250 Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team
Founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Bobby Reagan, Star Racing built a reputation as one of the top privateer teams in the sport of Supercross and Motocross. In 2005, that reputation ultimately secured the support of Factory Yamaha.
Together with Yamaha’s superior YZ250F, Star Racing is one of the most sought-after teams for the sport’s top up-and-coming riders. The team has a history of success, claiming five 250SX West Championship titles in the last six seasons and a total of 11 titles in the professional ranks. Former Star Racing rider Cooper Webb took home back-to-back Monster Energy Supercross 250SX West titles for the team in 2015 and 2016, followed by Aaron Plessinger in 2018. The Ohio native also went on to take the AMA 250MX Championship that season before graduating to the premier class with the Factory Yamaha Racing team. Dylan Ferrandis carried on that winning momentum and took home back-to-back 250SX West Championships in 2019 and 2020.
More recently, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing squad became the first team in nearly a decade to claim both 250 class titles in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, with Justin Cooper crowned 250SX West Champion and Colt Nichols the 250SX East Champion.
The team heads into 2022 looking to reign supreme once again with a six-rider lineup that boasts a blend of youth and experience. The reigning 250SX champs Cooper and Nichols return, as well as two-time 250MX Champion Jeremy Martin. Also returning are Christian Craig and two of the sports up-and-coming riders - Nate Thrasher and Levi Kitchen. Jensen Hendler comes on board as the team manager for the 250 team.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 team would like to thank its partners for their support: Monster Energy, Yamaha Financial Services (YMFUS), Yamalube, GYTR, Thor, Parts Unlimited, Rekluse, FMF, Dunlop, Motion Pro, Works Connection, VP Fuels, Kite, Twin Air, KYB, Cycra, Alpinestars, 100%, Toyota of Escondido, Light Speed, Arc, Race Tech Titanium, Mechanix Wear, Boxo Tools, Anti-Gravity Batteries, CWI, Neken, D’cor Graphics, Vortex ECU, Vortex/EK, Braking, Matrix Concepts, Pro Taper, Excel, G2 Ergonomics, and Wossner Pistons.
Justin Cooper #32
Before making his pro debut in 2017 at his home race, Unadilla MX, in Upstate New York, Justin Cooper added two AMA National Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championships and nine major amateur motocross championships to his resume. He was also crowned the 2017 AMA Arenacross Lites East Champion and was awarded the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award.
In his first season with the team, Cooper impressed with a third overall finish in the 2018 250MX championship. From there, his forward momentum continued. In 2019, he finished second overall in the 250SX East Championship with six podiums and went on to take his first overall Pro Motocross win in Florida, ending the year third in the 250MX Championship. The New Yorker’s efforts earned him a coveted seat in the 2019 MXoN U.S.A. team competing on the world stage.
Cooper scored his first Supercross win at the 2020 season opener, Anaheim I, and ended the year second in the 250SX West Championship. After coming back from a pre-season injury, he made a late-season charge in the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship, returning to the top of the podium at Thunder Valley to finish fifth in the standings.
Cooper enters his fifth year with the team and is coming off an impressive 2021 season. After taking the 250SX West crown in Supercross, he backed it up with a great outdoor season. He came just shy of the title in the end, but led the way in qualifying, holeshots and scored seven moto wins, and never missed the overall podium. Cooper now has his eyes set on 2022 and adding more number-one plates to his resume.
|Date of Birth||8-31-1997|
|Place of Birth||Cold Spring Harbor, NY|
|Hobbies||Basketball, Snowboarding, Cycling|
|2021||AMA 250SX West Champion, 2nd Overall AMA 250MX|
|2020||2nd Overall in AMA 250SX West Championship, 5th Overall in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2019||2nd Overall in AMA 250SX East Championship, 3rd Overall in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2018||3rd Overall in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2017||Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award Winner, AMA Arenacross Lites East Champion|
|2016||Thor Winter Olympics Dunlop Silver Tire Award Winner|
|2015||Two AMA Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championships|
Colt Nichols #45
Colt Nichols returns for his sixth season with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team. Since his AMA Pro debut in 2015, the Oklahoman has steadily improved his results, scoring a podium at Oakland Supercross and finishing in the top five in the 2016 250SX West standings. Although the 2017 250SX season was cut short with injury, he finished seventh in the AMA 250MX Championship. 2018 brought further misfortune for Nichols as another early-season injury prevented him from competing in the remaining 250SX East series.
Nichols hit the ground running in 2019 with his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross win at Anaheim I. He then went on to score multiple podiums and finished third in the 250SX West Championship. Nichols returned to the podium three times during the final stretch of the 250SX East Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah, but unfortunately, injuries have kept him out for most of the 2020 season.
