Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith fought his way back to a fourth-place finish in a drama-filled 250SX West Main Event that saw him fall twice!
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith overcame adversity to salvage points with a fourth-place finish at Round 5 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Unfortunately, teammate Nate Thrasher had a big get-off while leading the heat race and did not line up for the main event.
Jordon Smith was on track for another top night, earning fastest qualifying honors and winning his heat race. He got a great start in the main event and was battling for the top spot with his title rival. The duo exchanged the lead, with Jordon Smith claiming it on Lap 3, and then started to build a gap up front. Unfortunately, a few laps later, he tucked the front in the slick track conditions but quickly rejoined in third. He put his head down and had his title rival in his sights before an incident on track with the competition had him once again on the ground. At the halfway mark, Smith rejoined in eighth and threw down some fast laps to make his way back to fourth, scoring valuable points on a tough night. The North Carolina rider heads into the five-week break second in the championship and trailing by four points.
Although Thrasher struggled a bit during the day in the hard-packed conditions and qualified eighth, he came out swinging in the heat race and grabbed the holeshot with his teammate in tow. Unfortunately, a couple of laps into the race, the Tennessee rider had a big crash in the rhythm section, ultimately drawing out the red flag. Thrasher did not line up for the main event and was evaluated on-site by the Alpinestars Mobile Medical Unit. He sought further evaluation at a local hospital and has a concussion and will undergo the concussion protocol.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s 250SX East team returns to action in two weeks’ time as racing resumes for the series at AT&T Stadium on February 24 in Arlington, Texas, for Round 2 of the 250SX Championship, and Round 7 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the SuperMotocross World Series. The 250SX West team goes on break and returns at Lumen Field for Round 6 of the 250SX West Championship in Seattle, Washington, on March 23.
Jensen Hendler – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager
“Phoenix actually went pretty well. Nate had a rough one in the heat race. He kind of got weird in a rhythm. We’re not exactly sure what happened. So that was a bummer, but we’re happy that he wasn’t hurt worse.
“Jordon qualified first, won the heat, and was the fastest guy in the main; it just didn’t pan out. He tucked the front early and was fighting his way back up, and another rider checked up on a yellow flag when he wasn’t expecting it to happen and ended up crashing again. He fought his way back up to fourth, and we salvaged some points, which is good. We’re only four points back, and there’s still lots of racing to do. We’ll take these five weekends off for the West Coast and just continue to work. We’re in this championship, and we will fight to the end.”
Jordon Smith – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #31
“It was a great start to the day. I qualified first and won my heat race. I got a good start in the main, made the pass on Levi (Kitchen), and then made a mistake and went off track. He got me back, and I passed him back again. Then I tucked the front in the sweeper after the sand; it was super hard-packed and slick. I got back up and was coming behind Levi after that triple. There was a rider down in the rhythm section, and the yellow lights were flashing, but there was nothing red – no red lights, no red flag, no red cross. It looked like he was committed to jumping it, and at the last second, he backed off and then he also rolled the tabletop. I was already committed to three-on, and there was really nothing that I could do. It was just a bummer deal. I felt like I had that race won. I felt like I was the fastest guy on track tonight, but I’ve got to clean up my mistakes. We’ve got a lot of time now to get ready.”