SAN DIEGO – Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger earned a hard-fought and emotional victory Saturday night during round three of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship season inside a muddy Snapdragon Stadium.
The win gave Plessinger the coveted red plate as the new point leader in the headlining 450SX Class.
Two-time champion Cooper Webb, riding for Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing, battled forward on a deeply-rutted track to take runner-up honors and grab his first podium finish of the season.
Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia rounded out the top three under clear skies, but on a rain-soaked track during the 50th Anniversary Race commemorating Supercross racing’s 50th year of competition.
“It feels really, really good,” said Plessinger of breaking through for the victory. “I guess it feels like it should. I got off to a good start and just rode a good race. Kenny [Roczen] was in front, and then I just applied a little pressure and he ended up going down. Cooper was right there behind me, keeping me on my toes, and so was Eli [Tomac, who was a lap down].
“Just a really good race. I got a good lead and rode my own race and stayed up,” Plessinger added. “It seemed like we were lapping a lot of people, so this feels good and I’m ready to do it again next weekend.”
Webb left San Diego content with his second-place result.
“I think I’ve had a great season so far; it just hasn’t looked that way on paper,” noted Webb. “Anaheim 1 was great, but last weekend [in San Francisco] was not, so like we say … we’re hoping that’s the battle and that I can charge on from here.
“Tonight was great to get those points back and get our team back in the mix. I felt great on the track,” Webb continued. “I felt great all day, really. I was really wanting that win, but this was overall a really good bounce back race for me to know that I’m in this [championship hunt] for sure.”
In the Western Regional 250SX Class main event, Nate Thrasher took his fifth career victory and his first podium finish of the year in a clean sweep of the top three by Yamaha.
After battling his way into the lead, Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha rider Garrett Marchbanks settled for second, but lurked closely behind Thrasher all the way to the checkered flag.
Completing the podium was Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith, who extended his championship point lead and retained the red plate in class for another week.
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