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Images from the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship - Washougal National in Washougal, Washington on Sunday July 28th, 2019.

Dominant Day for Monster Energy in Washougal

Jul 302019

It’s always a welcome change of pace when the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship makes its annual visit to Washougal MX Park and the scenic Pacific Northwest. All the things that make Washougal a stand out on the championship calendar are also what set the stage for some of the most competitive racing of the summer. Rarely does a rider just go out and run away with a Washougal victory. Wins here are hard earned, as Monster Energy riders Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis would attest following their triumphant outings at Round 9 of the 2019 season.

Parity has played a significant role this season in Pro Motocross, and up until Washougal there had yet to be dual 1-1 sweeps across the 450 Class and 250 Class. In fact, prior to this event there had been just one perfect score in each class. Coincidentally, the riders responsible for those previous 1-1 rides were Tomac and Ferrandis.

At Washougal, both riders displayed a relentless determination that wasn’t going to allow them to accept anything other than victory. While we’ve seen glimpses of the almost superhero-like performances from Tomac throughout the summer, it wasn’t until Washougal that the unbeatable version of the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider showed up. Despite less-than-stellar starts in both motos, including one well outside the top 10, the reigning back-to-back champ made it look like child’s play. He was simply on an entirely different level than everyone else, and it was mesmerizing to watch him go to work on one of the most challenging tracks to pass on in the entire championship.

For Ferrandis, his latest performance extended what’s been a bit of a hot streak for the Frenchman. While he wasn’t decisively the fastest rider at Washougal, he had the starts and the tenacity to string together a pair of moto wins and put his Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing machine on top of the box for the second time this season.

It’s the fourth time this summer that Monster Energy has swept the 450 Class and 250 Class wins. It’s been a banner year for the Monster Army, and with the latest performance from the lineup of Monster athletes, the brand is one step closer towards claiming both the Edison Dye Cup and Gary Jones Cup this summer.

450 Class


Over the past month of competition, Tomac has really separated himself from his rivals. A little more than a month ago the Kawasaki rider sat tied for the point lead. Now, he’s a full race worth of points ahead of everyone else as the season reaches its stretch run.


At Washougal, it was evident from the get go that this was going to be one of those kinds of days for Tomac. He kicked things off with an emphatic capture of the pole position in qualifying, dropping down into a time bracket that no one else had even come close to flirting with. His mind-blowing lap was complemented by an equally impressive effort from his rookie Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy, who posted the third-quickest time. Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia landed in 10th, while his rookie teammate Aaron Plessinger was 15th.


When the gate dropped for Moto 1, Savatgy kept the momentum rolling from qualifying to grab his first career holeshot. Tomac followed a handful of spots back in eighth, while Barcia sat just outside the top 10. Unfortunately for Plessinger, his bike lost power prior to the gate drop, which left him on the sidelines as the field took off.


Savatgy was impressive in his first real opportunity to mix things up at the front of the field. While he lost his hold on the lead to Ken Roczen, the first-year rider hung with the German and put a firm hold on second. Meanwhile, Tomac was going to work. He methodically marched his way into the top five and showed tremendous patience in eventually working his way up into third, right behind Savatgy.


At this point, Tomac was on a tear and Savatgy didn’t have much of an answer to the onslaught his teammate brought to him. Once in the runner-up spot, Tomac proceeded to take significant chunks out of what was a deficit of more than eight seconds. As they approached the end of the moto, Tomac was right where he wanted to be. Unfortunately, a freak instance in which his clutch clipped the dirt while he traversed through a deep, angled rut briefly put Tomac on the ground. It seemed as if that was the end of his run, but somehow, like the champion that he is, Tomac battled back and wrestled away control of the moto from Roczen with a little contact. The champ led the final two laps to take his seventh moto win of the season. Savatgy dropped several positions late to finish sixth, while Barcia grabbed 10th.


While things started out even worse for Tomac in Moto 2, it was more of the same for Savatgy, who went on to sweep the day’s holeshots. While the rookie mixed it up for the lead, Tomac was climbing his way out of a hole from 15th. Behind him, both Barcia and Plessinger were immediately trying to recover from tough starts of their own.


This time, Savatgy went bar-to-bar with Marvin Musquin, but he soon found himself giving chase to each of Tomac’s international rivals as Roczen got by for second. While the rookie looked to hold down a spot on the podium, his teammate was making incredibly quick work climbing up the standings. It took Tomac all of one lap to break into the top 10, and he proceeded to pass multiple riders in a single lap on his way to a spot inside the top five, where he passed Savatgy for fourth. At this point it felt like Tomac’s journey to the lead was all but inevitable. He was doing things on the track that no one else was willing to do, and he was going to stop at nothing to secure that confidence-boosting 1-1. With a handful of minutes left in the moto, Tomac made quick work of both Roczen and Musquin to capture the lead. The crowd was going nuts as Tomac made his march, and when he crossed the line for moto win numer eight, a second 1-1 sweep, and his fourth overall win of the season, it sent a message to everyone else. This is his championship to lose. No one is going to take it from him.


“Today was sweet. Days like today don’t come around easily, and when they do you just have to cherish them. I made it more difficult on myself than it needed to be with my starts, but once I found my rhythm I was able to just start clicking guys off. Today I never felt panicked or rushed. I was confident in my bike and knew I could just keep moving forward. We got a weekend off, but the work doesn’t stop, we are going to keep moving towards our goal and finish the season off strong.“


While the victory was big in terms of the championship, it was also carried historic significance as well as Tomac was able to take sole possession of fifth on the all-time 450 Class wins list at 21. That broke a tie with James Stewart.


