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Images from round 13 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross in Houston

Ferrandis Doubles Up

Mar 312019

Monster Energy’s dominance of the 250SX Class in the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season continued last Saturday night in Houston as Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis captured back-to-back victories in the West Region. It was the 10th consecutive win for the Monster Army in the division, and it came on a night where Ferrandis, championship leader Adam Cianciarulo, and title contender Colt Nichols each shared in victory at the final Triple Crown race of the season.

When all was said and done, Ferrandis emerged with the overall win, a mere seven days after he broke through for his debut supercross victory. The triumph paid big dividends for the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha rider in the West Region standings, as he was able to capitalize on what became a frustrating night for Cianciarulo and now sits within five points of the championship lead.

With just two rounds remaining in the West Region Championship, one thing is now certain – a Monster Energy rider is going to walk away with his first ever AMA title in Las Vegas. Whether that will be Cianciarulo, Ferrandis, or Nichols remains to be seen, but this trio, which has dominated the bulk of the 2019 campaign, now sits 1-2-3 in the West Region standings.

250SX West Region


Cianciarulo and Ferrandis established themselves as the class of the field as soon as the afternoon got underway. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider was on rails in each of the qualifying sessions, where Cianciarulo was the only rider able to break into the 47-second bracket on the track inside NRG Stadium both times. While Ferrandis stepped up his game and joined Cianciarulo in the 47-second range in the final sessions, he still came up a tenth short of Cianciarulo’s top time. Nichols wasn’t too far behind aboard his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha in fifth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Garrett Marchbanks put all four Monster riders inside the top 10 in ninth.


When the gate dropped on the first Main Event of the night, it was Cameron McAdoo who stole the holeshot from Cianciarulo, only to crash into the tuff blox off the first jump. That handed the lead over to Cianciarulo, who put his head down and set a torrid pace in the opening minutes to establish a cushion over the field. Jimmy Decotis settled into second, with RJ Hampshire third. The next Monster Energy rider in the running order was Nichols in seventh, with his teammate Ferrandis following in eighth. Marchbanks had to overcome some contact off the start and emerged in 18th.


With his closest challengers well behind him and a clear track ahead, the opening Main Event played perfectly into Cianciarulo’s hands and he had little problem logging consistent laps that ultimately built an insurmountable cushion. As he did that, Ferrandis mounted a charge to the front. He got by Nichols and started to pick off riders quickly on a run up to third place. Nichols gave chase and soon found himself inside the top five, with a shot at fourth. Cianciarulo was never challenged, and took an easy opening Main Event win by 7.8 seconds over Ferrandis, who made a pass for the runner-up spot coming to the white flag. Nichols secured a fifth-place finish, while Marchbanks battled his way back to 10th.


With momentum on his side entering the second Main Event, Cianciarulo made a costly miscalculation to start the race as he was able to grab the holeshot, but then went off track with too much speed. While he avoided any major incident, it forced him to lose a ton of spots as he rode down the side of the track and reentered mid pack. That gave the lead to Chris Blose, who was soon passed by Ferrandis. Marchbanks was in the hunt for a podium spot in fourth, while Cianciarulo and Nichols fought to stay inside the top 10.


Once he moved into the lead, it was smooth sailing for Ferrandis. He enjoyed a clear track and was able to lay down some hot laps to move away from the field, which then put the pressure on Cianciarulo to respond. As he worked his way up to fifth things were looking good for the points leader, but he went down attempting to make a pass for a podium spot and eventually dropped to the tail end of the field. That error favored Marchbanks and Nichols, who both slotted into the top four as Ferrandis continued to lead up front.


The Frenchman was in a class of his own en route to the second Main Event win, finishing 4.7 seconds ahead of Hampshire. Marchbanks rode to an impressive third-place finish, while Nichols was right behind in fourth. Cianciarulo recovered to salvage a 10th-place finish, but was going to really need another win to keep him in the overall hunt.


When the final gate drop of the night unfolded, it was Nichols who captured the holeshot, with Ferrandis not far behind. For Marchbanks and Cianciarulo, things were chaotic. Marchbanks was the victim of a crash in the first turn that ultimately forced him out of action for the rest of the night, and Cianciarulo was forced to deal with the fallout of the incident, leaving him mid pack. Shortly after that, Cianciarulo found himself caught up in another incident, which left him mired in 13th place.


Out front, the Star Racing duo of Nichols and Ferrandis asserted themselves as the leaders of the pack. Ferrandis did get the better of Nichols briefly, but he responded and kept the Frenchman at bay. With the overall in mind, Ferrandis soon settled into the runner-up spot as Nichols continued to run at a stellar pace. Behind them, Cianciarulo was making moves in a desperate climb through the field. He was by far the fastest rider on the track and stormed all the way up to third in the closing laps, but it was simply too little, too late. Nichols took the final checkered flag of the night by 5.5 seconds over Ferrandis, with Cianciarulo a distant third.


In the overall classification, Ferrandis’ exceptional consistency left him with just five points on the night, followed by Hampshire well behind in second. Nichols’ winning ride in the final Main Event vaulted him to third overall, while Cianciarulo’s inspired effort in the last race helped minimize the damage of a tough night in fourth. Despite not competing a single lap of the final Main Event, Marchbanks still earned a solid ninth-place finish.


