Yamaha Motor Corporation press release:
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), is pleased to announce a powerhouse lineup on the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team in 2020 with Shane McElrath joining defending 250SX West Champion Dylan Ferrandis and teammates Justin Cooper and Colt Nichols. The four will battle for Monster Energy 250SX Division titles aboard the Yamaha YZ250F.
Last year, Ferrandis proved to be a fierce competitor when he brought the heat in the final stretch of the 250SX West Championship, scoring three wins and eight podiums to ultimately take the title in dramatic fashion at the season finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also made a final run at the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship, taking four wins to finish second overall. The tenacious Frenchman looks to build on his success with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing crew in 2020 and go for another title aboard the Yamaha YZ250F.
The newest team member, McElrath, brings a wealth of experience to the team as a proven championship contender. He has six career wins in the 250 class and was the 250SX Western Division runner-up in 2015 and 2017. Last year, the North Carolinian took the Triple Crown win at Anaheim II with a 3-2-1 tally and was able to finish eighth in the point standings in spite of a mid-season injury. Healthy and ready to go with his new team, McElrath aims to seal the deal on his first title.
In what was his first full season in Supercross, Cooper had a standout year in 2019. He finished second overall in the 250SX East Championship with six podiums. He carried that momentum into the outdoor season, taking his first overall win in Florida and scoring nine podiums to end the year third overall in the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship. With more experience under his belt, the 22-year-old aims to build on his 2019 success with more wins and a number-one plate.
Nichols came out swinging in 2019, taking his first Supercross win at the season opener in Anaheim. The fan favorite went on to put in solid results, scoring six podiums to end the year third in the 250SX West standings. 2020 marks his fourth season with the team and he looks to kick it off with another win to get the ball rolling for his title campaign.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team would like to thank its partners for their support: Monster Energy, Yamaha, Thor, Parts Unlimited, Yamalube, Rekluse, Neken, CWI, FMF, Alpinestars, 100%, Bell, Toyota of Escondido Action Sports, GYTR, Works Connection, VP Fuels, Dunlop, D’cor, Vortex Ignitions, Motion Pro, Braking, Light Speed, ARC, X2, Excel, Kite, Twin Air, KYB, Cycra, Mettec, ODI, Woessner, Specialized Bicycles, Anti Gravity and Kershaw Knives.
The 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship gets underway at its traditional season-opening venue in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, January 4, at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager:
I’m really looking forward to the new year! We’ve got a great group of riders, and we expect to be a serious contender once again in 2020. Everyone has been working hard to prepare for the Supercross season, and it’s almost time to put that to the test. We are all eager to get back to racing.
Dylan Ferrandis – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing:
As always, I’m pretty excited to go back racing! I had lot of good, productive work during the off-season. I’m very comfortable on the bike and am feeling great! I definitely can’t wait for the season to start.
Shane McElrath – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing:
I’m very excited for this opportunity with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team. It was a big decision to make the move and so far, everything’s been going well. I’m excited because I think it’s really going to be good for me, and moving forward into my 450 career. I’m looking to carry our momentum into the season and fight for the championship.
Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing:
A long off-season always has me wanting to line back up on the gate again. I’m really excited for 2020. I felt like I had a strong and consistent 2019, which gives me new confidence and motivation going into this year! I love this team, and I am feeling really confident with the bike and the people around me. I’m more than ready to go racing this year. Bring it on!
Colt Nichols – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing:
I’m always pumped to start a new season with the team. This will be my fourth year with them, and I am aiming to make it the best one yet. I love working with the guys, and the bike is awesome as always. 2019 was a good year of building, so I’m ready to take on 2020 full steam.