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