Star Yamaha Presents Loaded 2024 Lineup for 250cc Effort
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads into the 2024 season primed for a SuperMotocross League title fight with the all-new Yamaha YZ250F and a talented eight-rider line-up. Reigning 250SMX Champion Haiden Deegan, Jordon Smith, Nate Thrasher, Stilez Robertson, Nick Romano, and new addition Enzo Lopes are eager to launch their title runs as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season approaches. Leading the campaign for the team’s amateur program in Supercross Futures is Gavin Towers.
After a stellar rookie season, Deegan is eager to return to action and add more number-one plates to his resume in 2024. The Californian enjoyed a host of career milestones in 2023 that saw him as a title contender early on. He was runner-up in both 250SX East and Pro Motocross 250MX Championships and then finished the year in style by sealing the deal on the 250SMX Championship. Not resting on his laurels, Deegan has been hard at work during the off-season and aims to take top honors aboard the all-new YZ250F.
Smith returns for his second year with the team and also looks to build on his momentum from last season. The North Carolina rider found success early, returning to the podium in his debut race with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team in Houston. He made four more trips to the podium during the stadium season and was fourth in the 250SX East Championship. After being sidelined for most of the outdoor season, Smith earned his first moto win with the team in the 250SMX moto at the SMX Finals and ultimately finished the three-round series with a top-five finish in the points standings.
New to the team for 2023 is Lopes, who is excited to get his dream factory ride and looks to make a title run in Monster Energy AMA Supercross aboard the all-new YZ250F. He earned a career-best result in 2023, with three fourth-place finishes and a total of five top-five finishes to end the year fourth overall in the 250SX West Championship. With a massive following in Brazil cheering him on, Lopes looks to take it to the next level in 2024 and battle for top honors.
Thrasher returns for his fourth year with the team and is hungrier than ever. Despite a tough start to last season, the Tennessee rider rallied back and returned to the top step of the podium at the Arlington Supercross. He continued to fight up front and added four more podiums to his tally before he was sidelined for the rest of the year after a big crash at the Atlanta Supercross. Back to full fitness, Thrasher has his sights set on taking the crown.
Robertson also is eager to make a comeback after a roller coaster year in 2023. The Californian returned to the podium at Anaheim 2, but unfortunately, his season ended early with a broken leg at Glendale Supercross. Before being sidelined, Robertson was making a lot of progress during his debut season with the team and now looks to build on that for 2024 and battle up front.
Another one of the team’s top up-and-coming riders, Bennick returns to make his Monster Energy AMA Supercross debut and begin his first full year in the pro ranks. He turned a lot of heads last year, winning the first Supercross Futures race at Anaheim 2, and followed that up with another victory. The North Carolina rider enjoyed a stellar finish to his amateur career at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, dominating the Open Pro Class en route to the title and was awarded the coveted Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award. Bennick also had an impressive Pro Motocross debut at RedBud, where he topped the timesheets 250MX qualifying and earned a pair of top-10 moto finishes, and at Budds Creek, he earned a career-best moto result in fourth.
Romano is also fired up for his rookie season in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Unfortunately, that debut was delayed last season after a knee injury sidelined him for the entire year. Back to full fitness, the New Yorker is eager to get back on track and build on his strong debut season in Pro Motocross in 2022, where he too earned a career-best moto result of fourth at Unadilla.
Towers heads the team's efforts in the amatuer ranks for 2024, racing Supercross Futures and campaigning for amateur national titles. The young rider from Pittsburgh made his debut with the team in the Fall of 2023 at the Scouting Moto Combine in advance of the Pro Motocross season finale at Ironman Raceway. Towers enjoyed a successful first outing aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing YZ250F, dominating the competition with a win in both motos for the overall victory.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team would like to thank its partners for their support: Monster Energy, Yamaha Racing, Yamaha Financial Services (YMFUS), Yamalube, GYTR, Yamaha Bicycles, bLU cRU, Thor, Parts Unlimited, Alpinestars, 100%, FMF, Dunlop, Toyota of Escondido, KYB, Rekluse, VP Racing Fuels, Cycra, Kite, Twin Air, Light Speed, ARC Levers, Mechanix Wear, Boxo Tools, CWI, D’cor Graphics, Vortex ECU, Braking, Matrix Concepts, Pro Taper, Optima Batteries, G2 Ergonomics, DID, AFAM, Mettec, and Works Connection.
Anticipation is high for the start of the second year of the SMX League – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Pro Motocross, and the SMX Finals – and Yamaha has upped the ante with enhanced contingency support featuring over $5 million for Yamaha bLU cRU riders competing in all three series. The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season gets underway with Anaheim 1 on January 6 at the traditional Southern California venue for the series opener at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Jensen Hendler – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager
“It’s almost time to get rolling again at A1, and we’re really excited for the 2024 SMX season. We’ve got a great lineup with a lot of fast guys and a lot of young talent. The whole team has been working hard here at The Farm, putting in the hours, and we can’t wait to go racing!”
Haiden Deegan – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #38
“We’ve been working hard during the off-season and trying to focus on what we can do to better ourselves from 2023. We picked out a lot of things because I won a few races, but I wasn’t consistently winning every race or almost winning every race. So there were things to work on, and we studied those, figured them out, and have been working to apply them. I’m excited for the new season! It’s been a while since we’ve raced, and I want to get back to winning.”
Jordon Smith – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #31
“It’s been a really good off-season. We got on the new Yamaha YZ250F, tested a good bit the first two weeks, and found a setting that I really liked. Honestly, I’ve never felt more comfortable on a bike. I’ve been riding really well and feeling good. So yeah, we’re just putting in the laps now, getting ready, and can’t wait to go racing.”
Enzo Lopes – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #50
“It’s been good working with the team and getting ready for the season. It’s still a surreal feeling to be here. It’s been my dream to be on a factory team since I was growing up in Brazil. It’s been a smooth transition, though, and I’ve been loving hanging out with the whole team. The riders have been pretty cool to me, as well as the whole staff of the team, and the bike speaks for itself with how powerful it is. I’m just looking forward to getting to the next step of my career – getting podiums, wins, and hopefully fighting for a championship. I’m really excited about it.”
Nate Thrasher – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #57
“I think it’s going to be a good year. I’m feeling good, feeling healthy, which is a good thing. So whatever coast they decide, we’ll just be ready to go. We’ve got a lot of good things ahead of us, and we’re trying to go win the title this year.”
Daxton Bennick – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #59
“The off-season’s going good. It’s my rookie season and first off-season, really, because last year, I was just preparing for the Futures. We’ve been putting in the work with the team, and I’m just ready to get rolling.”
Stilez Robertson – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #61
“I’m just looking forward to a good year. We’ve already had one year down with the team and learned a lot. I’m just ready to come out swinging and put the bike where it belongs.”
Nick Romano – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #511
“I’m definitely excited for 2024, especially after missing the entire 2023 season with my knee injury. So I’m glad to be healthy now, back on the bike, and progressing for the new season. Supercross will be new for me, and for outdoors, I did a few races in 2022, so I kind of know what to expect there, but I’m really looking to learn, be at every race, and keep building.”