could have done towards the end of the race when those guys were getting a little tired.”
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a crazy week for me. My wife went into labor Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m. a month early, so it has been a pretty stressful and a scary last couple days, but baby and mama are healthy and doing good. It was pretty hard to leave them to come to race this week. It was hard to get my head straight and to get back in race mode and ride my dirt bike. “We had a decent day overall. The main event was good until the last four laps. I had no idea Justin was coming and kind of just checked out mentally and let it go. We live and we learn. I’m not going to let that happen again. We’ll keep working on our progress in the next couple weeks and come into Nashville swinging.”
2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Indianapolis Results
1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Justin Cooper
4. Mitchell Oldenburg
5. Martin Davalos
6. Kyle Peters
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Joshua Osby
9. Alex Martin
10. Jordan Bailey
2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship Standings
1. Austin Forkner 151
4. Chase Sexton 125
3. Justin Cooper 123
4. Alex Martin 92
5. Martin Davalos 89
6. Mitchell Oldenburg 88
7. Brandon Hartranft 82
8. Kyle Cunningham 81
9. Kyle Peters 79
10. Jordon Smith 70