Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team’s Justin Cooper claimed another moto win on his way to second overall at the return of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series to Fox Raceway in Pala, California. His teammate Dylan Ferrandis ended the day third, keeping the team’s double-podium streak alive at round two of the season.

It was a complete switch in conditions from the opening round with riders experiencing a dry and slick track. Cooper, who went wire-to-wire in the opening moto, found himself fourth at the end of the second moto, pushing him to second overall. Ferrandis was a warrior on the track as he battled back in both motos to grab the final podium spot in third with a 7-3. Colt Nichols showed speed all day, coming out of Round 2 with a fifth overall on his 4-7 moto score. The rookie Ty Masterpool continues his learning process in the pro ranks and ended the day 14th overall with a 12-17.

Coming into the round in Southern California, Cooper hoped to redeem his 1-4 finish from the opening round. With a all-new start to deal with, it was a gamble to figure out the best gate pick, which he was the first to select after topping qualifying. The pick paid off, putting him in the lead on the opening moto and was never really challenged as he collected his second moto win of the season. In Moto 2, a flinch of the gate slightly interfered with the start but he still managed to make it up to ninth after lap one. By lap four, he was in fourth and did his best to maintain a consistent speed, but was unable to make it any higher. He still collected another overall podium finish with second overall and sits second in the points standings.

The unknown of the new start didn’t seem to favor Ferrandis, who was 10th early in the opening moto. He was battling his way to the front when he and another rider came together and went down. He got up in 21st, and with determination as his motivation, made it all the way back up to seventh at the end of the 30 minutes plus two lap moto. This put him in decent position going into the final moto of the day where he started again in 10th. Although not the start he wanted, the Frenchman never gave up and pushed every lap to come across the finish in third. The 7-3 was good enough for third overall, putting him third in the 250MX standings.

As for Nichols, he had a much better Moto 1. The Oklahoman tucked in right behind his teammate Cooper for second and held the position for a majority of the race. It was just at the final laps that he lost two positions and settled for fourth. The start of Moto 2, didn’t go as planned and he had his work cut out for him. The deteriorating track was tricky and it was a tough track to make a pass, but he managed to salvage seventh at the checkered flag and ended the day fifth overall with his 4-7 score.

With one round under his belt, rookie Masterpool focused on feeling comfortable out on the track and putting in solid laps. He started the opening moto 19th and was ready to move forward. By lap four he was in 14th and still managed to keep pushing to finish the moto in 12th. In Moto 2, he was on the move at the start going from 17th to 10th in just a few laps, but a mistake pushed him down the leaderboard to 22nd. He put in some fast laps to get all the way up to 17th, tying his previous best at 14th overall.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team head east to Lakewood, Colorado for Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Thunder Valley Motocross Park on Saturday, June 1.

Wil Hahn

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Today was a solid day for us having two riders on the podium and three in the top five overall. We also grabbed another Moto win! We’ll continue to carry this momentum east and go for the overall win. That’s what we need right now and I know we can get it.”

Justin Cooper

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“Overall it was another solid day. I’m really striving for the win though, so to come close again is disappointing. It’s also fueling the fire. I was looking to be at front [in Moto 2] but I wasn’t riding as aggressive in the middle of the race and it cost me at the end. I couldn’t catch the front guys and had to settle for second.

“I am really happy with the bike and team, we will keep fighting to be on top. We are so close! I’m blessed to be in this position so far in the season and pleased that all the hard work is paying off. It’s just going to take a little more to get the job done. I’m really looking forward to getting that win this season.”

Dylan Ferrandis

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“In the first moto, I had a crash with Adam (Cianciarulo) and I was way back. I had to push really hard to make it up into the top 10. I didn’t really expect to make the podium and wasn’t really worried about it in the second moto. After the start, I tried everything I could but couldn’t make it up to the rest of the guys. It’s really cool to make it back up on the box after missing out last weekend. I’ll try hard next weekend to get back in the championship chase. It’s a long season.”

Colt Nichols

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing

“Overall a little disappointed with how the day ended up after feeling really good, but we get to try again next week. My bike was great and I’m really happy with the progress we made this past week. The track was tough today, mostly because passing seemed to be hard. Everyone was getting jammed up a bit at times. I’m really looking forward to next week and am ready to head back east.”

Ty Masterpool

Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team

“I was happy with my riding the first moto. I think it was smart and solid but I got a bad start and had to work my way up. The second moto – talk about adversity. I got a great start and then just went downhill from there, but I’ve been taking every moto as a great experience to learn and move forward.”

2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 250 Class Fox Raceway Results

1. Adam Cianciarulo (3-1)

2. Justin Cooper (1-4)

3. Dylan Ferrandis (7-3)

4. Chase Sexton(3-5)

5. Colt Nichols (4-6)

6. Alex Martin (10-6)

7. Garrett Marchbanks (9-8)

8. Michael Mosiman (8-11)

9. Hunter Lawrence (37-2)

10. Christian Craig (6-15)

14. Ty Masterpool (12-17)


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.