Friday, February 23, 2024

Monster Energy Yamaha Reveals 2024 Lineup

by Chandler
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450:

Webb, Tomac and Cooper
Webb, Tomac and Cooper (Photo: Monster Energy Yamaha)

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing heads into the highly anticipated 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season ready for battle with three returning champions and the potent YZ450F. Two-time 450SX Champion and four-time Pro Motocross 450MX Champion Eli Tomac is joined by two-time 450SX Champion Cooper Webb and 2021 250SX West Champion Justin Cooper. The team is also excited to welcome Progressive Insurance to its industry-leading partners that support the team’s championship-winning pursuits in the SuperMotocross League.

A reinvigorated Tomac returns to action in 2024 for his third year with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing. Year one with the team was a dream season with premier class titles in both Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross, and also as the team captain of the victorious Team USA at Motocross of Nations. Last season, he surpassed his own win record at Daytona Supercross and advanced to the runner-up spot on the all-time premier-class win record with 51 450SX victories. He was poised to defend his 450SX title before unfortunately, incurring a season-ending injury while leading the main event at the penultimate round. Back healthy, Tomac is eager to line up behind the gate at Anaheim 1 and is looking to reclaim the crown and add more wins to his already impressive tally aboard the YZ450F -14 in Supercross and 14 in Pro Motocross.

As for Webb, 2024 is a sort of homecoming as the North Carolina rider begins his first full year in the SMX League with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing and the YZ450F. It was a welcome return to the team where he enjoyed a lot of success in the 250 class – back-to-back 250SX West Championships in 2015 and 2016, and the 2016 250MX Championship. He was able to kick off that reunion at the SMX World Championship Playoff 1 in front of the home crowd and returned to the podium with third overall at the SMX Finals. Webb looks to build on that momentum in 2024 and add more wins and titles to his resume in this new chapter with the team.

Cooper returns for his seventh season with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing squad and is excited to make his full-time 450 debut in all three series of the SMX League. The New Yorker got some seat time last year aboard the YZ450F in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, racing five rounds and finishing inside the top 10 with a best result of sixth on a very physically demanding Daytona Supercross track. He then switched gears back to the 250 team and rallied back from adversity to secure the runner-up spot in the championship. Cooper looks to come out swinging for his rookie season and battle up front.

“We’re really excited about the upcoming season and are looking to win races and bring the number-one plate back,” said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 Team Manager Jeremy Coker. “For what we were able to do last year with Eli and very little time on the new YZ450F, we feel we are in an even better position this year. It’s great to have Eli back healthy, and he’s looking great on the motorcycle. We’re also happy to have Coop (Cooper Webb) back with the team. We’ve had a productive off-season and can’t wait to get going and see the legacy he can build in this new chapter with the team. With Justin, we’re looking forward to having him on the 450 full time. He’s also been working hard this off-season, and we feel that we’re going to see some great things from him. We can’t wait to go racing at A1.”

“I’m feeling ready to go for the new season,” said Tomac. “My recovery has been really good, and I’ve been on track. I haven’t had any hiccups with it, and I feel like I’m in a good position to be competitive from Round 1 at Anaheim. We’re on the same motorcycle this year, and we feel really good about the package that we have. I’m just excited to get out there and go racing again, and hopefully be in that position to compete for the championship.”

“I’m super excited to line up again in 2024 with the new team,” said Webb. “Getting back on the Yamaha has been great so far, and we’ve had a great off-season. We’ve just been putting in the work here in Tallahassee and at the Farm. I had a good test last week with our suspension guy, so we made some progress there. I think we’re right on track with where we need to be. Obviously, it’s crunch time right now with the off-season boot camp and we’re putting in some work, that’s for sure, but I like where we are at. I’m feeling healthy, feeling strong, and feeling confident. So I can’t wait to line up for A1.”

“It’s the first 450 season for me, or at least the first full one,” said Cooper. “The main goal is to have a long, healthy season, but we also have to put in results. So for my rookie year, I’m going to come out swinging. I want to hit the podium multiple times in both series. I think that will be a good year for me, and yeah, just keep learning.”

250:

Haiden Deegan (Photo: Monster Energy Yamaha)
Haiden Deegan (Photo: Monster Energy Yamaha)

The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads into the 2024 season primed for a SuperMotocross League title fight with the all-new Yamaha YZ250F and a talented eight-rider line-up. Reigning 250SMX Champion Haiden Deegan, Jordon Smith, Nate Thrasher, Stilez Robertson, Nick Romano, and new addition Enzo Lopes are eager to launch their title runs as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season approaches. Leading the campaign for the team’s amateur program in Supercross Futures is Gavin Towers.

After a stellar rookie season, Deegan is eager to return to action and add more number-one plates to his resume in 2024. The Californian enjoyed a host of career milestones in 2023 that saw him as a title contender early on. He was runner-up in both 250SX East and Pro Motocross 250MX Championships and then finished the year in style by sealing the deal on the 250SMX Championship. Not resting on his laurels, Deegan has been hard at work during the off-season and aims to take top honors aboard the all-new YZ250F.

Smith returns for his second year with the team and also looks to build on his momentum from last season. The North Carolina rider found success early, returning to the podium in his debut race with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team in Houston. He made four more trips to the podium during the stadium season and was fourth in the 250SX East Championship. After being sidelined for most of the outdoor season, Smith earned his first moto win with the team in the 250SMX moto at the SMX Finals and ultimately finished the three-round series with a top-five finish in the points standings.

