Insight: Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s 450 Team Rocks RedBud

Dylan Ferrandis scored his second-straight overall victory yesterday at the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan, to expand his points lead in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450MX Championship. It was a stellar day for the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team as a whole, with Aaron Plessinger grabbing the holeshot in both motos and finishing third overall. Christian Craig earned his best result of the season with fifth overall, putting all three riders inside the top five.

Ferrandis showed strength in qualifying, topping the timesheets for the first time in the 450 class. After the gate drop, he came together with his championship rival on the straightaway and found himself in sixth. He set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 4 and worked his way to third before the halfway mark. A few laps later, the Frenchman attempted to pass Plessinger before the famed LaRocco’s Leap, but his teammate held him off by jumping the big triple step-up. He made the pass stick in the sand rollers with five laps to go and then set after the leader. With around two minutes to go, he took over the lead from his title rival and built a comfortable gap to secure his second moto win of the season.

In Moto 2, the pair battled again early in the race, with Ferrandis shuffled to fourth. Right before the halfway mark, his rival went down, and the Frenchman advanced to third. He kept charging and, once again, passed his teammate in the sand rollers as the clock wound down. He then cut the leader’s three-second gap in half and tried to close in to challenge him on the final lap, but there wasn’t enough time. Four rounds into his debut season, Ferrandis’ second-place finish secured his third overall victory in the 450 class and expanded his points lead to 14.

Plessinger got off to a flying start with the holeshot and led the first four laps of Moto 1. He held off the advances of his teammate and tried to reclaim the lead but ultimately was shuffled to third. With two minutes to go, another rider made his move for the final podium spot, but the Ohio Native took it back in the air at LaRocco’s Leap and went on to cross the line third. He then grabbed his second holeshot of the day in Moto 2 but was passed after the opening lap. Plessinger maintained the runner-up position for most of the race until his teammate moved through in the final laps. His second third-place finish of the day put him back on the podium with third overall and also strengthened his third-place position in the point standings.

Craig got a decent start in eighth. He quickly moved into seventh and steadily worked his way forward to fifth by Lap 10. The Californian crossed the line comfortably in the top five to earn his best moto result thus far. He continued to make progress on the 450 and got a better start in Moto 2 in fifth. Although he was passed on the second lap, he advanced to fifth after the rider went down before the halfway mark. Craig’s second top-five finish of the day earned fifth overall.

Next weekend, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team lines up for the Southwick National on July 10, Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in Southwick, Massachusetts.

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