Aaron Plessinger was back on the podium at RedBud, and right in the thick of the battle for the win. This was his second trip to the box this year in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, and he spent most of moto one chasing Ken Roczen for the lead, and most of moto two chasing Eli Tomac. He couldn’t stop his surging teammate Dylan Ferrandis late in the races, though, relegating him to 3-3 scores. He’ll take it—a trip to the podium is always good, but it’s even better when it’s a character like AP in front of the fans at RedBud.
He spoke with the media after the race, even tackling the “where will you race in 2022?” situation. Plessinger has been linked with an offer from Red Bull KTM, but also might return to his current Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha squad.
AP, third overall today. The Star Racing Yamaha team goes one, three, and five. The team must be pretty stoked with the results for the whole team, but your day especially. You were fast up front, battling the whole way. Just fell short, but you’ve got to take some confidence leading into the next couple rounds knowing you’re that close.
Aaron Plessinger: Yeah, for sure. I definitely put myself in some really, really good positions. I think the first moto I kind of pumped up a little bit being out front, and then Kenny [Roczen] got by me. Then I kind of found my groove. Then obviously Dylan [Ferrandis] came ripping up behind us and gave us the business. The second moto, same thing happened. I was battling with Eli [Tomac] and I put myself in a really, really good position, but I just never really capitalized on it and never really could get the job done for the win. But I’m happy with my riding. I’m really stoked on the way it’s going, especially for missing outdoors last year and then coming out here and being third in the points. I’m stoked on it. I'm going to keep charging, keep doing what I can do and hopefully one of these times it plays in my direction and I get one of these overalls.
The [free agent for 2022] contract stuff going on, does that affect you day to day when you have to race? Or are you able to put that aside? Can you give us any idea of what’s going on with that?
I don’t really let it affect me. The way I think of it is people want me for what I have been doing. So, if I bring it to race day and I let it affect that stuff, it’s not going to be good. It’s in the back of my mind, for sure, but as far as letting it affect what I do day to day, it doesn’t. I just let it play out how it’s going to play out. I’m not really sure. I wish I could say more on it. It’s a waiting game and I’m just in the middle. I haven’t heard too much. Just been trying to mind my own and not really pay attention to it too much. Just put the work in when I need to.
In the second moto at High Point two weeks ago you got the holeshot and I think you had said you thought it was go time and you were going to be able to run up front and then kind of fell back a little bit. So, how satisfying today was it to turn two good starts into basically running up front all day long?
It was great. I was real disappointed at High Point. I don’t really know what went on. Maybe I wasn’t really right in the head, but I definitely put it together today and kept it up front. I wish I wouldn’t have let them guys pass me, but it plays out how it plays out. At least I’m ripping up front with these guys and getting the speed back. I think it’s only a matter of time before I can get a holeshot and lead a whole moto. So, I’m waiting on that. I’m going to put myself to work this week and hopefully we can do it at Southwick. I’m stoked on it.
Before the broadcast today, you sort of alluded to your settings were a little bit off from the previous weeks and there were sort of a few changes made. What were the changes made to the motorcycle? Whatever it did, it looked like it worked.
Just a few suspension changes. Nothing huge. I always say we’re just a couple clicks away from greatness! I think I tried to find something at High Point that wasn’t really there and it just didn’t really work out. So, I told myself this weekend I was not changing the bike. I’m going to ride it how it was. I think we only changed maybe one or two clickers and it worked out. The bike was working awesome all day. The team has really, really done a number with this bike. It’s unreal.
AP celebrates for the chanting fans after his finish in the first moto. Mitch Kendra Plessinger sending LaRocco's Leap. Align Media Aaron Plessinger with his wife (Kendall), son (Jake), and dad (Scott). Align Media Ferrandis won the overall (1-2 moto finishes) and Plessinger finished third overall (3-3 moto finishes). Align Media
Your form and everything, the results and all that is obviously really, really strong, and your character, the person that you are off the track is super popular right now. How much do they go hand in hand? As the results and the form is there, does that give you more confidence just to be yourself?
Yeah, I definitely think so. The results, obviously if they’re bad, you’re not going to really express your feelings. They might be bad feelings, but when you’re doing good you can just kind of relax and know you’re going to do good. For me, that’s just being myself. Just hanging out, having a good time, having fun and interacting with the fans as much as I can. They’re great. I’m glad they’re back.
Does it feel we’re pretty much back to where it used to be?
Yeah. I really love it. It was tough. Going to Salt Lake for those rounds and not seeing any kind of fans and coming from, I don’t even know where we left off, Daytona, where the fans were unreal and then going to Salt Lake and having nothing. Now getting back to normal, it’s unreal. I love it. I hope nothing like this comes about again. I love that the fans are back. I love that motocross is getting back to normal.
What’s your experience at Southwick?
Southwick is pretty good for me. I like the track. I never podiumed there. I was close one year, but the cards didn’t play out. I like the track. I’d really like to do good there. My mechanic is from up there, so I think we’ll have some KJC [Keith Clickstein, mechanic] fans up there. I think it will be fun. I’m looking to get a holeshot and try and check out. That’s the plan, but we’ll see how I execute it when we get there.
Watch the full RedBud post-race press conference: