The Monster Energy Factory Yamaha team started the 2019 season on the right note, with Justin Barcia taking the victory at the Anaheim 1 450SX opener, but the squad has recently fallen on hard times due to injuries to both Barcia and teammate Aaron Plessinger. Barcia missed the last two races with a concussion, and Plessinger broke his right heel in a crash at Daytona on Saturday night. The team did get some good news, though, as Barcia has been cleared to return to action this Saturday night in Indianapolis.
“It’s nice to be back on the bike," said Barcia in today's team statement. "I haven’t been able to ride too much, but I feel like I’ll be competitive no matter what. It’s definitely a bummer that my teammate won’t be around. I’m ready to get back to the races and hold the fort down while AP’s healing up. It’s definitely good to be back. I’m looking forward to seeing all the guys on the team and getting back to the podium. That’s where we want to be. My expectations for the weekend obviously are just to have fun. I’m not really putting any pressure on myself. I just want to go out there and race.”
“The last couple of weeks have been tough for the team and athletes," added team manager Jim Perry. "We are looking forward to Justin’s number 51 YZ450F returning to action this weekend at round 11 of the Monster Energy Supercross in Indy while wishing Aaron a speedy recovery.”
Barcia, who also bruised his tailbone in a big crash at round three, was ranked sixth in 450SX points before missing the last two rounds.
As for Plessinger, Yamaha's statement explains that Dr. Wang performed surgery on Plessinger’s heel yesterday at the Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles. At this early stage, Plessinger and the team await more information on his recovery and return date.