51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha announced that they have signed rookie Justin Hoeft to compete at round nine of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross this weekend at the Washougal National aboard a Yamaha YZ450F. Hoeft will also race the famed Portland International Raceway (PIR) event tonight. The California-based team has mostly competed as a supercross-only team, while also attending select Lucas Oil Pro Motocross rounds on the West Coast.
Hoeft was signed midway through the 250SX West Region by the Ryan Hughes managed IB Corp Racing Yamaha team and made four main events with a season-best 10th coming in Seattle. In his first ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross race earlier this year at Glen Helen, Hoeft was impressive, going 11-14 for 14th overall in the 450 Class. When we spoke to him earlier this year, he expressed interest in competing in more rounds if he could pick up a deal.
“As of right now, I don’t think so,” he said about competing the following weekend at Thunder Valley. “I want to, but it’s super hard going from factory equipment and dropping down to a privateer and continuing to try to race. The money’s not there, the bike support isn’t there, just stuff like that. Hopefully something comes up, but as of now I don’t have anything.”
In a team statement, 51Fifty Energy Drink said that Hoeft will compete in “other select events throughout the summer.”
"We're excited to have Justin on board with us," said team manager Craig Monty. "He showed flashes of brilliance during the supercross season as well as a 14th overall at Glen Helen and podiums at the Mammoth Motocross race. Justin's been a great addition to our program during the off-season testing our bikes and giving valuable feedback. We're excited to have him aboard our bike at Washougal as well as other select events this summer."