Alex Ray to fill-in with factory Yamaha starting at Glen Helen

By Shawn Smith


May 15, 2018

With Cooper Webb recovering from a fractured tibia and fibula, Alex Ray will have the opportunity to fill-in with the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing team at "select rounds" of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

Ray's first race will be at Glen Helen (May 26), the second round of the season. The team says that he will also race Thunder Valley (June 2) and High Point (June 16), then it will become a "week-by-week assessment" until Webb is able to return to action.

Though Ray rode for Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha during the 2018 supercross season, the 25-year-old did not have a ride for outdoors until being picked up by the factory squad. In two Pro Motocross races last season, Ray finished 27th at Glen Helen (28-25) and 25th at Washougal (22-28).

Ray has already begun testing with the team. Transworld Motocross captured some footage of him riding the factory bike at Glen Helen last week, which you can watch below:

 

"It's a dream come true to even be considered to ride for the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team," Ray said in a team statement. "I believe that with this great team and amazing bike I can really do some damage and have solid results in the Pro Motocross Championship. I’ve got some testing to do with the bike before lining up, but I'm confident that we will be super comfortable leading into Glen Helen."

Webb is about a month removed from the leg injury he sustained during a supercross race in Minneapolis, but he remains hopeful that he'll be able to return at some point during the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season.

"At first the injury didn’t seem like a big deal, but after flying to California and visiting Dr. Wong, he recommended I get surgery to speed up the healing process," Webb said in a team statement. "He put a plate and some screws with one longer screw holding my tib/fib together at the top of my ankle. I get that longer screw pulled out this week and the healing is going great! I’m much further ahead of schedule than originally planned.

"I should be able to start riding lightly, corner tracks with no jumping, the following week. As far as a return date to racing, we are still undecided. We will take it week-by-week to make sure I come back 100%. I want to make sure I can put my Yamaha up front where it belongs, instead of coming back early and unprepared."

The season will get underway this Saturday at Hangtown. With Ray not lining up until Round 2, Justin Barcia will be the factory Yamaha team's lone rider in Sacramento.