New to the team for 2023 is Lopes, who is excited to get his dream factory ride and looks to make a title run in Monster Energy AMA Supercross aboard the all-new YZ250F. He earned a career-best result in 2023, with three fourth-place finishes and a total of five top-five finishes to end the year fourth overall in the 250SX West Championship. With a massive following in Brazil cheering him on, Lopes looks to take it to the next level in 2024 and battle for top honors.

Thrasher returns for his fourth year with the team and is hungrier than ever. Despite a tough start to last season, the Tennessee rider rallied back and returned to the top step of the podium at the Arlington Supercross. He continued to fight up front and added four more podiums to his tally before he was sidelined for the rest of the year after a big crash at the Atlanta Supercross. Back to full fitness, Thrasher has his sights set on taking the crown.

Robertson also is eager to make a comeback after a roller coaster year in 2023. The Californian returned to the podium at Anaheim 2, but unfortunately, his season ended early with a broken leg at Glendale Supercross. Before being sidelined, Robertson was making a lot of progress during his debut season with the team and now looks to build on that for 2024 and battle up front.

Another one of the team’s top up-and-coming riders, Bennick returns to make his Monster Energy AMA Supercross debut and begin his first full year in the pro ranks. He turned a lot of heads last year, winning the first Supercross Futures race at Anaheim 2, and followed that up with another victory. The North Carolina rider enjoyed a stellar finish to his amateur career at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, dominating the Open Pro Class en route to the title and was awarded the coveted Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award. Bennick also had an impressive Pro Motocross debut at RedBud, where he topped the timesheets 250MX qualifying and earned a pair of top-10 moto finishes, and at Budds Creek, he earned a career-best moto result in fourth.

Romano is also fired up for his rookie season in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Unfortunately, that debut was delayed last season after a knee injury sidelined him for the entire year. Back to full fitness, the New Yorker is eager to get back on track and build on his strong debut season in Pro Motocross in 2022, where he too earned a career-best moto result of fourth at Unadilla.

Towers heads the team’s efforts in the amateur ranks for 2024, racing Supercross Futures and campaigning for amateur national titles. The young rider from Pittsburgh made his debut with the team in the Fall of 2023 at the Scouting Moto Combine in advance of the Pro Motocross season finale at Ironman Raceway. Towers enjoyed a successful first outing aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing YZ250F, dominating the competition with a win in both motos for the overall victory.

Anticipation is high for the start of the second year of the SMX League – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Pro Motocross, and the SMX Finals – and Yamaha has upped the ante with enhanced contingency support featuring over $5 million for Yamaha bLU cRU riders competing in all three series. The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season gets underway with Anaheim 1 on January 6 at the traditional Southern California venue for the series opener at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

“It’s almost time to get rolling again at A1, and we’re really excited for the 2024 SMX season,” said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager Jensen Hendler. “We’ve got a great lineup with a lot of fast guys and a lot of young talent. The whole team has been working hard here at The Farm, putting in the hours, and we can’t wait to go racing!”

“We’ve been working hard during the off-season and trying to focus on what we can do to better ourselves from 2023,” said Deegan. “We picked out a lot of things because I won a few races, but I wasn’t consistently winning every race or almost winning every race. So there were things to work on, and we studied those, figured them out, and have been working to apply them. I’m excited for the new season! It’s been a while since we’ve raced, and I want to get back to winning.”

“It’s been a really good off-season. We got on the new Yamaha YZ250F, tested a good bit the first two weeks, and found a setting that I really liked,” said Smith. “Honestly, I’ve never felt more comfortable on a bike. I’ve been riding really well and feeling good. So yeah, we’re just putting in the laps now, getting ready, and can’t wait to go racing.”

“It’s been good working with the team and getting ready for the season,” said Lopes. “It’s still a surreal feeling to be here. It’s been my dream to be on a factory team since I was growing up in Brazil. It’s been a smooth transition, though, and I’ve been loving hanging out with the whole team. The riders have been pretty cool to me, as well as the whole staff of the team, and the bike speaks for itself with how powerful it is. I’m just looking forward to getting to the next step of my career – getting podiums, wins, and hopefully fighting for a championship. I’m really excited about it.”

“I think it’s going to be a good year. I’m feeling good, feeling healthy, which is a good thing,” said Thrasher. “So whatever coast they decide, we’ll just be ready to go. We’ve got a lot of good things ahead of us, and we’re trying to go win the title this year.”

“The off-season’s going good,” said Bennick. “It’s my rookie season and first off-season, really, because last year, I was just preparing for the Futures. We’ve been putting in the work with the team, and I’m just ready to get rolling.”

“I’m just looking forward to a good year,” said Robertson. “We’ve already had one year down with the team and learned a lot. I’m just ready to come out swinging and put the bike where it belongs.”

“I’m definitely excited for 2024, especially after missing the entire 2023 season with my knee injury,” said Romano. “So I’m glad to be healthy now, back on the bike, and progressing for the new season. Supercross will be new for me, and for outdoors, I did a few races in 2022, so I kind of know what to expect there, but I’m really looking to learn, be at every race, and keep building.”

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Towers. “I had a couple of weeks of supercross so far, and I’m learning each day and making progress, so I’m pretty happy with that. Our first Futures race is at Anaheim 2, and I’m feeling pretty good and just excited to get going.”

This post was originally published on this site

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