News 24 Aug 2020

Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Cianciarulo captures his first 450 Class podium at round two

Monster Energy Kawasaki press release:

Image: Supplied.

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee hosted the first-ever doubleheader spread over two weekends in the history of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday for Round 2 of the 2020 series as Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo put his KX™450 on the podium for second overall after earning 3-5 moto scores, while teammate and three-time defending 450 class champion, Eli Tomac, endured a tough day finishing 16th overall (9-24). In the 250 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Cameron McAdoo put together two solid motos to earn the best overall finish of his career with a fourth-place overall (4-5) and teammate Mitchell Harrison earned seventh overall (6-10) on the day.

Just when everyone thought they were in the clear after the muddy track conditions the previous week at the opening round of the series, the Ranch saw more heavy rain and featured yet another tough, sloppy track to conquer. Due to the weather conditions, Pro Motocross shortened the day’s schedule down to only one qualifying session where Cianciarulo led the charge for Kawasaki qualifying in second and Tomac nabbing seventh gate pick for Moto 1.

As the gate dropped on Moto 1 in the 450 class, Tomac surged out front in fifth, while Cianciarulo found himself mid-pack in 14th. Tomac continued to charge through the slop, quickly making his way up to second by Lap 4. Late in the race, Tomac was unable to continue however, he had completed enough laps in the moto and had lapped enough riders for a ninth-place finish. Cianciarulo found success as he maneuvered his way forward to reach seventh halfway through the moto but didn’t stop there, as he went on to pass three other contenders to finish on the podium in third.

Moto 2 saw both Kawasaki’s launched out front, but the mud and standing water blinded much of the field around the first corner and the riders mistakenly clipped each other causing Tomac to tip over and remount in last place. Acknowledging consistency is key to a mud race, Cianciarulo held his pace to finish fifth, awarding him his first career 450 class podium with a second-place overall (3-5). The defending champion wouldn’t go down without a fight as he muscled his way all the way up to sixth just behind Cianciarulo, but once again, Tomac’s race came to a premature end as he ran into misfortune yet again and finished the day 16th overall (9-24).

“That track really threw a lot at us today. It took everything I had just to keep it on two wheels and charge forward. I had decent starts in both motos. A lot can happen in a mud race, so I knew I just needed to keep charging and make up positions. Obviously I’m really bummed with the way it ended, but we’ll move on to Ironman and get back to where we belong on the podium.”
– Eli Tomac

“I’m pretty stoked with how today went. I was able to put together a couple of solid motos in absolutely brutal conditions, but I was so motivated after crashing and losing my lead last weekend. I would say all the work over the week and that motivation paid off after grabbing my first 450 class podium in Pro Motocross with second overall on the day. I can’t thank the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for all their hard work today.”
– Adam Cianciarulo

In the 250 class, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders made the most of the day by sliding through the mud as McAdoo improved on his results from the previous weekend to qualify fifth, while teammate Harrison struggled a bit with the track conditions and limited track time but managed to grab the 18th spot.

McAdoo shot out of the gate in second aboard his KX™250 nearly grabbing the holeshot and positioning himself perfectly to quickly take over the lead just as the race leader made a mistake on the opening lap. After leading for two laps, McAdoo made a minor mistake disrupting his flow and dropping a couple positions. Known for always giving his best effort, McAdoo powered through to claim his best Pro Motocross finish yet, grabbing fourth. Harrison was able to exploit what he learned from qualifying and applied it to the moto as he rode consistently to finish just outside the top-5 in sixth place.

As the gate dropped on Moto 2 in the 250 class, the No. 29 of McAdoo once again rocketed out with the front group in fourth, while Harrison had his work cut out for him as he found himself buried in 22nd on the first lap. Harrison put his head down and got straight to it as he aggressively made his way around 12 other riders to finish 10th, earning seventh overall (6-10). McAdoo remained steady throughout the moto to finish fifth in the moto for fourth overall (4-5).

“Today went well for us. It was a tough day all around for the entire team, especially the mechanics but they all pulled together and did a great job keeping me going. We did exactly what we work to do, which is to improve on each performance. We improved this week with 4-5 moto scores for fourth overall and we’ll continue to build off of that. I’m happy to leave here healthy and finish the motos strong with these tough conditions. We’re already excited to get going at Ironman and keep this momentum flowing.”
– Cameron McAdoo

“Well, it was a crazy day for sure. The first moto was decent, and I was able to grab sixth place, but it was really muddy and gnarly out there. I think I had the worst first lap anyone could have in the second moto. I got off to a bad start, had to throw my goggles because I got water all in them so for a whole lap, I was basically blind, and then just before the finish line I got stuck so I was there for a minute. I managed to wiggle my bike out but then I even fell a few times. I guess that’s a lesson in not ever giving up because I kept charging and accomplished 10th for seventh overall. It’s pretty good, but it’s still not where I want to be, so we still have work to do but I’m looking forward to next weekend for Round 3.”
– Mitchell Harrison