Smith’s debut race with the team got off to a good start. He qualified third behind his teammate Thrasher and then took his first win aboard the YZ250F in his heat race. Although he was unable to repeat his great starts earlier in the day, the North Carolina rider kept pushing. He was battling for the runner-up spot and around the halfway point, he went down in the tricky sand section. Smith quickly rejoined ahead of Deegan and then, once again, worked his way forward to third for his first podium since 2019.
Making his pro debut at the opening round, Deegan showed speed straight away. He topped the Group B practice and qualifying sessions and was seventh overall in the combined times. The rookie backed that up with a solid heat race result in fourth. Although he didn’t get the start he was looking for either, the 17-year-old rode a smart race and made his way from ninth to fourth by the end of the 15-minute-plus-one-lap race.
Thrasher also got the day off to a good start, leading the way for the team in qualifying with second on the timesheets. He had a good heat race, taking a runner-up finish to give him a decent gate pick for the main event. Like his teammates, he didn’t get off the gate as he hoped and was outside the top 10 in 11th. Thrasher put his head down and was up to sixth before an error in the sand section had him going down. He rejoined in 13th and made another forward charge to eighth, but unfortunately went down again in the sand section and ultimately crossed the line 15th.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads to Tampa, Florida, next weekend for Round 2 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship and the fifth round of the SuperMotocross World Championship at the Raymond James Stadium on February 11.
2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX Houston
2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship Standings