Western Regional 250SX Class
Through the first two rounds of the season it’s been all Monster Energy in the Western Regional Championship. Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols started things off with a win, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo followed suit one week later. The duo carried all the momentum into Anaheim, but the Triple Crown format shook things up a bit.
Nichols, Cianciarulo and fellow Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider Dylan Ferrandis have been the class of the field in terms of speed throughout 2019, and they paced qualifying with the top three times. Ferrandis topped the charts, followed closely by Cianciarulo and Nichols.
When the gate dropped on the first six-minute Main Event to no surprise it was Cianciarulo who grabbed the holeshot and early lead with Nichols in tow. Ferrandis slotted into sixth, but soon surged into a battle for podium position. Cianciarulo appeared to have the race in control, but a mistake put him on the ground and handed the lead to Nichols. Ferrandis took advantage of the mistake as well to move into second, while Cianciarulo remounted in sixth.
The clear track gave Nichols all the advantage he needed to cruise to the win 2.6 seconds ahead of Ferrandis, while Cianciarulo impressively recovered to finish just off the podium in fourth.
The Monster dominance continued into the second Main Event, slated to be 10 minutes in length. Nichols grabbed the holeshot and put his Yamaha into the lead, with Ferrandis right behind. Cianciarulo didn’t get the start he needed and was forced to fight from ninth. With Ferrandis right on his rear fender for several laps, Nichols made a crucial mistake and tipped over, which handed the lead over to his teammate. Nichols remounted quickly and resumed right behind Shane McElrath in third. As this unfolded Cianciarulo was on a march through the field and moved into fifth. However, the Kawasaki rider encountered misfortune again and dropped outside the top 10.
Out front, Ferrandis carried on to the Main Event win and took the checkered flag 1.3 seconds ahead of McElrath, with Nichols in a close third. Cianciarulo was forced to settle for 14th.
The classification entering the third and final Main Event was exceptionally tight, and with 12 minutes scheduled for the last race of the night it was anyone’s guess as to who’d emerge triumphant. As the field stormed into the first turn it was Nichols who once again came away with the holeshot, but a battle with Sean Cantrell allowed Cianciaulo to seize the top spot ahead of Nichols. Cianciarulo paced the field for several laps, but a hard-charging McElrath eventually worked his way by both Nichols and Cianciarulo to take control of the race.
Once out front McElrath maintained his lead and took the win, while the Monster Energy trio of Cianciarulo, Ferrandis, and Nichols followed in second, third, and fourth, respectively.
Cianciarulo’s defense of the runner-up spot over Ferrandis ultimately benefitted McElrath in the overall classification as the Frenchman and KTM rider ended the night tied. By virtue of his win in the final race McElrath was awarded the victory. Ferrandis was forced to settle for second, while Nichols put a pair of Monster Energy riders on the podium for the third consecutive round. Cianciarulo rebounded to finish fifth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Garrett Marchbanks endured through an up and down night in 21st.
Nichols maintains his hold of the championship lead, with a two-point margin over McElrath. Ferrandis is third (-7), with Cianciarulo fourth (-8).
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Shane McElrath, KTM (3-2-1)
2. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha (2-1-3)
3. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha (1-3-4)
4. RJ Hampshire, Honda (5-4-5)
5. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (4-14-2)
21. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (17-21-22)
Western Regional 250SX Class Standings
1. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 70
2. Shane McElrath, KTM - 68
3. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 63
4. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 62
5. RJ Hampshire, Honda - 57
12. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 33