Once again for 2021, Yamaha teamed up with Steve Matthes and PulpMX to continue the PulpMX Privateer Championship series for the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship. For $20 per raffle ticket, anyone could enter in for a chance to win a 2021 Yamaha YZ450F along with a ton of other great prizes. All proceeds would go to the top five privateers who secured the most points in the 450SX LCQ’s throughout the year when finishing outside of a transfer position. As the curtain closed on the 2021 season Saturday night, so too did the privateer challenge which saw a total of $73,640 raised.
A chase format was established after the first Arlington round which consisted of Joan Cros, Justin Starling, Fredrik Noren, Nick Schmidt, Carlen Gardner, Jeremy Smith, Theodore Pauli, AJ Catanzaro, Ronnie Stewart, and Cade Clason. Points were paid out to the first rider not to make the main event out of the 450SX LCQ and on down meaning the closer riders got to making mains without actually getting in, the more likely they were to win this challenge.
In the end, Nick Schmidt secured the victory at the finale with a sixth place in the LCQ to win the PulpMX Yamaha Privateer Challenge by 26 points over Jeremy Smith. The victory pulled him home $44,184! The cash prize is divided out to the top five finishers of the challenge as 60 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent. Jeremy Smith came home second and received $14,728 while AJ Catanzaro was third with $7,364.
Schmidt had posted 5-8-7-11-5-6-6 results in the final seven Last Chance Qualifiers of the year which comprised of the chase for the championship. On the PulpMX Show last night, a winner was selected for the Yamaha YZ450F and Nick Schmidt was also on the line to graciously accept his winnings. All told, the challenge has raised over $180,000 for privateers over the last three years, and it seems like the continued success of the program is likely to benefit many more privateers in the future.