CORONA, CA – February 17, 2014 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The debut of the Monster Energy Supercross 250SX East Region on Saturday in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium couldn’t have served as a better way for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki to assert it dominance over the field after a near-perfect night resulted in a 1-2-3- finish for the team and the first ever win for rookie Adam Cianciarulo. The future star and his veteran teammates Blake Baggett and Martin Davalos set the bar for the entire division and have already established themselves as the favorites to win the East Region crown.
While only one of the nine races in the East Region Championship have been completed, the momentum Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki gained in Dallas and the tone it established for the rest of the season will be a challenge for its competitors to overcome. A Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider sat atop the charts in practice, won every race the team was entered in, and led all 27 laps of racing across the heats and main event.
After one of the most successful amateur careers in the history of motocross, Cianciarulo’s Monster Energy Supercross debut was highly anticipated. With highly successful training partners in Ryan Villopoto and Ken Roczen, Cianciarulo was more than prepared for the challenge that lied ahead and he instantly proved his readiness by challenging for the fastest lap in practice. Cianciarulo and Davalos traded the top spot throughout the afternoon, with the rookie ultimately claiming second overall.
In his first heat race, Cianciarulo took advantage of a great start to take over the early lead. He earned valuable experience out front aboard his Kawasaki KX250F by fending off constant pressure from Baggett and overcoming some minor bobbles, which he no doubt applied to the main event.
Cianciarulo continued his starting prowess in the main event by grabbing the holeshot, but soon gave way to Davalos and asserted himself into second between his teammates. When misfortune struck Davalos on Lap 3, Cianciarulo assumed control of the race but had a battle on his hands with Baggett. A brief exchange of the lead on Lap 7 showed Cianciarulo’s ability to counterattack and after quickly reclaiming the top spot, he pulled away to become the 28th different rider to win a race for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.
“I’m just in disbelief about it all,” said Cianciarulo. “I didn’t necessarily come into tonight expecting to win, but I knew that if the opportunity was there I had to take it. It wasn’t easy by any means as both my teammates really pushed me all night long, but in the end I kept it together and somehow we won our first time out. It’s been a long road to get here and it’s just amazing to finally know this dream is now a reality.”
Cianciarulo’s next challenge as a rookie will test his ability to lead a championship. He brings a slim three-point lead into Atlanta next weekend, but has arguably more momentum and confidence than his rivals.
Baggett Back on the Box
It had been over a year since Baggett last competed in Monster Energy Supercross and following a challenging 2013 in which he endured both a wrist and foot injury, he was back in top form in Dallas. Baggett’s first career supercross win came in Dallas back in 2010 and he had high hopes for a big return on Saturday night.
Baggett began his afternoon with the fourth-fastest lap in practice and quickly stepped up his game in his heat race, stalking Cianciarulo throughout all six laps. Given how close he and his teammates were on speed, Baggett would need a strong start in order to give him the best chance at victory.
In the main event, Baggett came out third while his teammates paced the field. After he and Cianciarulo assumed the top two spots following Davalos’ misfortune, Baggett put on a charge and ultimately passed his teammate to briefly take over the lead on Lap 7. While his time out front was short lived, Baggett continued to fight and gladly took home a runner-up effort to get his return to Monster Energy Supercross off to a stellar start.
“I wanted to come out of here with a win but I’m glad to see Adam on top of the box,” said Baggett. “Anytime Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and the KX250F can sweep the podium it’s a good day. After everything I went through last year and my delayed start to this season with the foot injury, I have to admit that it feels good to have such a strong ride and get on the podium. If I can keep this up there’s not doubt I’ll be in the hunt for the title in Las Vegas. I know I’m only going to get better from here.”
Baggett sits three points behind Cianciarulo in the standings.
Davalos Puts Toughness on Display
With arguably more experience than any other rider in the field, many looked to Davalos to assert himself as the rider to beat in Dallas. He came out swinging in afternoon practice by pacing both timed sessions, but the back-and-forth between he and Cianciarulo at the top of the charts set the tone for a competitive evening.
In his heat race, Davalos took over the lead out of the first corner and simply ran away from the field. His dominant effort was an indicator of more to come, ultimately taking the checkered flag over 10 seconds ahead of his rivals in just six laps of racing.
While he just missed out on the holeshot in the main event, Davalos quickly moved into the lead and started to open a healthy lead on his teammates in second and third. Unfortunately, the hard, slick conditions inside AT&T Stadium bit Davalos on Lap 3 when his tire caught and edge and high-sided, launching Davalos into the air. He quickly popped up no worse for wear and re-entered in fifth place. As one of the fastest riders on the track, Davalos was able to make a charge back towards the front only to go down yet again while attempting to make a pass for third. He remounted quickly and continued his charge and ultimately returned to podium position on Lap 8. While it was a more adventurous 15 laps than Davalos had hoped for, he was happy to walk away with a strong result.
“Things could have definitely gone worse so to be on the podium after going down twice is something I’m happy to take,” said Davalos. “I know we may have let one slip away there, but it’s going to be a long battle towards the championship and I’ll have plenty of chances to bounce back and get that first career win. I’m honestly just happy to see Adam get the win and put Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and the KX250F 1-2-3.”
Davalos sits five points behind Cianciarulo in the standings.
Photos courtesy Steve Cox
Looking Ahead >> Atlanta’s Georgia Dome
Momentum is on Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s side as the East Region heads to Atlanta for the second round of the championship. With it’s 1-2-3 effort in Dallas, the team is already in control of its own destiny and is shaping up to be a captivating battle between teammates for the win each week and ultimately the title. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has six wins in Atlanta, last coming in 2010 with Christophe Pourcel.
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Based in Corona, Calif., Pro Circuit Products, Inc. is a leader in off-road motorcycle and ATV exhausts and aftermarket performance parts. Started in 1978, Pro Circuit is the go to shop for recreational riders and professionals for everything from suspension work to complete engine packages, and everything in between.
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