Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger speaking shortly after the 2020 Daytona Supercross. “The night was great,” enthused Plessinger, who placed an encouraging sixth on the night. “Daytona definitely holds up to its name of being the toughest supercross race. We’re making strides toward the front. I finished up eighth two weeks ago, seventh last weekend, and now sixth. I’m just plugging away. The bike’s coming together really nice. I think before we know it, we’ll be up on the podium.”
The Ohio native was just hitting critical mass when the coronavirus put an immediate red flag out on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, sending everyone back home and into, well, darkness. Ever friendly and just enthused to be racing big time motocross and supercross as a professional, Plessinger has his own way of doing things and current reality of all our surroundings is to hit “reset” (as AP calls it) and begin looking to brighter days and better times. Bored and climbing the walls like the rest of us, Aaron gave us a fly-by on his current lot in life.
Racer X: Hey dude, you doing good?
Aaron Plessinger: I’m doing good, man. How you doing?
Not too bad for working out of a garage. Are you in California? Ohio?
I’m in Florida actually.
How’s that going?
It’s going good, man. Just trying to keep busy while the break is at a standstill. I’m just trying to keep riding and just stay active.
Word came down last night that Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are now officially cancelled. Rough, huh?
They announced that? Wow, I had not seen yet. I figured they would, man. It’s getting a little out of hand, this whole sickness thing. At least we’ve got outdoors to look forward to. I mean that doesn’t start for another three months. We’ve got some time, I guess.
That could really time out well for you, huh?
Oh yeah, I love the outdoors. This has been my second week now [training] on outdoors and I’m having a lot of fun. I’m having a lot of fun just getting back to flowing and cruising around.
Have you seen or spoke with teammates, fellow riders and industry people?
You know, I went to [Ricky] Carmichael’s [GOAT] Farm the other day and there were quite a few people out there. They were all planning to pack up and kind of head back home for the time being and until further notice on the whole sickness thing. Yeah, I rode with Justin [Barcia] and everything seems to be good, we’ve just been trying to keep distance between the public and ourselves. It’s all definitely bizarre. I mean I’ve never had anything happen like this before. I’ve never seen a supercross get cancelled and it’s pretty wild to see. This is the first time where there has been something that I’ve had to cope with in the middle of my season. I’m just having fun and hanging out with the family as much as I can before the outdoor series starts.
Your 2020 season started off a little sluggish with a 12, 10, and a 15 at Anaheim 1, St. Louis, and Anaheim 2, respectively. However, things took a turn for the better as the season wore on, your seventh at Atlanta and sixth at Daytona really displayed how competitive you are. What do you think?
Yeah, it was going good. I got off to a slow start and wasn’t really where I wanted to be and I just kept my head in a level spot and I just kept working with the team and I was working with my trainer and just trying to get the wheels rolling and we finally did and it was starting to get better with the eighth, seventh, and then a sixth, but there was also what could have been or should have been at Indy.
It is, or was, a very stacked field in the 450 classification up to now. Even though Daytona spelled the suspension of the series, you knew you were getting there, huh?
Yeah, yeah, I’ve got my confidence back. Me and the bike were gelling good and the team was gelling good. I felt good fitness-wise. Yeah, it was only a matter of time until I got up there. I just had to keep pushing and now I know I’m good and I think that helps me with starting outdoors because I already feel really fast outdoors and I feel good with my speed already in these first two weeks and it can only go uphill from here, I guess. I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m definitely looking forward to getting on those outdoor tracks and getting back to the roots. Yeah, I can definitely see myself winning some races and podiums and being upfront, you know? I’m going to do it. Whenever the time comes, I’m going to be there and it’s just whenever they make the call for the outdoors to start. I’ll be ready.
Riding and training notwithstanding, what have you been doing to keep yourself occupied during this full-on lockdown?
Yeah, man. I mean I’ve kind of been watching TV and kind of chilling at the house and hanging out with the family. This last weekend I redid my garage. I just got my championship bike from 2018 and I put that thing up n my garage. I’ve got weights around since I can’t go to the gym and I’ve got little guy’s toys all situated out here. Yeah, just been trying to catch up on some stuff that I haven’t been able to since I’ve been home in Florida.
You sound good and sound like you have a good attitude about all this. You’re just rolling with it, huh?
Yeah, there is nothing that we can do that will change this. It’s staying home and just sticking with your family and I’m kind of excited to get this break over with. Obviously, it’s not how I wanted to get a break. I’ve kind of been treating it like little bit of a reset. Supercross was just past halfway and now I’m resetting my body and getting ready for a whole other series. I’m pumped that we have a little bit of time before outdoors so we can actually test and do out motos and get ready and I’m pretty excited for that. Too bad that things are kind of jumbled, you know? It’s just got everybody messed up, but we’ll get through it. We’ll make it through and we’ll see dirt bikes on the TV screen!