February 12, 2018 – Livingston, Ca – The 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team brought the heat to sunny San Diego looking to carry their Oakland momentum into the last race before the mid-season break. Highlights from the weekend include an LCQ win, two Top 12 finishes, and entering the break with both riders in the Top 10 in overall points.
Both 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha YZ250F’s were on the gate for Heat 1 after posting competitive lap times in qualifying. Chisholm avoided the first turn carnage and ran as high as 3rd before crossing the line in 5th. Hayden Mellross fought hard all day despite coming down with food poisoning early Saturday morning. He rode smart and consistent but ultimately finished short of a direct transfer.
Mellross lined up for the LCQ and took the holeshot with serious intensity. He rode calm and collected on the technical track while taking advantage of other riders’ mistakes. Hayden set the fastest lap of the race and easily won by over 5 seconds. Leading the race gave our bikes more time in front of the camera, displaying the eye-catching Race For Autism graphics.
The boys picked their way through the tight first turn and into the pack of riders at the start of the 250 Main Event. Kyle Chisholm battled with former race winners and proved again that he is the real deal in the 250 class. Mellross, weakened by a day of heaving, did what he could, coming from behind and working his way through the pack. Both riders seemed to get stronger as the track deteriorated, making passes well over the half-way mark in the race. Chisholm had a great battle with series-leader Aaron Plessinger for several laps at the end of the race. Plessinger was docked a position putting the #11 of Chisholm in 7th with Mellross finishing12th.
The team now holds down two Top 10’s in the series points with Chisholm 8th and Mellross 10th.
“Another solid night in the books for me and the team,” said Chisholm. “I enjoyed the track all day and found a good flow from first practice that I used throughout the day. I’m happy with another solid finish but I really want that Top 5. We’re close and I’m going to use the break to work on some areas that need improvement.”
“I did the best I could tonight and that’s all I can really ask for,” Mellross commented. “This food poisoning has been kicking my butt all day and my usual race-day energy just wasn’t where it needed to be. I rode smart and consistent and worked my way up. I’m excited for the break so I can rest up and come out swinging for the home stretch of the series.”