Glendale, AZ – January 13, 2019 – Titles are won by collecting points, even on those tough days. In spite of a challenging track at State Farm Stadium, Justin Barcia and his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team pulled together to score some important points in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. Glendale proved just as challenging for teammate Aaron Plessinger who took 11th at the end of the night.

It was a bit frustrating after Barcia’s big win on the Yamaha YZ450F at Anaheim 1, but when the going got tough on the technical, slick track, Barcia and his team got going and steadily improved throughout the day. He had a good heat race, earning him a decent gate pick, but ultimately sixth place was the best result for the day. More importantly, the New York native was able to mitigate the damage to his title run and only trails by one point going into Anaheim 2.

Barcia’s young teammate also struggled with the track conditions, but Plessinger was also able to improve as the day went on. He didn’t have a great start in the Main and the restart with the staggered start didn’t help the 2018 West 250SX Champion much either, but he put his head down and pushed his way forward to end the night just outside the top 10 in 11th.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team returns to Anaheim, California, next Saturday, January 19, for round 3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at Angels Stadium of Anaheim.

Plessinger Pic: Yamaha

Jim Perry Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“A disappointing day in Phoenix for the boys in blue. We struggled from the time we unloaded to the time we loaded. Both guys just were not comfortable on the track; a tricky rhythm section and slick, dry dirt. Seemed like they were making progress throughout the day, and by the main event they were the best all day, but not good enough to challenge for a podium finish. Disappointing to lose the red number plate, but we’ll come back next week at Anaheim, the first triple crown of the year, and go back to our winning ways.”

Justin Barcia Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing

“It was a really difficult day for me. The track was really high speed. It had some really technical rhythm sections. For some reason, I could never get a good flow on it. It was a little bit frustrating I would say, but I felt like every time I went on the track I kind of got better and better and made some really good bike changes. I wish I could have gotten more comfortable right off the bat. I just never felt comfortable today.

“It was definitely a frustrating day compared to my win last weekend. But all in all, the team really worked their butts off today to get me as comfortable as I could on the bike on this tricky track. It was really hard packed, really slick. The team went above and beyond and did a good job on the bike. The track was just a difficult one for me. So I’m moving on this week. Will work on a few things and then back to Anaheim. Looking forward to that. I’m really excited for A2.”

Aaron Plessinger Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing

“Phoenix Supercross was a little rough for me. I was struggling with the bike all day. I had a big crash in practice and then changed a lot on the bike for the heat race. The track was really, really getting slick in the heat race. I got a pretty good start in the heat race but just made a couple little mistakes and it cost me third and ended up fifth.

“In the main event, I didn’t really get a great start. Then we had to do a restart, a staggered start. That didn’t really play into my favor. I went from 12th to 13th, I think. Then about halfway through I started feeling really good and started flowing with the track and made a few passes and was catching another rider and just ran out of time. I think A2 will be a lot better. It will be the first triple crown, so I’m coming in with high hopes.”

Words and Images: Yamaha

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