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Deegan Holds on to Top-10 Finish at Muddy East Rutherford Supercross

Deegan Holds on to Top-10 Finish at Muddy East Rutherford Supercross

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan persevered in a crazy main event at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to finish sixth at the first East-West Showdown race of the season at Round 15 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Rain soaked the track prior to the main event, and lightning caused a delay, ultimately resulting in a shortened 12-minute race. Levi Kitchen had a hard time finding a flow in the rain and finished 12th, while Jordon Smith made an off-track excursion that cost him time and eventually collected 18th. The Supercross Futures 250SX class enjoyed a dry race, and Daxton Bennick nearly took the win, finishing second to keep his podium streak rolling.

The day started dry and promising for the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team. Qualifying was divided into each coast, with Deegan earning seventh among his 250SX East Championship rivals. He made improvements in the east heat and finished third. As the 250SX main event lined up, the riders were pulled back because of threatening lightning. After over an hour of waiting, the riders lined up on a very different track. Deegan knew this first muddy race was going to be a learning experience, and it certainly was for the rookie. He got off the line and rounded the first lap in 11th. The Californian made quick work of the riders in front of him in the opening laps and found his way to seventh by Lap 4. He had a tip over but was far enough ahead to keep his position, eventually inheriting sixth on the final lap to complete his first mud race. Deegan’s solid riding helped him maintain second in the 250SX East Championship standings.
250SX West Championship rider Kitchen had a tough day trying to get comfortable with the track. He qualified seventh in his region and earned sixth in his corresponding heat race. As the rain fell, Kitchen was looking forward to the change in conditions with his Pacific Northwest background. When the gate dropped, Kitchen started last in 22nd, but he put his head down, determined to make up time. He picked off riders and eventually made it up to 12th at the end of the 12-minute plus one-lap main event. The Washington State rider is currently fourth in the 250SX West Championship.
Following a great ride at the last round in Atlanta, 250SX East Championship rider Smith was eager to put his Yamaha YZ250F back on the podium. He started the day with the second-fastest time in his respective qualifying and raced to fourth in the heat race. The North Carolinian wasn’t as excited as his teammate Kitchen was to see the conditions change after having such a great day up to that point. When the gate dropped for the rain-soaked main event, Smith started 17th. He was making up positions and finding a good pace but, unfortunately, went off the track. The slick outer part of the race floor made it very difficult for Smith to rejoin the race, and he would eventually cross the finish line in 18th.
The fourth round of the Supercross Futures class took place at the MetLife Stadium. With two wins to his credit, Bennick was eager to get back to the top in New Jersey. He had a tough time getting acquainted with the track during qualifying and posted the fourth-fastest time. Once the gate dropped for the main, thankfully in dry conditions, Bennick proved his speed was there. The rider out of North Carolina started third and had some time to make up when several riders went down in front of him. He was posting the fastest lap times consistently through the main event, which led to him catching the leader and only missing out on the win by just 0.3 seconds at the checkered flag.
Next weekend the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 East team is back to work for Round 9 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship and the 15th round of the SuperMotocross World Championship at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 29.

Haiden Deegan

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“That was a sick race! I made a mistake and ended up sixth, but I’m happy overall. It was my first supercross mud race and first East-West Shootout, and I was able to set the fastest lap. We’re making progress, and I’m looking forward to racing next weekend.”

Levi Kitchen

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“I felt off all day in New Jersey. I was really looking forward to the muddy conditions, but I guess I forgot how to ride in them. In the end, I was riding cautious and ended up 12th. We’ll go back to work and look to finish the season out strong.”

Jordon Smith

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a disappointing day overall because it started off well. I was fastest in the first qualifying and then had a couple of crashes in the second one, but I was still second. I had a good heat race, so I was so bummed when they pulled us off the gate. When we came out from the tunnel, the track was underwater. I got splashed with a bunch of water off the start and fell back a little bit. I was kind of making some passes and then went off the track. It was like ice. It was so slick, and it took me some time to get back on the track. It wasn’t the night we wanted by any means, but it is what it is. We’ll go to the next race and come back stronger.”

Jensen Hendler

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager

“It was a crazy night in New Jersey. The shootout was a great learning experience, with the challenges in the main event with the rain. The guys had an awesome qualifying and had great heat races before the rain hit. After the delay, we were able to run the race, but the rain destroyed the track. Haiden got off to a great start and was fighting for third when he fell down. He got back up and was able to finish sixth. Jordon was mid-pack off the start, and a couple of small mistakes caused him to finish 18th. Levi started way back, but his continuous charge toward the front got him a 12th-place finish."