In 2021, Nichols’ perseverance paid off as he realized his dream of a 250 title in the Eastern regional division. He scored three wins and never missed the podium to secure the crown with a 29-point advantage. Unfortunately, an injury sidelined him with five rounds remaining in the Pro Motocross season, but Nichols is ready to return to action in 2022 and looks to make another championship run.
|Date of Birth||3-22-1994|
|Place of Birth||Muskogee, OK|
|Hobbies||Basketball, Sporting Events, Cycling|
|2021||2021 AMA 250SX East Champion|
|2020||3 podium finishes in AMA 250SX East|
|2019||3rd Overall in AMA 250SX West|
|2018||Podium finish in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2017||15th Overall in AMA 250SX East, 7th Overall in AMA 250MX|
|2016||5th Overall in AMA 250SX West (2nd at Oakland SX), 21st Overall in AMA 250MX|
|2015||14th Overall in AMA 250SX|
Jeremy Martin #6
Last year, Jeremy Martin returned to the team where he enjoyed championship success. Hailing from Millville, Minnesota, he turned pro in 2012 and quickly rose through the ranks in the 250 class. In 2014 and 2015, he earned back-to-back titles in the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing squad.
Since then, Martin has been a title contender in both Supercross and Motocross. Unfortunately, an injury at the 2018 Muddy Creek National put his run for the crown on pause the subsequent year, but he returned in 2020 back in championship form. Martin started off with a solid Supercross season, finishing sixth overall in the 250SX East class. He then made a run for the Pro Motocross 250MX title, scoring three wins and ultimately finishing second overall in the standings.
Although injuries sidelined him for the supercross season and a few motocross rounds in 2021, he showed a lot of grit and determination. Despite not being 100%, he scored six moto wins and three overall 250MX victories. With some time to return to full fitness, Martin is eager to lineup on the gate in 2022 and fight for the championship.
|Date of Birth||5-11-1993|
|Place of Birth||Millville, Minnesota|
|Hobbies||Boating, biking and running|
|2021||6th Overall in AMA 250MX|
|2020||2nd Overall in AMA 250MX Championship, 6th Overall in AMA 250SX East|
|2018||3rd Overall in AMA 250SX East Championship|
|2017||2nd Overall in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2016||3rd Overall in AMA 250SX East Championship|
|2015||AMA 250MX Champion|
|2014||AMA 250MX Champion|
Christian Craig #28
Christian Craig joined the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s powerhouse 250 line-up in 2021. Since his pro debut in 2009, the Californian has shown strength in both the 450 and 250 classes. After a series of injuries in 2013, Craig took a two-year break from Supercross racing. He came back swinging in 2016 with his best season thus far, finishing third in the 250SX West Championship with a win at Glendale Supercross and a total of five podiums.
In 2018, he started his campaign in the 250SX West Championship before making the move to the 450 class as a fill-in rider and earned four top-five finishes. He went back to the 250 ranks in 2019 and was in the fight for the 2020 250SX West Championship before being sidelined with an injury early in the season. Back to full fitness, once again stepped in as a fill-in rider in the premier class, ultimately finishing sixth in the Pro Motocross 450MX standings.
Craig kicked off his debut season with the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team with a bang, winning the 2021 250SX East season opener in Houston. He battled for top honors with his teammate all season until a crash at the penultimate round ended his title hopes prematurely. Craig moved over to the 450 team for the outdoor season, where he enjoyed some solid results to end the year sixth. He now shifts gears back to the Yamaha YZ250F to try and claim the coveted 250SX crown and will return to the premier class for the 2022 Pro Motocross season.
|Date of Birth||7-19-1991|
|Place of Birth||San Diego, California|
|Hobbies||Riding with my kid and playing golf.|
|2020||4th Overall AMA 250SX East Championship,6th Overall AMA 450MX Championship|
|2020||6th Overall in AMA 450MX Championship|
|2019||21st Overall in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2018||9th Overall in AMA 250SX West Championship|
|2017||6th Overall in AMA 250SX East Championship|
|2016||3rd Overall in AMA 250SX West Championship|
|2015||12th in AMA 250MX Championship|
|2014||21st in AMA 450MX Championship|
Nate Thrasher #49
Nate Thrasher joined the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team in the Fall of 2020 and raced the final two rounds of the Pro Motocross 250MX Championship. He made his Monster Energy AMA Supercross debut last season and turned a lot of heads by scoring two convincing 250SX wins on a very physically demanding track at the Atlanta Motor Speedway tripleheader. The young Tennessee rider ultimately ended the season seventh in the points standings, but unfortunately was sidelined during the outdoor season with an injury. Thrasher is ready to return for 2022 and looks to build on his impressive rookie year.
|Date of Birth||12-9-2002|
|Place of Birth||Livingston, Tennessee|
|Hobbies||Playing golf, going to the lake, watching American football and Xbox|
|2021||Scored two 250SX wins to finish seventh in the standings during rookie AMA Supercross season|
|2020||Pro Motocross debut at the penultimate round, finished 11th and 13th|
Levi Kitchen #59
Another one of Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s up-and-coming riders, Levi Kitchen, capped off his amateur career with a pair of titles at the 2021 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s and was named the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award Winner. He made his pro debut at the Pro Motocross RedBud National and showed speed straight away, scoring some solid results inside the top 10.
The Washington State native is now eager to start his first full season in the pro ranks and to make his debut in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
|Date of Birth||02-16-2001|
|Place of Birth||Washougal, Washington|
|Hobbies||Fishing, Golf and BMX|
|2021||Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award Winner, Made AMA 250MX debut at RedBud|
|2020||2 Top-10 finishes in AMA 250MX Championship|