Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger has taken a different route to the top of the sport. Son of multi-time GNCC Champion Scott Plessinger, Aaron started his motorcycle racing career off-road before giving motocross a go, just to see where it would take him. Flash forward to 2016, and the likable 20-year-old from Hamilton, Ohio, is a definite championship favorite when the 2017 Monster Energy 250 Supercross series get underway. Plessinger hopes to contend for the Western Regional Championship, but no matter the coast, he’s ready to contend for his first number-one plate as a professional.

We are about a month away from round 1 if you go West, and a couple months away from round 1 if you go East. Any indication which side of the country you’ll be racing on?

Right now it’s looking like I’ll be racing West, but you never know. It’s looking to be a good season, though, I feel really good on the bike and I’m feeling really strong, fitness wise.

It has to be a little nerve racking when you don’t know where you’ll be racing….

Definitely, these guys keep us on our toes with the decision making. They don’t let us know till around Christmas, so it definitely keeps us on our toes and keeps everyone on the team ready for whatever.

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You’re fresh off an amazing season by a lot of people’s standards, what are your thoughts about 2016?

It was definitely an up and down season. I didn’t expect to be a point behind in the championship, I was more so looking to be a top-three guy. Once I got into my groove, I put my head down and knew I could win, which really turned my season around. I definitely surprised a few people along with myself when I was challenging for the championship. Come Vegas I was feeling really confident in myself, but unfortunately, my shifter got bent during the race and forced me to pull off. It was definitely a good season, though.

With a little experience and success under your belt, you have to be pretty confident coming into 2017…

Definitely. My confidence is at a whole other level with Cooper being on a 450 now and myself being able to battle with him. During practice, I’m up there with the top guys, which boosts my confidence even more. I feel really comfortable on the bike, even without doing any suspension testing yet. I’m feeling really good coming into 2017, and hopeful to get that red plate at round one, and keep it from then on.

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Stock to stock, the 2017 Yamaha yz250f is much better than the 2016. Does it translate into your race bike as well?

Yeah, I can definitely feel the changes they made, the bike is really there power wise and feels really comfortable. I can get over the jumps a little easier, which was always a slight struggle with my weight. The 2017 Yamaha is a really good bike, I’m pumped to be on it and have Yamaha behind me.

There was a rumor going around that you got injured, but you look fine…

I actually fractured a little bone in my foot about a month ago. I was supposed to go over to Japan and race, but unfortunately, that happened. I’m good now though and feeling a hundred percent, and it will show round one.

Your dad is quite the accomplished off-road guy, how’d you end up racing moto instead of off-road?

I had always planned on racing off-road, I raced GNCCs from 2006 till 2013. Racing off-road really helped form my riding style. In 2013 I got a few offers and my dad said to take the chance and focus on motocross for a year, so that’s what we did. My dad sent me down to Matt Walker’s, and we really gelled well. I won six championships in the Spring Nationals that season, which led to me talking to Bobby Regan and winning six out of six motos at Loretta’s that year. And here we are riding Supercross in hopes of winning a championship this year.

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