Monster Star Yamaha’s Christian Craig had to ride through the pain of an injured hand to take a hard-fought 250 East podium at the opening Orlando Supercross round.

Craig had a big crash on the second lap of his heat race that took him out of contention but the Californian went out and won the last-chance qualifier.

“The weekend started off great. I qualified first. I loved this track, everything about it. The dirt was hard-packed, just like the test track, so I was feeling so good,” said Craig.

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“I got off to a good start in the heat race, and then on the second lap, some sort of little case turned into a big fall. I’m sure everyone has seen it on TV.

“I banged up my hand pretty good. I wasn’t sure I was even going to race, but we had it taped up by Dr. G and had to grit it out. I knew I had to do what I could to get through tonight.

“We have 10 weeks after this, so I can heal up then. I was able to get out to a good start from way on the outside in the main. I got into third quick and stayed with Colt for a lot of the race.

“Then I had some sketchy moments, so I backed it off and finished third. I only lost two points to Colt. If you would have told me I’d get third after the heat race, I would have been jumping up and down.

“It was a win in my books after that crash. We’ve got a long break, so we are going to heal up and get ready for Salt Lake.”

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