"It's crazy. I knew I didn't have to win [the last] Main Event to win overall. My teammate was pushing really hard at the beginning and I guess [I decided to], not give up, but it's no risk to take for nothing [to gain],” said Ferrandis. “So I was just doing my race and I made it two wins in a row. I'm so happy. It's a different feeling than last weekend because last weekend was the first win, but now I'm really looking for the championship, and only the championship can give me the full satisfaction. So I'm really happy but it's back to work Monday and see what we can do in two weeks in Denver."


Just five points sit between Cianciarulo and Ferrandis entering the stretch run of the championship, while Nichols now sits solidly in third.


“Tonight was a big test for me,” said Cianciarulo. “Yes I lost points and I am not happy about that, but I think I did my best to keep my composure to not make a bad situation worse. It kills me that I made the mistake in the second main, and the third main event wasn’t my fault, but I can’t dwell on this. I have to learn from it and move on. We get a week off to think about it - not sure if it's good or bad - but we’ll be ready when we come to Denver in two weeks.”


Western Regional 250SX Class Results

1.      Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha (2-1-2)

2.      RJ Hampshire, Honda (3-2-4)

3.      Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha (5-4-1)

4.      Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (1-10-3)

5.      Jimmy Decotis, Suzuki (6-5-6)

9.   Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (10-3-19)


Western Regional 250SX Class Standings

1.      Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 182

2.      Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 177

3.      Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 142

4.      RJ Hampshire, Honda - 126

5.      Shane McElrath, KTM - 123

10.  Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 99

450SX Class


Given the depth of talent in the premier division of Monster Energy Supercross it wasn’t a surprise to see a highly competitive night of action unfold in Houston as the Triple Crown format fosters some of the best racing of the championship. The last time the stars of the sport battled it out in a Triple Crown race it was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac who prevailed. Since its inception, Tomac has been arguably the best Triple Crown racer in the 450SX Class, which signaled renewed optimism inside NRG Stadium as Tomac looked for his fourth win of the season.


While Tomac was consistent, he ultimately came up short in his bid for victory. He just missed out on the podium in fourth, but easily led the way for Monster Energy.


Speed wasn’t a problem for Tomac, who posted the third-fastest lap of qualifying to set the tone for a solid night of racing. His Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy qualified 10th, while the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Justin Barcia and Josh Grant were 12th and 17th, respectively.


The opening Main Event saw Ken Roczen grab the holeshot and jump out to the early lead. As the field jockeyed for position behind him, Roczen was able to establish a gap that he proceeded to manage for the remainder of the race. Tomac started fifth and continued the fight for the spot, while Barcia and Savatgy settled inside the top 10. Grant started 18th.


Roczen went wire to wire for the opening Main Event win, while Tomac earned the best result from the Monster squad in sixth. Savatgy followed right behind in seventh, with Barcia 11th and Grant 13th.


The second Main Event saw Cooper Webb seize the lead, with Barcia starting solidly in fifth, Savatgy seventh, and Tomac mired in 10th Grant was just outside the top 10 in 12th. The open track allowed Webb to break away while the battle unfolded behind him. Tomac positioned himself just outside the top five in sixth, dropping Barcia back a position. Savatgy endured through some misfortune of his own and slipped outside the top 10 while Grant was fighting for a top-15 position. Both Yamaha riders later dropped out of action for the night, leaving the Kawasaki duo to carry the load.


Webb went wire to wire to take the second Main Event win, while Tomac improved a couple spots to finish seventh. Savatgy was just outside the top 10 in 11th.


The third and final Main Event proved to be best for both Tomac and Savatgy out the gate, with the Kawasaki duo right behind early leader Marvin Musquin. An inspired Tomac engaged in a fierce battle with Webb for second, with Tomac eventually getting the upper hand. Savatgy held tough in fifth half of the Main Event before engaging in a heated battle in the closing laps.


Like the first two Main Event, Musquin went wire to wire to take the win ahead of Tomac by six seconds. Savatgy followed with a top-10 effort in ninth.


Webb earned the overall victory, followed by Musquin and Dean Wilson, leaving Tomac just off the podium in fourth. Savatgy earned a solid ninth-place finish, while the Yamahas of Barcia and Grant both finished outside the top 15.


Tomac remains solidly in third in the championship standings, just nine points out of second and 22 points out of the lead with four rounds remaining.


450SX Class Results

1.      Cooper Webb, KTM (2-1-3)

2.      Marvin Musquin, KTM (5-3-1)

3.      Dean Wilson, Husqvarna (3-2-5)

4.      Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (6-7-2)

5.      Cole Seely, Honda (4-4-11)

9.      Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki (7-11-9)

17.  Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (11-19-20)

20. Josh Grant, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (13-20-21)


450SX Class Standings

1.      Cooper Webb, KTM - 288

2.      Marvin Musquin, KTM - 271

3.      Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 262

4.      Ken Roczen, Honda - 252

5.      Blake Baggett, KTM - 215

7.   Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 173

10.  Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 150

13. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 123

39. Josh Grant, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 3