San Bernardino, Calif. – May 27, 2018 – The Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team battled through the brutally rough track conditions at Glen Helen Raceway on Saturday to secure a top-five finish at Round 2 of the 2018 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Southern California. Justin Barcia finished just off the podium in the 450MX class to earn fourth overall for the day, while Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing Team's Aaron Plessinger put forth a flawless performance aboard his YZ250F to sweep both 250MX motos of the day.
In 450MX Moto 1, Justin Barcia came around the first lap outside the top-ten, but by the halfway point, he was well on his way to battling for a top-five position until a small tip-over dropped him back to seventh. Barcia rallied back to ultimately finish sixth in the moto, while his teammate Alex Ray put on a courageous charge after hitting a downed rider's bike on the landing of one of Glen Helen's big jumps on the first lap and crashing hard. Ray was able to fight from last to nineteenth-place to salvage a couple of valuable points.
In Moto 2, Barcia had a great jump off the line on his YZ450F but another rider went down in front of him in turn two and he almost crashed trying to get through the carnage. Justin lost multiple positions and had to again charge through the pack to eventually secure a hard-fought fourth position. Alex Ray, in the meantime, didn't get a great start but charged through the pack to run as high as ninth. With a few laps to go, Alex lost a few positions to ultimately finish the moto in twelfth.
Jim Perry – Team Manager
"The Factory Yamaha guys had an adequate day at Glen Helen. Justin Barcia was fourth overall but he did overcome a couple of obstacles throughout the day. Alex Ray had a solid day, he scored some points in both motos. All-in-all, it's not the worst day but we're definitely looking for a better weekend in Colorado. I do want to say congratulations to Aaron Plessinger and the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing Team for an incredible day in the 250MX class."
Justin Barcia, 450MX #51 (Moto 1 = 6th / Moto 2 = 4th / Overall = 4th)
"Glen Helen was a challenging track, it was very difficult. I made it through the day and that's a positive for sure. The goal is to be on the podium every weekend but I came up a little short on that this weekend. I have a few little things I can work on at home and keep building but there were positives: I was fairly quick all day and the bike was good – we made some great changes because I struggled a little in the first moto and we went in the right direction with the changes for Moto 2, which is always nice. I felt comfortable on the bike and the track was a difficult Glen Helen, it's a gnarly one, so I'm glad I got out of here safe and healthy and didn't lose too many points."
Alex Ray, 450MX #91 (Moto 1 = 19th / Moto 2 = 12th / Overall = 18th)
"I was definitely nervous coming in. I had a rough morning but we turned it around after the first moto. We came pretty much from last place to score points, so that was a big confidence booster for me. Coming into the second moto I just knew I had to get a good start and make it through the first lap and put myself in a good position and that's what I did. I ran ninth until three minutes to go and a couple people got by me but I feel like 12th is solid for my first weekend."
Aaron Plessinger, 250MX #23 (Moto 1 = 1st / Moto 2 = 1st / Overall = 1st)
"Glen Helen was pretty amazing for me. The second moto felt a little better than the first one, I actually got to pass some people and I won straight up. This is one of the few outdoor overall wins I've gotten and it feels great! Now we're tied for points and we're ready to go to Colorado and get a lead on them."
450MX Results – Glen Helen
1. Eli Tomac – Kawasaki, (1-1)
2. Marvin Musquin – KTM, (2-3)
3. Jason Anderson – Husqvarna, (4-2)
4. Justin Barcia – Yamaha, (6-4)
18. Alex Ray – Yamaha, (19-12)
250MX Results – Glen Helen
1. Aaron Plessinger – Yamaha, (1-1)
2. Alex Martin – KTM, (3-3)
3. Jeremy Martin – Honda, (5-2)
6. Justin Cooper – Yamaha, (4-7)
450MX Standings – After Round 2 of 12
1. Eli Tomac, 100 points
2. Marvin Musquin, 86
3. Jason Anderson, 73
4. Justin Barcia, 73
250MX Standings – After Round 2 of 12
1. Zach Osborne, 88 points
2. Aaron Plessinger, 88
3. Jeremy Martin, 82
4. Alex Martin, 74
5. Justin Cooper, 60
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