Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan charged back to a podium finish, ending the day third overall (3-3) at the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff 2 in Joliet, Illinois. Jordan Smith finished sixth overall (10-8) in the challenging conditions at the Chicagoland Speedway. Joining them in the top 10 was Levi Kitchen in eighth overall (6-12). After a crash at the start of the first moto, Justin Cooper rebounded in Moto 2 to end the day 12th overall (17-6).
It was another unique track layout at the second round of the inaugural SMX World Championship, which was made more challenging with rain that arrived during the second qualifying session. After qualifying 13th, Deegan got off to a flying start in the first moto and grabbed the holeshot. He led the race for seven laps and was riding strong in the runner-up spot but ultimately crossed the line third. In Moto 2, the Californian got another good start in the top five. He battled for position and then put the hammer down and made his way up to third after the halfway point, where he would finish to end the day third overall. Deegan heads to the SMX World Championship Finals next weekend, trailing the points leader by seven points and sitting third in the 250SMX standings with triple the points awarded at the title-deciding round.
Jensen Hendler – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager
“It was definitely tough out there, but our guys kept working in these changing conditions. Come race time though, our guys got some great starts, with Haiden getting the holeshot in Moto 1 and Justin coming back to grab the holeshot in Moto 2. Haiden had two solid motos, a 3-3 for third overall, and is in a good position for the championship going into the final round.
Haiden Deegan – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“Today we just lacked speed a little bit, which happens. We’re still learning this year but next year, that’s not acceptable. We were able to get a third today, which isn’t the ideal situation, but there are definitely a lot of highs and lows people don’t see outside of the races, and we made work of what we were dealt with today. Now its every man for himself at the last round. We are one of three guys that can win it, so it’s going to be exciting.”