It’s hard to imagine that a handful of months prior to the drop of the gate on the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Series that the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha outfit wasn’t exactly sure if they were going to send 18-year-old rookie racer Nate Thrasher out to contest the 250SX Regional Supercross Series or not. A veteran of exactly two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Nationals – Thunder Valley and Pala way back in October 2020 – at the eleventh hour the team made an on-the-fly decision to send Thrasher back to the Mini Olympics in Florida to rack up the required eligibility points for ‘21.
The kid from Livingston, Tennessee did just that, and with requisite points shoved into pocket, found his way behind the starting gate at the second Orlando Supercross round on February 20, 2021 where he duly went out and raced to an eleventh place finish. Cautiously optimistic, both Thrasher and Star Yamaha kept shuffling forward, the YZ250F rider scoring a twentieth at Daytona, as well as a tenth and two ninth place scores at the three Arlington, Texas rounds.
Then came the opening Atlanta Motor Speedway race on April 10, 2021, and with it, astonishingly, Nate Thrasher’s first professional supercross main event victory. Having scratched and clawed his way out of the last chance qualifier, Thrasher found himself way out front in the main event and he never wavered, handily winning the thirteen-minute-plus-one-lap race upon the infield of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Amazingly, and precisely a week later, went out and basically replicated the same exact feat to yet again win both the LCQ and main event! Sixth in the 250SX West point standings leading into the fade-to-black final Salt Lake City round, we were surprised to hear that Thrasher, obeying team orders, would skip over the Salt Lake finale to make sure he was in optimum fighting trim for the rapidly approaching Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship opener set for Fox Raceway in Pala, California on Saturday, May 29.