CORONA, Calif. (March 17, 2014) – With the St. Patrick's Day holiday looming, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki fittingly left the fans inside Detroit's Ford Field feeling green with its continued dominance of the Monster Energy Supercross 250SX East Region. Rookie Adam Cianciarulo raced to his third win in five starts to maintain the team's undefeated record in the East Region and extend the squads overall winning streak to seven races.
With Cianciarulo leading the way, fellow Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Blake Baggett and Martin Davalos endured their own respective challenges in Detroit to emerge with solid results that helped solidify the squad's presence at the top of the East Region standings, continuing to occupy the first three positions.
Consistent Cianciarulo in Control of Title Hopes
It was arguably the biggest night of the 2014 season for Cianciarulo in Detroit as his third triumphant effort gave him firm control of the East Region Championship. As he has been throughout his rookie campaign, Cianciarulo was consistent all afternoon and evening, ultimately adding to his incredible start in supercross and cementing himself as the rider to beat in the title fight.
Cianciarulo capped off his afternoon in Detroit with the fastest lap of practice for the fourth straight event, setting the stage for a successful night show. In his heat race, Cianciarulo and teammate Martin Davalos set a torrid pace out front with the rookie securing a solid gate pick by finishing behind Davalos in second. As the main event got underway, Cianciarulo's starting prowess continued as he slotted into second behind Davalos. After his teammate went down in front of him on Lap 2, Cianciarulo assumed the lead and never looked back, leading the final 13 laps for his third win in five starts.
"We just need to keep putting ourselves in this position each week and if we do, we're going to keep having these kind of results," said Cianciarulo. "I honestly have to just give it up to my team for making the Kawasaki KX250F as good as it is. It was shaping up to be a battle out there, but things played out a little differently and I just needed to make sure we put 15 solid laps on the board. It feels great to put some distance between myself and my teammates, but I also wouldn't mind having them both up on the podium with me."
Cianciarulo has still finished in first or second in each of his first five supercross races and now holds a 17-point lead in the East Region standings.
Baggett Claws His Way Onto the Podium
While his third-place result and third podium finish of the season may appear as though Baggett had a quietly solid night in Detroit, the veteran had his work cut out for him in Detroit and fought valiantly for the right to stand on the podium. His relentless pursuit towards the front proved to rewarding in the championship battle.
Baggett's afternoon in Detroit started methodically with the seventh-fastest lap in practice, but he and the team continued to make adjustments to improve his Kawasaki KX250F for the night show. In the heat race, Baggett was one of several riders engaged in a battle for the top five and qualified for the main event with a sixth-place result. Out of the gate for the main event, Baggett was shuffled to a start deep inside the top 10 and instantly began his climb through the field. He made consistent progress towards the front and chipped away at every rider in front of him before moving into third on Lap 10 and holding on to the spot for the final five laps.
"We had our work cut out for us there, but I was able to find some areas where I could make some passes and here we are on the podium," said Baggett. "The track was tough and kind of became one-lined so there weren't a lot of passing opportunities. I just knew I was faster than the guys ahead of me so I forced the issue when I needed to and everything worked out in our favor."
Baggett gained considerable ground on his teammate Davalos for second in the East Region standings, with just three points separating the experienced duo.
Adversity Can't Hold Back Davalos
While it might be a day he'd rather forget, Davalos showed incredible grit in Detroit when nothing seemed to go his way. The veteran's speed was as fast as ever and he once again put himself in a position to win, but hard luck tested Davalos' resiliency throughout the day. He responded to the misfortune with a valiant effort that very well kept him in the championship hunt.
Despite the third fastest lap of afternoon practice, Davalos suffered a hard crash that could have taken him out of action. He walked away from the incident battered and bruised, but refused to sit idle. Davalos went on to bounce back with his fifth straight heat race win and pulled the holeshot in the main event to take over the early lead. Unfortunately a small tip over dropped Davalos to third and in his pursuit back to the front, he endured another incident that relegated him to ninth. Despite the challenge that lied ahead, Davalos put on a charge throughout the second half of the main event to cross the line in sixth.
"Things just never seemed to go my way today, but after everything that happened I'm grateful to be walking away with a solid finish and no serious injuries," said Davalos. "I know I probably let a win slip away there, but if you would have told me I could leave Detroit with a sixth-place finish following my crash in practice I probably would have taken that. We had a scare today and I'm just happy for the chance to fight another day and hopefully get back into this championship with Adam."
Davalos maintained possession of second in the East Region standings, but fell to 17 points behind Cianciarulo for first and currently holds a three-point advantage over Baggett in third.
Looking Ahead >> Toronto's Rogers Centre
The lone international stop of Monster Energy Supercross pays visit to Canada's most populous city. The Rogers Centre has been the site of past success for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki with two wins in five years. Just a short distance from Detroit, the three-rider lineup should face similar track conditions and a challenging layout on the series' biggest floor space.
Ford Field – 250SX East Region
1. Adam Cianciarulo
2. Justin Bogle
3. Blake Baggett
6. Martin Davalos
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
250SX East Region
1. Adam Cianciarulo – 119 points
2. Martin Davalos – 102 points
3. Blake Baggett – 99 points
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