2018 Las Vegas Supercross 250 Class Photo Finish
The final round of the AMA Supercross series took place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo grabbed his first main-event win of the season in the 250SX East-West Showdown.
Cianciarulo began his day by qualifying fastest of all East and West region riders and finishing second in his heat race. Cianciarulo slotted himself just inside the top five in the beginning of the main event, and worked his way into the lead by lap eight and remained there for the remainder of the 16-lap race to take his first victory of the season.
Cianciarulo finished second in the Western Regional 250SX point championship, just two points away from first place and will not be racing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship this summer due to a torn ACL in his knee.
“It was a difficult race for me,” Cianciarulo said. “I don’t know what it was on the starts today, but for some reason, I just feel like I wasn’t getting the same bite like (I was) right off the gate. I think the only difference between this race and other ones in the past—obviously, I’m comfortable on this track, but the whole time I felt like mentally, I was trying to get to the front. I was happy I was able to execute. I had to pass some world-class talent, so it was one of my better wins of my career, for sure. I'm very disappointed I won't be out there doing what I love and competing this summer. At the same time, I'm excited to get this behind me so I can be at my very best going into next season and many seasons to come.”
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith started his night off by finishing second in his heat race and got off to a fifth-place start in the main event and worked his way up to second by the time the checkered flag flew. Smith finished second in the Eastern Regional 250SX championship.
“We had a little bit of a slow start to the season, but really put in a charge in the end and finishing strong is how I wanted to remember it,” Smith said. “I felt really good tonight and it helped when I came out fifth after the start. The track had slick spots and you had to be on it the whole race to make sure you didn’t make a mistake that would cost you. It’s great to bring home second in the championship; I just wish we were a little closer coming in to put up a fight tonight.”
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath grabbed the holeshot in the main event and slipped back to second place before being passed by teammate Smith to finish third on the night and in the Western Regional 250SX championship standings.
“The West Coast had some stiff competition, so to come out with two wins and two more podium finishes is a good feeling,” McElrath said. “I’m thankful we’re heading into outdoors healthy and it’s time to see what we can do this summer. Every year I want to look back and see that there have been improvements made. I know I still have room to grow, but overall we had a good season."
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne began the night by winning his heat race but in the main event didn’t get off to the greatest of starts and found himself in nearly last place. But he worked his way through the pack to finish seventh and wrap up his second-consecutive Eastern Regional 250SX championship.
“This year has been tough for me. I’ve had to fight every inch for this championship,” Osborne said. “Jordon [Smith] and the rest of the guys rode really awesome this whole season and gave me a heck of a challenge. This was the hardest one so far, I would say, but it’s amazing to be a three-time champion.”
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Aaron Plessinger carded an eighth-place finish in Las Vegas, which was enough to secure him the Western Regional 250SX championship after earning four wins throughout the season.
“It was a crazy race,” Plessinger said. “I got off to a mid-pack start and battled with a few guys, and when I was right behind Osborne I knew I had the championship wrapped up so I stayed there and tried to stay consistent and not go down. I had one sketchy moment and I backed it down after that. It honestly doesn’t even feel real. I don’t know what to say. It was a gnarly race and gnarly season. We’re number one, baby, it’s a dream come true!”