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Thrasher Bounces Back with Runner-Up Finish at Round 2

Thrasher Bounces Back with Runner-Up Finish at Round 2

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher came back swinging for Round 2 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship and finished second last night at the Raymond James Stadium. Rookie Haiden Deegan continued to impress, scoring a second-consecutive fourth-place finish to leave Tampa, Florida, third in the point standings. Unfortunately, Jordon Smith was unable to finish the main event after a technical issue on the last lap, ultimately scoring 15th.

Thrasher had a solid start to the day, qualifying fourth. Then the rain arrived after qualifying, making for tricky conditions for the race. The Tennessee rider showed strength straight away, leading the first 250 heat race from start to finish. He got another good start aboard his YZ250F in the main event and quickly claimed the lead. As the rain began to fall once again, Thrasher continued to put in strong laps. Unfortunately, the series points leader was able to close the gap in the final moments of the race and passed him in the final corner. Although a runner-up finish was not the result he was looking for, it was a good rebound from last weekend’s 15th-place result and advanced him to seventh in the point standings.
The young Deegan continued to impress. He had a solid qualifying result in ninth and then came out swinging in his heat race and grabbed the holeshot. The 17-year-old showed a lot of poise in the worsening conditions and went on to win his first heat race. Deegan got another good start in the main event and was third before being shuffled back to fourth on Lap 3. Although he was under pressure from his fellow Yamaha rider Jeremy Martin, the rookie rode smart and went on to score another fourth-place finish to advance to third in the points standings. 
Smith led the way for the team in qualifying, taking the runner-up spot on the combined time sheets. He had a tip-over early on in his heat race but fought his way back to finish second, giving the team a stellar 1-2 finish. The North Carolina rider got a good start in the main event but unfortunately went down in the sand and rejoined back in 17th. Undeterred, Smith once again put his head down and made an impressive charge through the pack but, unfortunately, was unable to finish the race after a technical issue on the last lap and was credited with 15th. 
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads back west to Oakland, California, for Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship and the sixth round of the SuperMotocross World Championship at the RingCentral Coliseum on February 18.

2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX Tampa Results 

2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship Standings

Nate Thrasher

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a good night. I won my heat race, then came into the main event and didn’t quite get the holeshot, but I made some passes early and got into the lead. I was just putting in solid laps after solid laps, but I wish the end was a lap earlier. It was a tough pill to swallow, to lead the race until the last corner, but it’s just going to keep me hungry for more. We’ll come back to the next round in Arlington and get on the top step.”

Haiden Deegan

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a super awesome day. I didn’t feel that great in qualifying, but the track changes a lot, so it’s a lot different in the night show. I ended up getting the holeshot and winning my heat race, and I was like, ‘this is awesome!’ It feels so good to win again. Then in the main event, I got a good start and came out second. I was able to run in fourth and was smooth and consistent. I had J-Mart (Jeremy Martin) pressuring me until there were a couple of laps to go. Then I was able to open the gap up a little bit and finish fourth for the second week in a row.”

Jordon Smith

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a good day up until the main event. I qualified second today and felt really good. We made improvements all day, but unfortunately, things didn’t go our way in that main event. So, we’ll go back, regroup, and come back swinging for the Triple Crown in Arlington.”

Jensen Hendler

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager

“It was another good day overall. The guys qualified pretty well and had great heat race results. Nate went out and won the heat race, literally from start to finish. It was awesome. Then he led the main all the way down to the last corner. Hunter (Lawrence) ended up passing him for the win, but it was a great finish for Nate. It was a great rebound from last weekend, and it’s awesome to see, especially in those adverse conditions with the rain and the sand.
“Jordon qualified second and then came back to second in that first heat race to finish behind Nate. He got a good start in the main but made a mistake in the sand early in the race and got buried in 17th, but he kept fighting and made his way back. Unfortunately, there was a technical issue on the last lap, and he wasn’t able to finish and ended up scoring 15th. It’s not what we wanted for Jordon, but we’ll keep fighting and get back up front. 
“Haiden had a great night. He won his heat race and trucked along, finishing fourth in the main. So, that’s two-fourths in a row for Haiden. He’s sitting third in the points, which is exceptional for a rookie. We’re super happy with his progress and will keep learning. We are excited about his future. 
“We’ll go to Oakland next weekend with the West Coast guys. They’ve been working hard. With Levi coming off of a win, I think we might see some fire out of him. Then the East Coast guys will be back for Arlington. We’ll keep working with all of our guys and just keep fighting for wins in both championships.”