- Adam Cianciarulo. Victory in 450 Debut.
Adam Cianciarulo. Victory in 450 Debut.
Adam Cianciarulo. Victory in 450 Debut.
The 2019 Monster Energy Cup returned to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas over the weekend, and the ever-popular "off-season" staple brought plenty of excitement both on and off the track. The biggest storyline heading into the weekend was the 450 debut of Adam Cianciarulo on board his brand new Factory Kawasaki ride. After a stellar summer campaign, that ended in his first 250 Motocross Championship, all eyes were on AC as he steps it up to the premier class. Aligning with this giant moment in Adam's career, was the debut of the all-new 180 Caster special edition gear which was being nominated for "lit kit" awards throughout the day. Reigning MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser was also on hand to test the waters of Supercross for the first time since 2017. Check below for the full round-up from the weekend!
The Monster Energy Cup runs a unique race format that starkly differs from the traditional single Main Event Supercross program and instead runs three 10-lap Mains that are combined together to decide the overall winner. Cianciarulo shot out of the gate in the opening Main and started his 450 career by leading the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, the dream didn't last forever, and AC had a small tip-over within the first few laps, but he remounted quickly and joined the battle at the front of the pack, eventually working his way back up to 2nd Place. Geico Honda's Jeremy Martin was impressively right in the mix in his return from injury and finished 6th, while Gajser was solid as well and ran at the front, ending up with a 7th place finish. Chad Reed also entered the fold onboard his new Honda and was a respectable 8th after little to no prep considering the bike change.
Monster Cup also features two Amateur classes during the night program, with the Amateur All-Stars class offering the next generation of Supercross riders a platform to show off their talents. Geico Honda's Jett Lawrence took full advantage of the time to shine on the world's stage by putting in an incredible performance to take the overall victory with perfect 1-1 scores. The young Australian has been talked about for years as one of the most promising young talents in the sport, and he showed that he is the real deal on Saturday night!
After losing the lead in the opening race and settling for 2nd after the crash, Cianciarulo was out for blood in Main Event #2. Unfortunately, he got buried off the start and rounded the opening lap sitting in 11th place. Gajser, however, got a great start and ran 3rd in the early stages just behind Jeremy Martin. AC was able to cut through the pack extremely quick and grabbed another 2nd place finish, with Gajser in 4th and J-Martin 6th.
With 2-2 finishes heading into the final Main, Adam Cianciarulo had the overall win insight as he loaded into the gate next to his teammate Eli Tomac. The two factory Kawasakis jumped out front together and AC boxed Tomac out for the holeshot. The crowd erupted as Cianciarulo flew into the stadium in the lead and everyone knew there was an epic battle about to ensue. Gajser got in between Adam and Tomac and ran 2nd on the first lap, but Tomac moved into second quickly as Adam began to build his lead. Tomac applied the pressure right away and even briefly made his way past Adam around the mid-way point in the 10-lap race. But Cianciarulo handled it like a warrior and held off Tomac, executing the "Joker Lane" on the final lap and emerging in front of Tomac. The final half-lap was an all-out sprint to the finish and the #9 took the checkers in commanding fashion. It was an incredible achievement for Adam not only to take the Victory in his 450 debut but to beat Tomac straight up was a massive statement for the future of his career.
Tim Gajser also finished up strong with a 4th place finish, giving the MXGP Champ a very respectable 5th Overall in only his second American SX race. Jeremy Martin had a bit of a struggle in the final moto and finished 14th, but still managed 8th Overall which was a great showing after being out from injury for over a year. The crafty veteran Chad Reed kept the community guessing as usual with his recent switch to the Honda and earned himself 9th Overall on the night.
It was a dream night for Cianciaruloas he brought home the win to put the cap on his 450 Class debut. Congrats AC!
MONSTER ENERGY RESULTS
- Adam Cianciarulo
- Eli Tomac
- Malcom Steward
- Vince Friese
- Tim Gajser
- Just Barcia
- Benny Bloss
- Jeremy Martin
- Chad Reed
- Tyler Bowers
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