January 22, 2018 – Livingston, Ca – The 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team returned to Anaheim this past weekend looking to carry their early season momentum into the first Triple Crown race of 2018. The sprint style format suited the riders well with Hayden Mellross (#63) and Kyle Chisholm (#11) finishing 7th and 11th, respectively, at the end of 3 main events. After three rounds, both riders are in the Top 10 in the series standings and already looking ahead to Arizona.
The pressure was on from the start of the day, as practice times required riders to qualify 18th or better to avoid the mid-day LCQ. The 51FIFTY machines were up in the mix posting times just behind the factory riders and securing their spots in the night show.
In the first 6 minute main, Mellross and Chisholm got up near the front early, riding smooth and consistent laps for the shortest main of the night. The two 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha YZ250F’s used their sprint speed in this heat race style main to put on a charge through the pack. At the line, it was Mellross in 7th and Chisholm in 9th. Main Event 1: 7-9
Main Event #2 featured a medium length 10 minute plus 1 lap format. With mid-pack starts, the 51FIFTY riders worked their way up and locked themselves in a race long battle with each other! The duo displayed great sportsmanship as they traded spots back and forth for the duration of the race. It was close all the way to the line with Mellross crossing in 10th and Chisholm in 11th. Main Event 2: 10-11
The final main of the night was also the longest and the most similar to a standard 250SX main. Both 51FIFTY machines rocketed off the line and rounded the first turn in 3rd and 4th place! For the first few laps, the 51FIFTY riders were the top Yamaha bikes in the field and showed great composure as they battled with the biggest names in the sport. After 12 minutes plus 1 lap, it was Mellross 8th and Chisholm 10th. Main Event 3: 8-10
“I had a great week of training leading into Anaheim 2 and was feeling awesome on the bike all day,” Mellross said after the races. “I felt with 3 solid starts I could run up front with the top guys. I’m extremely happy with 7th but I know I have more to offer.”
“The format was cool and overall it was a solid consistent night for me and the team,” said Chisholm. “We ran up near the front all day and we were definitely in the mix with the factory teams. I was stoked to get the start in that final main, but also disappointed to finish just outside the top 10 overall. I know what I need to work on for the future and looking forward to getting back out there.”