While Tomac led the way for Monster Energy with his 1-1 performance, Savatgy enjoyed his best effort in the premier class in seventh (6-6), while Barcia fought hard for 10th (10-9). Despite his nightmarish start to the day, Plessinger salvaged some solid points in the final moto to finish 17th (40-13).


Tomac’s lead in the 450 Class standings now sits at 50 points with just three rounds remaining.


450 Class Results

1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (1-1)

2. Ken Roczen, Honda (2-3)

3. Marvin Musquin, KTM (5-2)

4. Cooper Webb, KTM (3-5)

5.  Jason Anderson, Husqvarna (4-7)

7.  Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki (6-6)

10. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (10-9)

17. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (40-13)


450 Class Standings

1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 392 

2. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 342

3. Ken Roczen, Honda – 335 

4. Cooper Webb, KTM – 324 

5. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 304 

7. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 221

12. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 97

22. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 48

250 Class


Throughout the 2019 season it’s been a battle amongst Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo and the Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha duo of Ferrandis and Justin Cooper. While Cianciarulo has been the most consistent and the most successful rider this season, Ferrandis has done all he can to keep the Kawasaki rider honest in terms of the championship.


Fresh off his series-leading sixth win entering Washougal, things appeared even more bleak for the rest of the field when Cianciarulo topped the time sheets in qualifying. Ferrandis and Cooper were right on his heels to round out the top three, while the rest of the Star riders, Colt Nichols, Ty Masterpool and Mitchell Oldenburg, along with second Pro Circuit rider Garrett Marchbanks, each posted a time inside the top 10.


As he’s done many times this season, Cooper led the way to start the opening moto with the holeshot. Nearly every other member of the Star squad flanked him as the field exited the first turn, while Cianciarulo threw himself into the thick of it as well. Cooper took control of the lead early one, while Ferrandis and Cianciarulo battled their way into a 1-2-3 freight train of the class’ top three riders.


Soon enough these three riders were essentially running by themselves. A slight miscue by Cooper opened the door for Ferrandis and he didn’t waste any time in taking full advantage of it. The Frenchman took over the lead a little more than 10 minutes into the moto and looked to pull away. Cianciarulo was within striking distance of moving into second, but a bobble put him on the ground briefly and cost him valuable time to his rivals.


Ferrandis had the moto well in hand, and was able to respond to some late pressure applied by both Cooper and Cianciarulo. He captured his fifth moto win, with Cooper second and Cianciarulo third. Nichols was fifth, with Masterpool 12th. Both Oldenburg and Marchbanks were forced to retire from the moto.


When the final moto got underway, it was once again an army of Star Yamahas leading the field into the first turn. This time around it was Nichols who grabbed the lead, but Ferrandis, who nailed each of his starts, quickly overtook him. Sensing he needed to act quickly, Cianciarulo forced his way up to second and immediately ignited what would become a moto-long battle for the win. Cooper had his work cut out for him just outside the top five.


While no actual pass attempt ever took place, watching Ferrandis and Cianciarulo trade fast laps and momentum shifts was something to behold. Both riders were riding their absolute best the entire moto, and it was the most definitive evidence we’ve seen yet that indicates the title fight is going to come down to these budding rivals.


While Cianciarulo certainly didn’t make it easy on him, Ferrandis held off the pressure to lead every lap and race to his sixth win in the last 10 motos. Cianciarulo was second, while Cooper just missed the podium in fourth. Nichols followed in ninth, while Oldenburg was 11th. Masterpool finished 15th, with Marchbanks earning points in 19th.


Ferrandis led the way for yet another 1-2-3 sweep of the overall podium for Monster Energy. The Frenchman, Cianciarulo, and Cooper have been the class of the division virtually every weekend.


“The track is always slippery at Washougal, but today it was a bit worst due to the bit of rain we got all morning. I still had a lot of fun riding today. I got two very good starts and was really happy with myself. I had good battle with AC [Adam Cianciarulo] in the second moto. We made a good show for the fans, I hope they liked it, and I look forward to watching it later myself. I’m pretty pumped about winning both motos today.”


As it pertains to the championship, this trio appears to be a virtual lock to secure the top three spots in the standings as well. Currently, Cianciarulo holds a 28-point edge on Ferrandis.


“Although we fell short of our weekly goal, which is to win, there are still positives to take away from the weekend with our second-place finish today. I was doing everything I could in that second moto to get into first, but we just couldn’t find the right place to make a pass stick. It was rad to battle like that though. We are leaving here healthy and still with the points lead, so we will make some improvements over the break and be ready to go in two weeks.”


250 Class Results

1. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing (1-1)

2. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (3-2)

3. Justin Cooper, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing (2-4)

4. Michael Mosiman, Husqvarna (7-3)

5. Chase Sexton, Honda (4-6)

8. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing (5-9)

13.  Ty Masterpool, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing (12-15)    

16.  Mitchell Oldenburg, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing (37-11)

22. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (40-19)


250 Class Standings

1. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 394

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing – 366

3. Justin Cooper, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing – 346

4. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing – 261

5. RJ Hampshire, Honda – 200

11. Ty Masterpool, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing – 144

14. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 88

20. Mitchell Oldenburg, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing – 62

22. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 54