Kitchen qualified eighth in his first race back since Arlington Supercross. Although he didn’t get the start he was hoping for in the first moto, he kept pushing and made his way from ninth to fifth to earn his best moto finish. In the second moto, the Washington rider found himself near the back of the field after the second turn. Undeterred, Kitchen climbed his way into the top 10, crossing the line eighth for eighth overall, equaling his best result from last year’s debut season.
Cooper got off to a good start in his first race of the year, qualifying sixth. The 2021 250SX West Champion grabbed the holeshot, but as the race wore on, he was shuffled to 11th. In the second moto, he was unable to repeat his flying start and found himself 19th after the first lap. Cooper kept fighting and was able to make his way to 13th to finish 12th overall.
It was also a challenging day for Thrasher in the tricky conditions. He qualified just outside of the top 10 and was 13th after the start, but unfortunately crashed early in the first moto. The Tennessee rider put on an impressive charge from 32nd to 17th and then had a better start in the second moto to finish 12th and end the day 13th overall.
Romano enjoyed a good first outing as he made his pro debut in Pala, California. The rookie continued to make improvements throughout the day, qualifying 18th and finishing 16th in the first moto. He then got a flying start in Moto 2 to give the team its second holeshot of the day in the 250 class. Romano kept cool under pressure and led the first lap but ultimately was 14th at the end of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto to finish 15th overall.
The team’s youngest rider, LeBlanc, also made his debut at Fox Raceway. He got a great start from the 19th gate pick and was battling up front, but unfortunately went down in the second corner, putting him at the back of the pack. The 16-year-old worked his way forward to 20th, giving him a less than ideal gate pick for the second moto, but he managed a 17th-place finish to score 20th overall.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads north next weekend for Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Rancho Cordova, California, on Saturday, June 4.