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Weekend off pivotal in RedBud return of Star Racing’s Cooper

News 3 Jul 2023

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Weekend off pivotal in RedBud return of Star Racing’s Cooper

Third overall a postive 250MX comeback for YZ250F rider.

Image: Octopi Media.

The weekend off prior to RedBud was pivotal in Justin Cooper being able to resume his Pro Motocross challenge, returning to finish third overall on Saturday in the 250MX ranks.

Cooper fell during the second qualifying session at High Point, hospitalised with injuries to his throat that would see him sit out the remainder of the weekend.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider benefited from the first season break in the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, returning at round five to complete an all-Star Racing team podium alongside Haiden Deegan and Levi Kitchen.

“I honestly don’t think I would have raced if we didn’t have the weekend off,” Cooper explained. “That did me wonders, and yeah, got back on the bike Tuesday and kind of felt everything out, everything felt okay.

“Still dealing with some soreness, but I think we all are. I’m just glad to be okay and glad to be racing. I know I only missed one round, but it’s not fun watching from the hospital bed, that’s for sure. Glad to be back in the mix, and hopefully we can build on this.”

Cooper qualified second at RedBud and later rode to a pair of four-place finishes, landing him third overall. While missing both motos at High Point set him back in the 250MX standings, he is now sixth in the title race and 48 points from red plate-holder Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) after receiving a five-point post-event penalty for jumping under a red cross flag in the first moto.

“I would say overall it was a really good day – the speed was there even though the starts weren’t,” Cooper added. “I had to work my way through the pack quite a few times and made some passes. I think if we got off the gate better, we could have done more damage, but that’s all we could do today.

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“I definitely tired myself out, making passes in moto two, falling, and then making the passes again. Moto two wasn’t special, but yeah, it’s a good weekend coming off of what happened at High Point. Now we can start building back to where we were before it.”

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship resumes this Saturday with round six taking place at Southwick, marking the halfway point of the season.

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