Dylan Ferrandis confirmed for Yamaha 450 team next year | News
Yamaha Motor USA has announced its 250 and 450 teams for next year's AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross Championships.
The Star Yamaha Racing 450 team will be spearheaded by Aaron Plessinger and newly-crowned 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.
Plessinger returns with Yamaha for his third season in the 450 class. Two of the titles added to 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.
“I’m really excited for next season with Star Yamaha Racing,” said Plessinger. “I really had a good run with the team in 2018 with the 250 Supercross and Motocross title,” said Plessinger. “I love the team over there. I love the people on the team. I think we work really well together. The last two years haven’t been too good for me with some injuries and bad luck. I’m looking forward to getting back to my winning ways and having a good time doing it. Going into 2021, I couldn’t be more confident. With this team going in behind me I think we can do extraordinary things next year.”
Making his 450-debut next year, Dylan Ferrandis looks to keep his momentum rolling with the 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 Star Yamaha Racing 450 squad.
“It’s been a dream of mine to fight for a championship in the 450 class in the U.S. I’m so happy to be able to do that with the Star Yamaha team,” said Dylan Ferrandis.
“I feel at home there. I’m still feeling in paradise with two championships this year, but we will get back to work to fight next season.”
Ferrandis will take Justin Barcia’s ride on the Factory Yamaha 450 squad. Motocross Action Magazine in The States has confirmed Barcia will be on GasGas next year, but there is still nothing official.
Fresh off a stellar 2020 season, former GEICO Honda rider Jeremy Martin, following the closure of Factory Connection GEICO Honda team, returns to 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 AMA Supercross Championship and continue to add to an already accomplished 250 class career.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity this late in the year to get back on the Yamaha for next year moving forward into 2021 with the Star Yamaha Racing team,” said Martin. “I’ve won two championships with them in the past so I’m excited to pick up where I left off and end my 250 career with a bang!”
Christian Craig steps down from a 450 ride with Honda HRC to join 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.
“Moving to the Star Yamaha Racing Team is quite a big deal for me. Bobby (Reagan) has talked to me every year the past few years to get me over here but the timing didn’t feel right. Finally this year, I knew I needed to get out of my comfort zone if I wanted to take my career to the next level,” said Craig. “Their whole program has a lot of structure, which is something that has always benefited me and helped my confidence. I’m extremely grateful to start the next chapter in my career with these guys and look forward to putting in the results I know I’m capable of.”
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.