Barcia Battles to Fifth-Place Finish, Plessinger Takes Top 10 at Petco Park

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Justin Barcia rode a solid race on another tough, technical track to score a top-five finish at the Petco Park in San Diego, California. His teammate Aaron Plessinger continued to make forward strides in the premier class of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, bouncing back from a crash to finish 10th.

Barcia started the night off with a fourth-place finish in his Heat, giving him a much better gate pick than last weekend’s Main Event in Oakland. Unfortunately though, starts continued to be an issue for the Florida resident and he once again found himself fighting towards the front. He quickly worked his way into seventh and steadily moved forward into fourth. Around the halfway mark, he was locked in a heated battle with one of the title contenders. The pair exchanged positions multiple times, but he ultimately had to settle for fifth. Looking at the bigger picture, the top-five finish helped score important points in the championship where Barcia currently sits fourth in the standings with 11 rounds remaining.

After finishing fifth in his Heat race, Plessinger got off to a flying start in the Main Event and was right in the fight up front. The 2018 250SX West Champion was in third and maintained that position for the first six laps. In his battle with the reigning 450SX Champion, the sophomore Supercross rider lost the front in the left hander before the whoops. Plessinger quickly rejoined the race but found himself back in eighth. Four laps later, he lost another position but didn’t lose his cool. The 24-year-old kept knocking down the laps but unfortunately got passed in the final moments and crossed the line 10th.

The team now heads east for Round 7 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship on Saturday, February 15, at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Jim Perry – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Tonight was a great night for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team. Justin Barcia rounded out the top five with a solid performance and Aaron Plessinger started up front, and was challenging for a podium finish. He tipped over, but got up and raced to a tenth-place finish. Both guys definitely took a step in the right direction and both had speed in the Main Event. The team worked hard all day with the bike setup. We wanted to be on the podium and challenging for the win, but we had a good outing. We will take what we learned from tonight and head back east as the series picks up in Tampa next week.”

Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“We struggled a little bit in practice, but overcame that. I finally felt like I rode like myself in the Heat race, but in the Main Event, I didn’t get the greatest of starts. I charged really hard the first few laps and diced it up in there. We ended up fifth, which was a really solid ride coming back from 15th. I felt like I rode well, the bike felt good so I’m definitely proud of the ride. The goal this week is to keep working on the riding stuff and shoot for getting another win here soon. We will keep moving forward. I’m definitely looking forward to Tampa.”

Aaron Plessinger – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“San Diego was a big step in the right direction. I was kind of struggling in practice, but then we got the bike working really good in the final session. We went out for the Heat race and rode pretty well, ended up fifth. Then I got a great start in the Main Event. I was riding right with Cooper Webb and made a little mistake and went down right before the whoops. That cost me, but it’s good to get up there and run with those boys. Now I know I can do it. I’m looking forward to this week, we’re going to get back to Tallahassee and go do some more work to get ready for Tampa. I’m excited for it and looking for more up front rides like that.”


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