Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper raced to another fourth-place finish Saturday night to start off the three-race campaign of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nate Thrasher bounced back from a tough Daytona outing to earn a season-best finish of 10th. Fellow rookie Jarrett Frye had another tough night in 21st.
The whole day was going Cooper’s way as he started off as both the top qualifier and heat-race winner. He was confident his speed would translate to a good Main Event finish but found himself mid-pack off the start. On a track that was hard to pass on, Cooper steadily picked off riders and made it up to fourth just before halfway. He closed the gap to the leaders and with time running out, he made a pass for third. The two went back and forth but unfortunately, Cooper slid out as he was trying to pass back for third on the final lap. The New Yorker was able to quickly remount and still take fourth to score some valuable points in the title chase and sits six points behind the leader.
While Thrasher didn’t have an ideal qualifying or heat race, he was looking forward to the Main Event and proving his speed. He got out to a 17th-place start and put in the work to make his way towards the front and managed to work his way into the top-10, grabbing his best finish of the season in 10th.
Frye continued to work on finding his comfort zone in the challenging conditions at AT&T Stadium. The 20-year-old finished ninth in his heat race to qualify for the main, but unfortunately came together with another rider after the start and rejoined at the back of the field. From there, Frye soldiered on to finish the race 21st.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250SX West team continues its run inside the AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, March 16 for Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship in Arlington, Texas.
Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team Manager
“It was a roller coaster night for us, our day was going well but in the main we didn’t execute our game plan. We just have to be better, that’s the bottom line.”
Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“My night was a bit up and down. It was a good start to the night getting the win in the heat race, but I got a pretty bad start in the main and was kind of just fighting for track position with everyone. I slowly made my way through the pack because it was really hard to pass. I got up to fourth and could see the leaders ahead. They were riding really well. I reeled Cameron (McAdoo) in and was able to make the pass but we went back and forth. I tried for a pass on the last lap and ended up washing out the front in a turn. Those guys are riding really well and I can’t afford to give them that much space at the beginning of the race.”
Nate Thrasher – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“We had a rough practice and heat race. I was off the times since they were close, but that’s something we can work on. For the Main Event, I felt good throughout the whole race. I didn’t have a good gate pick and got a bad start. I tried to push as much as I could but ended up getting a little arm pump at the end and couldn’t push any further. Overall I feel like we have top speed, we just need to get a better start, especially on a track that’s hard to pass. You really had to pick your spots to make them work. We’ll work on getting that better start and hopefully get ourselves up on the podium.”
Jarrett Frye – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a really tough night for me. We’re going to regroup and do some more homework and come back swinging on Tuesday.”