MARIETTA, Georgia – Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, is pleased to announce a three-year partnership with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team to field their campaign in both the 450 and 250 classes of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 team will be spearheaded by Aaron Plessinger and newly-crowned 2020 250SX and 250MX champion Dylan Ferrandis, while the 250 team has signed two-time 250 MX Champion Jeremy Martin and Christian Craig to join returning riders Colt Nichols, Justin Cooper and Jarrett Frye.
A long-time partner in the 250 support class and amateur ranks, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team has had a history of success with 11 titles in the professional championships and multiple Amateur National titles. The team will now add the 450 premier class to its tent to provide a consistent program for riders advancing through the SX/MX racing ranks. Together, Star and Yamaha will continue to work towards the goal of winning championships. Along with key sponsorship from Monster Energy, the team will receive full support from Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA.
Plessinger returns with Yamaha for his third season in the 450 class. Two of the titles added to Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s tally were earned by Plessinger in 2018 – the 250SX West and 250MX Championship. The Ohio native has shown promise in his first two years in the premier class, but unfortunately has had injuries that have sidelined him for a good part of both championships in 2019 and the 2020 Pro Motocross season. As Plessinger returns to the team, he looks to build on his progress and come out swinging in 2021.
Making his 450-debut next year, Ferrandis looks to keep his momentum rolling with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team as he transitions to the premier class. After a great 2019 season with the 250SX West Championship and runner-up finish in the Pro Motocross 250 class, the Frenchman was on fire in 2020. He won both the 250SX West and 250MX Championship, scoring three supercross wins as well as eight moto wins and three overall victories in motocross. Jeremy Coker will be the team manager for the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 squad.
Fresh off a stellar 2020 season, Martin returns to Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s 250 team to fight for the crown. Earning back-to-back titles in the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship in 2014 and 2015, Martin is eager to seal the deal in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and continue to add to an already accomplished 250 class career.
Craig also joins Star Racing’s powerhouse 250 line-up in 2021. The Californian has challenged for top honors on multiple occasions and was in the fight for the 250SX West Championship before being sidelined with an injury early in the season. Craig looks to fight for top honors in 2021 with the Monster Energy Star Racing squad.
Nichols returns for his fifth season with the team. The Oklahoman hit the ground running in 2019 with his first 250SX win at Anaheim I and went on to score multiple podiums to finish third in the championship. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him out of most of this year, but now that he is close to full fitness, Nichols aims for the crown in 2021.
Cooper also returns with the team for 2021. Since his first full season with the team in 2019, the New Yorker has impressed. He finished second overall in the 250SX East Championship with six podiums and went on to take his first overall win in Florida, ending the year third in the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship. Cooper carried that momentum over to 2020, scoring his first Supercross win at Anaheim I and finishing second in the 250SX West Championship. After coming back from a preseason injury, Cooper made a late season charge in the Pro Motocross Championship returning to the top of the podium at Thunder Valley to finish fifth in the standings.
Stepping up to the professional ranks at Round 6 of the Pro Motocross Championship was one of Star’s top amateur riders, Frye. The 19-year-old impressed with solid results, including a best result of sixth overall at the final race of the season.
Lead by team manager Wil Hahn, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 team has more top up-and-coming riders lying in wait: Nate Thrasher, Matt LeBlanc and Nick Romano. Thrasher, who recently joined the team had a good showing at the final two rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. Both LeBlanc and Romano have multiple Amateur Nationals and show a lot of promise for the future. All three riders full-time professional debut is yet to be determined.