The 2018 AMA 250MX National Motocross Champion, Aaron Plessinger, will be returning from his injury and be making his 450MX debut at this weekend’s Southwick National. The Monster Energy / Yamaha rider raced the first nine 2019 Monster Energy Supercross events on the 450 before going out with a heel injury and missing the final eight rounds of the series. AP finished inside the top 10 in six of his nine 450SX main events with a seasons-best 5th in Atlanta.
With Southwick being one of the roughest tracks on the circuit, I’m not sure why AP and the team have chosen it for his return, but the #7 is likely chomping at the bit to get back to the gate on his factory Yamaha. “I’m super excited to get back to racing,” Aaron said in a release from Yamaha. “It’s been about four months now since I got hurt. I don’t think I’ve taken that much time off a dirt bike in a long, long time, so it’s been about the longest four months of my life. I’ve been back on a bike now for probably five weeks and I’m feeling really good. Yamaha came out before the Florida National and I was able to get some really good testing in. I’m really happy with my bike right now. Heading to Southwick, my expectations… I really want to get a good start and run with the top guys. I’ve been practicing my starts this week. I’m ready to do some work and looking forward to seeing everybody again.”
How will AP finish in his 450 debut on Saturday? Aaron has been back on the bike for five weeks and I’ve heard he is looking really comfortable at the test track, but that does not always translate into doing good under hot, humid and ultra rough racing conditions—especially when your debut is coming at one of the roughest tracks of the year. I don’t really have any lofty expectations for him this weekend, but I think if all goes well we should see him landing somewhere between 7th and 12th this weekend.
No matter where he finishes, it is awesome to have AP back for the rest of the year and it will interesting to see where he fits into the 450 class as the series moves on. He is one the true characters of the sport and always fun to have at the races.