By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo
“This was the plan all along,” says MyPlash/Star Racing Yamaha owner Bobby Reagan. “Yamaha has been very patient with us, and now it’s starting to pay off.”
The pay off is multiple motos with all three Star riders—Cooper Webb, Kyle Cunningham, and Jeremy Martin—in the top ten. Webb, two races into his pro career, already has a podium in a moto. He and Martin are rookies, so chances are things will only get better.
“Last week was good,” said Martin, who holeshot the second moto and finished sixth. While experienced contenders like Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen and Zach Osborne quickly went by him, Martin was happy to have learned from them and put in a solid finish. “I know those guys are fast, they’re on another level right now. It’s almost like there are two groups right now, an A group and a B group. But I’m learning. It’s definitely good to get a good start like that and see what it’s like.”
Martin prides himself on his conditioning, but he missed some time in supercross with an injury, and says that even just three weeks off the bike leading into this Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has hurt his fitness a bit. He expects to only get stronger as the season goes on. Says his mechanic, Scotty Adkins, “We just want him to be consistent. If he gets fifth at the end of the season in points, that’s like a championship for us.”
As for Webb, Reagan says, “He’s a racer. His practice times won’t be that good, but then when it’s time to race, he goes to another level. I remember Travis Pastrana was that way. He would be terrible in practice, but he would step up when it counts.”
Because of that, the team didn’t know exactly what to expect out of Webb once the races began. Testing time in California was good, but didn’t indicate he’d be this strong once the races began. And Webb’s podium last week has set a standard for the rest of the team now. “Oh yeah, Cooper has even taken Kyle [Cunningham] to another level,” says Reagan.
The veteran of the team, who Star has stuck behind, Kyle Cunningham feels like he is just a start away from contending for a podium. He told us yesterday that his fitness is there -- he came from 30th to the top 10 in both motos at Hangtown and in the first moto at Thunder Valley before crashing hard and injuring his wrist -- he just needs to be able to start with the top guys so that he can use his fitness down the stretch rather than early in the race. Although he had limited movement in his wrist last week, he told us he should be near 100 percent this weekend.
With a quickly growing rookie duo, and a solid veteran, the Star rebuilding process is underway.