You are about to leave this website. Are you sure?

I agree, take me there

Smith Fights Back to Podium Finish at Opening Round

Smith Fights Back to Podium Finish at Opening Round

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith fought his way back to a third-place finish at last night’s opening round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship in Houston, Texas. It was a great outing for the team as a whole, which also saw rookie Haiden Deegan ride to an impressive fourth-place finish at the NRG Stadium. Nate Thrasher also showed strength early on, but unfortunately, a couple of tip-overs in the sand section had him finishing 15th.

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

Jordan Smith

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a good day. I felt really comfortable today on the dirt bike, and on the track. It’s really the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in a supercross, so I’m really excited and stoked about that. I got some killer starts – the practice start and in the heat race – and then kind of botched it in the main event. Hunter (Lawrence) is really good. It’s going to take a good start to be able to get up there and battle with him, and obviously, you can’t have a little fall in the sand. So, we’re going to go back, keep working, and come back to Tampa ready to go.”

Haiden Deegan

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a good day. We started off with some solid times and we were first in Group B practice and qualifying. Then for the heat race, I was fourth, so I was happy with that. I got into a good pace and was able to lay down some good laps, and see the track well. Then in the main event, I was pretty nervous on the line, but I got a decent start and then just fought and never gave up. I kept pushing through the pack. I had a lot of people to prove wrong and I ended up fourth in my first pro supercross race. It was a crazy night! I am so happy with how it went.”

Nate Thrasher

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“The day started out well. I was feeling pretty good on the bike all day, but unfortunately had a bad start in the main, and then went down a couple of times in the sand. I’m pretty disappointed, but we’re going to put it behind us and keep putting in the work and get back on the podium where we know we belong.”

Jensen Hendler

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager

“Overall, it was a really good day and a really good start to the 250 East Championship. Jordon had a solid night. He won his heat race and fought his way back in the main. He was actually about to pass for second and made a mistake in the sand and dropped a couple of spots, but he came back to third. To leave here on the podium is awesome. He hasn’t been on the podium since 2019, so it was really good for Jordon. We’ll just continue to grow with him. He can be at the top step of the podium, and he knows that, so we’ll continue to fight for that. 
“Haiden rode super smart and just let the race come to him. He ended up fourth, which was amazing. I think he proved a lot of people wrong tonight, which is awesome. We’re very pleased with his progress. I think he’s learning more and more every time he rides. For him, this season is part of the learning process, and he showed that tonight.  
“Nate had a good qualifying and was riding well, but unfortunately made a mistake in the sand section and found himself off the track. He got back on the track, was actually moving forward, and then ended up having another mistake in the sand which put him pretty far back and he ended up 15th. He’s not happy with the result, but we know as a team that he’s capable of way more than that. So, we’ll just continue to work with him and keep fighting. We’re excited about the East Coast season.
“It was also great to see Justin (Cooper) have his first-ever race on a 450. He hasn’t raced supercross in well over a year. So, it was really good to get him out there and get his feet wet in the 450 class. There are so many things to learn in that 450 class and he’s still just a rookie, but he went into the main and just rode smart and kept picking dudes off. He was strong at the end and was catching people, and ended up seventh, which was amazing. We’ll continue to grow with Justin and keep fighting, and hopefully get him on the podium before we switch gears to the 250MX Championship.”