Tomac and Cianciarulo on a tough Orlando 2

Round 8 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship kicked off a new championship in Orlando, Florida on Saturday as the 250SX Western Regional Championship got underway. In the 450SX class, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac earned a sixth place finish, while teammate Adam Cianciarulo finished in 20th place after sustaining a crash.

In the 450SX class, Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Tomac and Cianciarulo took on the familiar Orlando supercross track as weather conditions prevented the series from changing the layout during the week. It was the No. 1 machine of Tomac who clocked the fifth-fastest time in overall qualifying aboard his KX™450 with his teammate Cianciarulo right behind him sixth.

Assigned to the first 450SX heat race of the night, Cianciarulo found himself in second place behind the current 450SX championship points leader from start to finish and earned the third gate pick heading into the main event. Tomac lined up for the second 450SX heat race of the night and had his work cut out for him after starting outside of the top-10 in the opening laps, but the defending champ would climb back into qualifying position with a seventh place result.

When the gate dropped for the main event, the No. 9 KX450 of Cianciarulo launched out to a first place start where he would lead the first 10 laps of the 25 lap race. Meanwhile his teammate Tomac started out in seventh on the opening laps before moving into fifth where he would find himself in a challenging three-way battle with fellow title contenders and eventually finished in sixth place. As the main event progressed, the local Florida-native rider Cianciarulo engaged in a battle for first position where he ultimately relinquished the position but determined to make a pass back for the lead, Cianciarulo began studying where his opponent was faster on the track. Unfortunately, his night would come to a halt after a mis-timed jump entering the whoops sent the sophomore 450SX rider over the handlebars and ultimately ended his night of racing.

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Tomac: Today was just not my day. The track conditions were rough at the start, but I had no issues finding traction and qualified in fifth aboard my KX450. In my heat race, I got a terrible jump out of the gate and this track was extremely difficult to pass on, I had to settle for seventh going into the main event. In the main event, I had a decent start and was able to get into a good position inside the top-5 where I had a solid three-way battle going with (Justin) Barcia and Ken (Roczen). I fought as hard as I could tonight, but it was only good enough for sixth place. We have the next weekend off from racing, so we will regroup and come out swinging at my favorite place to race, Daytona.

Cianciarulo: Well, today certainly didn’t go the way we would have liked it too. We had some great momentum all day long. I qualified in sixth, finished second in the heat, and in the main event, I got such a great jump out the gate on my KX450 and was able to just lead some solid laps. Once Cooper (Webb) got by me, I was able to see some lines where he was a touch quicker than me and felt like he wasn’t getting away from me, but as I began to look for lines to try and make a pass back, a lapper threw off my whoop section and I miscalculated my jump into the whoops that resulted in me going down. It was not the way I wanted to end the night, but I can’t thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for their support on the good days and the bad days.

Words and pic: Kawasaki