be_ixf;ym_202112 d_01; ct_100
Images from the 2019 Supercross Race in Oakland, California

Monster Energy 250SX Riders Leave Oakland Seeing Green

Jan 272019

Despite all the parity that has defined the early stages of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season, the Monster Energy trio of Colt Nichols, Adam Cianciarulo, and Dylan Ferrandis has been the prominent force of the Western Regional 250SX Class. Nichols’ breakthrough win at the opening round kicked things off on a high note, and his unmatched consistency since then has allowed him to maintain the spot atop the championship standings. Additionally, the speedy duo of Cianciarulo of Ferrandis have proven they’re championship worthy as well, and while they’ve both endured through some ups and downs, they have still kept their fellow Monster rider within reach.

Since the Anaheim opener, every podium has featured two members of this threesome, with Nichols boasting an unblemished podium streak. In addition to that, Nichols and Cianciarulo have combined to give Monster Energy two out of three Main Event wins. 

Given all their collective success, it was only a matter of time before Nichols, Cianciarulo, and Ferrandis combined to totally dominate a Main Event, and the fourth round of Oakland proved to be the setting for Monster Energy’s most impressive outing to date.  A motivated Cianciarulo took full advantage of a stellar start to grab the lead early and maintain it, while Nichols and Ferrandis rose to the occasion as well. In the end, it was a clean sweep of the podium for Monster Energy, with Cianciarulo becoming the first repeat winner of the 2019 season. If it wasn’t already clear to the rest of the Western Regional field that the championship will run through these three riders, their collective strength is now undeniable.

Western Regional 250SX Class


The track inside the Oakland Coliseum is notorious for being one of the most challenging on the schedule. It’s moisture-rich soil results in a track that deteriorates as the night goes on, but also lends itself to highly competitive racing. The technical challenge of the layout presented itself early in practice and qualifying, where laying down a fast lap was at a premium.


As arguably the most technically savvy rider in the 250SX Class, it wasn’t a surprise to see Ferrandis pace the field entering the night show. The Frenchman has been on the verge of his first supercross win for some time now, and his afternoon speed made him a favorite to finally break through. All four Monster Energy riders, including rookie Garrett Marchbanks, earned a spot inside the top 10 on the time sheets.


All four riders found themselves in the same Heat Race, and it provided an early glimpse into what lied ahead. The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha duo of Nichols and Ferrandis started inside the top three, and after just a couple laps Ferrandis and Nichols were running 1-2. Cianciarulo had work to do after starting seventh, but he was soon right behind the leaders in third. From there, the Monster trio easily controlled the remainder of the race. Ferrandis cruised to the win, with Nichols second and Cianciaruo third. Marchbanks earned a transfer spot as well in seventh.


As they lined up for the 15-minute Main Event it was evident that the start was going to make or break any riders’ shot at victory. The track was filled with ruts, and the whoops had worn down to the point that jumping through was the most effective way to navigate them. A clear track would pay big dividends in setting a pace that could be managed, while being forced to come through the field would surely make it much more challenging.


When the field navigated through the tricky first turn, it was Nichols who narrowly grabbed the holeshot over Cianciarulo, but the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider surged into the lead. Nichols slotted into second, while Ferrandis emerged just outside the top five in seventh. Marchbanks started in 10th.


Both Cianciarulo and Nichols were able to establish a little separation between themselves and the field, in particular Shane McElrath, who moved up to third. With his Monster counterparts out front, Ferrandis made an impressive climb through the field. The Frenchman closed in on McElrath from fourth and put heavy pressure on last week’s winner, eventually taking over the final spot on the podium at the halfway point of the race.


Ferrandis’ charge wasn’t finished. He appeared to have a enough speed to challenge Cianciarulo, and there was plenty of time left in the race to do just that. However, his chances at winning hinged on how quickly he would be able to get by his teammate for second. After a couple laps of relentless pressure, Ferrandis pulled the trigger and made an aggressive pass on Nichols to move into second. At little more than a second separated Cianciarulo from Ferrandis at this point, and the Kawasaki rider responded by dropping his lap times over the final stretch. The increased paced allowed him to maintain his advantage and cruise to the eighth win of his career, leading every lap of the Main Event. Ferrandis followed 2.5 seconds back in second, with Nichols in third, 4.6 seconds off the lead. Marchbanks capped things off with a top-10 result in eighth.


