Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Jeremy Martin got his Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX Championship campaign off to a great start with a 1-2 moto finish for second overall at yesterday’s season opener in Pala, California. Justin Cooper also had a good start to the season, finishing third overall (5-3) to give the team a double podium at Fox Raceway. Colt Nichols struggled at a challenging first outdoor round but fought his way back to ninth overall with a 9-12 tally. Jarrett Frye finished 12th overall (13-14), while Nate Thrasher had to come back from some crashes to end the day 17th (16-17).
Riders were met with a different track than last year’s season finale at Fox Raceway, making for a challenging two 30-minute-plus-two-lap motos. Although he was sidelined from the supercross season after injuring his shoulder at the opening round earlier this February, Martin showed strength straight away with a good start in the first moto in third. The two-time 250MX Champion rode his own race and patiently awaited the opportunity to make his move to the front. Just after the halfway mark, Martin took the lead, ultimately crossing the line nearly three seconds ahead of the competition for his 35th moto victory in the class.
Martin got an even better start in the second moto, narrowly missing out on the holeshot to Cooper. He was under pressure in the runner-up spot straight away and tried to get past his teammate, but the New Yorker held him off. The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing duo was running 1-2 for the first half of the timed race, and then Martin was passed by the competition and shortly after Cooper as well. On the following lap, the Minnesotan used the same move on the outside line leading to the finish line to pass his teammate and take second, where he ultimately finished. With the better result in the second moto being the tiebreaker, Martin ended the day second overall but heads into Round 2 tied-in points with the championship leader.
While Cooper led the way for the team earlier in the day by qualifying third, he didn’t get the start he was hoping for in the first moto. He was sixth on the opening lap and later shuffled back to ninth at the halfway point, but the newly crowned 250SX West Supercross champ put his head down and worked his way back to a top-five finish. He continued his upward trend with his solid third-place finish in Moto 2 to end the day third overall and third in the point standings.
It was a tough day for Nichols from the start. The 2020 250SX East Supercross Champion struggled to find his flow on a challenging track at the Fox Raceway National 1. He made a heroic comeback from 18th after an early crash in the first moto to finish inside the top 10. In the second moto, he found himself 17th after the start and once again charged through the pack to finish 12, ending the day ninth overall.
Frye struggled to find his flow in the challenging conditions but came back from 16th to 13th in the first moto. The Maryland rider made improvements in Moto 2 and was 14th after the start, where he ultimately finished to earn 12th overall. His teammate Thrasher, like Frye, was beginning his first full Pro Motocross season. The 18-year-old from Tennessee had a tough first round with crashes in both motos, but worked his way back to 16th in the first moto and had an impressive charge from last to 17th in Moto 2 to end the day 17th overall.
Next weekend the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team heads to Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Lakewood, Colorado, for Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on June 5.
Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team Manager
“It was a great day for the team as a whole, getting four out of six possible overall podium finishes in both classes. We still have work to do, but it’s a heck of a start to the season, and we’re looking forward to Colorado!”
Jeremy Martin – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“I’m glad to land two strong performances in today’s motos after being away from racing for so long. The track was brutal, so I’m happy to walk away with a solid second overall finish at the season opener.”
Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a good start to the outdoor series with a podium, but it was definitely a tough transition to the ‘Great Outdoors’ from supercross. We put in some solid laps and some terrible ones as well but learned a lot. We have some good stuff to build on and look to carry that into next weekend.”
Colt Nichols – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a tough day at the office for me. I struggled to find any flow on the track all day and was disappointed in my lackluster performance, but I need to put myself in a better position out of the gate. We race again on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”
Jarrett Frye – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a tough day at the opening round, finishing 13th and 14th for 12th overall. I struggled with a few things, but we will go back to work this week and try to be better next weekend.”
Nate Thrasher – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a disappointing day. Coming off of a good start in the supercross season, I had higher expectations, but we’re going to put our head down and keep working and try for a better result next weekend.”