Round seven of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship presented challenges to the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team, but riders Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia toughed it out to finish 11th and 14th overall at the RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan, on July 6.

In just his second race back after four months away while recovering from his heel injury, Plessinger continued to make progress. The rookie started the day qualifying 13th. He then put in solid motos to score a pair of 11th-place finishes and end the day 11th overall, which was an improvement on his 17th-place finish last weekend at Southwick.

As for his teammate Barcia, it was a roller coaster ride of a day. Qualifying ninth, the Florida rider got off to a decent start in the first moto and was running a solid race in fifth. Unfortunately, a technical issue on the fourth lap ended his race early. The team worked together to retrieve the powerless #51 YZ450F and make the repairs needed to race the second moto. Unlike the first one, Barcia did not get the start he was hoping for. He found himself back in the pack and crashed on the opening lap, but got back on the bike and worked his way from last place to pass his teammate for 10th on the final lap, ending the day 14th overall.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team gets a weekend off before heading to Millville, Minnesota, for the Spring Creek National on July 20.

Jim Perry – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“Today, RedBud did not go as planned. Justin struggled with a mechanical in the first moto while running in the top five. The team worked hard to make the repairs on the #51 YZ450F, and got it turned around. He came back fighting in the second moto, but crashed on the opening lap. He started dead last and worked his way up to round out the top 10. Aaron made a big step in the right direction, putting in two solid motos and finishing 11-11 on the day for 11th overall. We will take the next two weeks, regroup, make a couple of improvements on things that we’ve been working on, and go to Millville.”

Justin Barcia

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing

“It was a tough day. We had our work cut out for us. In the first moto, we ran into a little mechanical and unfortunately it took us out of the race. The boys had to scramble to do a lot of work and get the bike ready. They did a great job handling everything today. In the second moto, I had full outside gate and didn’t come out so well. I started probably in the 20’s and ended up getting hit by someone and flipping over the bars. I came back from near last to 10th. It doesn’t look good on paper, but I rode my heart out.”

Aaron Plessinger

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing

“RedBud went a lot better than Southwick did. I qualified 13th and then made a lot of improvements to the bike. We got it working pretty good for the motos, but I twisted my ankle pretty bad in the first one. I dropped a couple spots and then made it back up to 11th. I got a great start in the second one and then let a few people by. Justin passed me on the last lap and ended up finishing 11th again. So I went 11-11 for 11th overall. We’re making big improvements. I’m just going to keep pushing forward, build my fitness during this week off, and try to have some fun and enjoy it with the family.”


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