Barcia, Plessinger sign new deals with Yamaha; Plessinger moving up to 450 in 2019

August 22, 2018

The Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing team announced that Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger have been signed to new contracts for "2019 and beyond." Plessinger's deal will see him move up to the 450 Class next season.

Yamaha entered the current season with a two-rider lineup of Davi Millsaps and Cooper Webb in the 450 Class, but Millsaps retired before he ever made it back onto the track and Webb has recently been linked with a move to a new team.

With Millsaps out, Barcia was tapped as a fill-in rider at the start of the supercross campaign, but strong rides turned that into a full-time contract for the rest of the season. The move has paid off, particularly when it comes to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, as Barcia is currently fourth in 450MX points and has finished on the podium in nine motos.

Justin Barcia has turned his career around this season. (Photo: Matt Rice)

“I’m really excited to extend my contract with the team," Barcia said in a team statement. "It’s an honor and a pleasure working with everyone at Yamaha. It started out as just a fill-in ride and it turned into something a lot more. I can’t ask for a better team, it’s just been awesome. We’ve really turned my career around, I was in a really tough place, struggling a lot and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next and Yamaha gave me the opportunity to ride a really good motorcycle and I went out there and gave it my all and put in some really good results. It’s just been a pleasure working with all the guys on the team and riding the new Yamaha 450. I’m really excited for the future and I hope to finish out my career at Yamaha, that’s definitely my goal.”

Plessinger followed in the footsteps of Zach Osborne and Cooper Webb by earning two 250 Class titles in the same year — first the 250SX West title in supercross, then the 250MX national title outdoors, a championship he clinched this past weekend at Budds Creek. Rather than defend the #1 plate in either series though, Plessinger will make the jump up to the premier class full-time next season. His size makes him an intriguing prospect for the bigger bike.

After another title, Aaron Plessinger is nearing the end of his time on a 250. (Photo: Matt Rice)

"Signing with Yamaha for the 450 Class is amazing!" Plessinger said in a team statement. "I've been with Yamaha since 2008 and we have had an awesome relationship ever since. I feel like it's going to go really well for me next year, just being on a great team with good people around. I can't wait to start testing and get my bike dialed in!"

Barcia and Plessinger will finish out their respective campaigns this weekend at the Ironman National. While Plessinger already has the 250 title wrapped up, Barcia is still battling Ken Roczen for third overall in 450MX points. Both riders will also represent Team USA at the Motocross of Nations in October.