Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo took the victory in the first of two 250SX East/West Showdown races this season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this past weekend. Cianciarulo kicked the day off by qualifying with the second fastest lap time in the 250SX Western Region. In the main event, he rounded the first turn in third and passed Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton for second. Once in the runner-up spot, he closed in on teammate Austin Forkner and executed a clean pass right before the finish line near the halfway point in the race. He led the remaining nine laps to take the win and, in doing so, became the first 250SX class rider to win three East/West Showdown races.
“What a night, man!” Cianciarulo said. “It felt good to be back on the bike and being able to race with all of my teammates this weekend. This win feels so good, especially when you consider how stacked the competition was. I’m proud of my teammates and our success. It’s just a testament to how good our KX250 is this season and how dialed the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team has it. We put in so much work, so it’s great to see it pay off. We’ll keep it going for the next few weeks and get ourselves ready for Seattle."
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis was fifth out of the gate and steadily worked his way past the competition to score second place by the time the checkered flag came out. The finish marked the Frenchman’s fourth runner-up result so far this season.
“It feels very good to be on the podium this weekend, especially after a tough race last year in Atlanta, so I’m definitely happy about this race,” Ferrandis said. “I think I rode kind of tight because last year’s bad memories were a bit on my mind the whole day. But I made it through healthy this year and was patient during the main event, and was able to make it to the second position. This is a really good feeling! The bike was really awesome. We made some improvements on it last week. I was feeling really good on it. I also worked on my starts and it paid off. The track conditions were not easy. [There were] a lot of ruts, the whoops were difficult to pass at the end, and the sand section was tricky. Now the pressure goes down and we can focus on the next round.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner grabbed his fourth holeshot of the season in the main event and led for 11 laps before being passed by Cianciarulo and later by Ferrandis. Forkner leads the 250SX Eastern Region championship by 18 points over his nearest competitor.
“It was fun being able to race with the West Coast riders this weekend,” Forkner said. “It definitely provided a unique challenge out there. I’m pumped to get another heat win and podium finish under our belts, and maintain the point lead heading into Daytona. I had a few tip-overs in practice today, so my main goal tonight was to ride consistently and be patient going into the night show. It’s not another win, but we’ll take it!”
Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper rounded out the top five, respectively.