Nichols’ fourth straight podium finish helped him keep his hold of the red plate as point leader. After a tough week at the previous round, Cianciarulo’s win vaulted him to second, just three points behind Nichols. Ferrandis is fourth, just a single point out of third and five points out of the lead.


Western Regional 250SX Class Results

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

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

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

4. Shane McElrath, KTM

5. Jacob Hayes, Yamaha

8. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki


Western Regional 250SX Class Standings

1. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 91

2. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 88

3. Shane McElrath, KTM - 87

4. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 86

5. RJ Hampshire, Honda - 67

11. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 48

450SX Class


With three different winners through the first three rounds, the 450SX Class has been a wide-open, unpredictable battle each time the gate drops. Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia made the first statement with a win at the season opener, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac has been one of the most consistent rider in the class, despite still searching for his first win of the season. Alongside this veteran duo, rookies Aaron Plessinger and Joey Savatgy have fought valiantly to find their way in the premier division, showing the potential for a breakthrough.


Savatgy led the way for Monster Energy in practice and qualifying, where he posted the third-fastest time of the afternoon. He and Tomac were the only Monster riders to earn a spot in the top 10 after what proved to be a very competitive field in which the top 12 riders all sat within a second of one another. For Barcia, who ended up 13th, it was an encouraging afternoon following a big get-off at the previous round from which he suffered a bruised tailbone.


Tomac and Plessinger had the first chance on track in the opening Heat Race, and it provided an opportunity for Tomac to build some confidence entering the Main Event. He passed Blake Baggett on Lap 1 and proceeded to pull away to victory. Plessinger held steady from his sixth-place start to maintain the position the rest of the way.


The second Heat featured Savatgy and Barcia, and the hot start Savatgy enjoyed in qualifying carried over into his Heat. Savatgy started right behind Cooper Webb and paced the KTM rider for several laps before making a pass for the lead halfway through. He was able to stay up front and earn the first Heat Race win of his 450SX Class career. Barcia wasn’t much further behind in fifth.


The track was in its most deteriorated state when the gate dropped on the Main Event, where Webb came away with the holeshot. Plessinger earned his best start of the season in fourth, with Savatgy right behind in fifth. Barcia and Tomac followed each other in ninth and 10th, respectively, and immediately went to work to try and move forward.


With his teammate Marvin Musquin in tow, Webb was able to put some distance between he and the rest of the field.  After Plessinger went down while battling up near the front, and dropped to the tail end of the field, the fight for second turned into a five-rider clash between Musquin, Savatgy, Ken Roczen, Tomac, and Baggett. Savatgy continued to impress and fought his way around Musquin into second. However, heartbreak struck on the following lap when his bike appeared to lose power and forced him out of action.


At about the halfway point of the Main Event, Roczen and Tomac had fought their way into the top three, but in his chase of second the Kawasaki rider bobbled and lost momentum, which allowed Musquin and Baggett to get around.


Webb went on to take his second straight win, followed by Musquin and Baggett, leaving Tomac just off the podium in fourth. Barcia earned a hard-fought seventh-place finish.


While he missed out on a spot on the podium, Tomac is still in the thick of the championship battle. He sits third, just three points behind new point leader Webb, while Barcia is fifth, 11 points out of the lead.


450SX Class Results

1. Cooper Webb, KTM

2. Marvin Musquin, KTM

3. Blake Baggett, KTM

4. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki

5. Ken Roczen, Honda

7. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing

19. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing

20. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki


450SX Class Standings

1. Cooper Webb, KTM - 83

2. Ken Roczen, Honda - 81

3. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 80

4. Marvin Musquin, KTM - 79

5. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 72

10. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 49

16. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 24