Aaron Plessinger 2023 Hangtown National-0617


Initially, in this summer’s AMA Motocross series, it appeared that Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger could be the man to step up and beat team HRC Honda’s Jett Lawrence. However, soon he dropped off the pace. As it turns out, Plessinger picked up a back injury. Although he has continued racing, he has been forced to sit on the couch during the week. It’s his continued effort to show up on the weekends that has him third in the Motocross Championship points. Although it would take a miracle to catch points leader Jett Lawrence, Aaron is not too far off Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis. At Millville, we were able to learn more about Plessinger’s injury, his role as the sole Austrian brand (KTM, Husqvarna, Gas Gas) 450 factory rider, and his thoughts on the upcoming MXON. By the way, AP7 finished fourth at Millville. 

By Jim Kimball


Aaron Plessinger 2023 Thunder Valley National-0233After a crash had left Aaron banged up, he missed about three weeks of training and only raced on the weekends; he still resulted in the top five every weekend except High Point.

AARON, I HAVE HEARD YOU’RE RIDING INJURED. WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON? A couple of weeks ago, I had a crash and landed on my head pretty good.  My head was all right, but my back was really, really sore and messed up. I could not ride during the week for about three weeks. I would show up on the weekends and do my motos. Red Bud was the first thirty-minute moto I had done in almost a month. So, I snaked by at Red Bud, and then last weekend at Southwick was super, super tough. Fortunately, now at Millville, my back is starting to come around a little bit. I got a couple of motos in, and it was a good week. Hopefully, things continue to improve. Millville was a little bit better, but I want to get up there and battle in the top three.

THERE ARE INJURIES THAT ARE NOT EASILY FIXED. WITH THAT SAID, IT HAS TO BE TOUGH AND GO OUT AND TRY TO WIN WHEN YOU ARE HURTING.  Yes, it is. Not a lot of people see behind the scenes what goes on during the week. I was struggling bad. But you just must deal with it until it goes away. That was what I did. I was able to get back in the gym this week and put on a charge to get back to 100%.  It sucked there for a little bit, but we should be back to normal and hopefully battling to catch Jett.  (Laugh).

Aaron Plessinger 2023 Thunder Valley National-9070Consistency is something Aaron has been showing more of than the previous years. Taking fourth overall in the last three rounds.

EARLIER IN THE SEASON, IT SEEMED YOU WERE ONE KIND OF THE FEW THAT WERE CAPABLE OF THAT. It seemed that way. I just hit the ground too many times in the beginning rounds, and ultimately, hitting the ground that many times, one of them is going to hurt. I did that, and now, I am back on the mend. But I was really, really riding good the first part of the season. Then this injury happened and set me back a little bit. But I think we will get back to where we were and up there battling up front.  

I THINK IT HAS CAUGHT PEOPLE OFF GUARD THAT JETT IS AS DOMINANT AS HE IS. CAN YOU STILL GET A WIN? For sure, I am always out here, going out to win.  If you don’t do that, then what are you out here for?  I do believe we can get back to that level of riding. I just must stay off the ground and work on getting better every week.

Aaron Plessinger 2023 Fox Raceway National-1849Aaron shows his grit by lining up every weekend. Injuries, in general, are extremely difficult to ride with, but an injury to your back is nearly impossible.

YOU ARE NOW THE ONLY FACTORY 450 RIDER THAT THE AUSTRIAN BRANDS HAVE. HAS THAT CREATED ANY MORE PRESSURE? No, I don’t really feel any pressure.  I just go out here every weekend, do what I know how to do, ride to my ability and that is really all I can do. I just try to get better every weekend.  It is not that it creates any pressure. It feels cool, honestly, to be the only Austrian factory 450 guy out there. It is pretty wild. I am leading the team around.

THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN A LOT OF HYPE ABOUT THE CHOICES FOR TEAM USA AND THE MXON TEAM. I’VE HEARD YOUR NAME MENTIONED. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? Yes, I have heard a little chatter about it, not too too much, but you know it feels good.  It feels really good. I need to show what I am capable of in the closing stage of this season to secure the spot. But it feels good that my name is being thrown around, and I loved it the last time I did it. It was unfortunate how we finished, but it was one of the greatest experiences. I would love to go back and give it another go and hopefully come out on top this time.

Aaron Plessinger 2023 Fox Raceway National-0032Aaron reflects on his consistent weekends. As he heals, will we see a push for the current points leader, Jett Lawrence?


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