Monster Energy® Kawasaki dominated Sin City with bar-to-bar racing as Adam Cianciarulo took the overall victory and $100,000 prize in his premier class debut aboard his KX™450, while two-time Monster Energy Cup winner and defending "Monster Million" champion Eli Tomac followed with second overall result.
The Kawasaki team returned to Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium for the ninth running Monster Energy Cup event, which the Monster Energy Kawasaki team has won five times. The unique event features a one-of-a-kind hybrid track, which was raced on in three different configurations, one of which even sent the racers backwards during one of the three 10-lap main events. Accepting the challenge, Tomac kicked off the day by qualifying first for the night program, while new teammate Cianciarulo followed close behind in second position.
In Main Event 1, Cianciarulo proved just what his green machine was capable of, snagging the holeshot to lead the first two laps and forcing the fans on their feet. Tomac started in fifth position but quickly made his way to the front after passing three of his contenders by Lap 3. With four laps remaining, Tomac made his final pass for the lead to take the checkers. After making a minor mistake and recovering from a tip-over that sent him back into fifth, Cianciarulo fought his way back to finish just behind his teammate in second.
Main Event 2 was a different story with the No. 9 of Cianciarulo buried outside of the top-10, while Tomac was in fourth position before crashing and remounting on his KX™ in ninth. With their work cut out for them, Cianciarulo and Tomac began slicing through the field at lightning speed to eventually cross the finish line second and third, respectively. Although the million-dollar purse was no longer on the table, the dynamic duo weren't finished thrilling the crowd.
Tied in points heading into Main Event 3 had the crowd roaring as the gate dropped on the final race of the evening. Cianciarulo once again grabbed the holeshot, while Tomac quickly moved into second after the first lap and began applying the pressure. The Kawasaki teammates battled for the remaining nine laps but Cianciarulo held strong to take the checkers with less than a bike length ahead of Tomac in second. Cianciarulo, whose exemplary starts, speed and consistencies throughout the night lead him to the overall victory and the $100,000 payday.
"That's what racing is all about. That last race was as fun as it gets and I'm so proud that we finished what we started during qualifying. Hard work really does pay off and I can't thank my Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for setting me up for this win. This was huge for me and I'm really looking forward to carrying this momentum into the supercross season."
- Adam Cianciarulo
"What a battle. We came to race and put on a show and that's exactly what we did. My team set me up with a great bike; I felt good and was having fun all day. A small mistake cost me but I can honestly say that was some of the most fun I've had in a while. After riding with Adam a few times out in California, I knew we would be battling like this so I'm just happy we could take the 1-2 for the entire Kawasaki team."
- Eli Tomac
Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green™ amateur riders also hit the Las Vegas track on Saturday night looking to become champions. Chance Hymas set the tone by qualifying with the fastest lap time aboard his KX™100 in the Supermini class, while Team Green's newest edition Gavin Towers qualified fourth for his team debut. Proving to be future superstars of the sport, the two teammates put on phenomenal performances as Towers led the team by earning second overall (2-3), while Hymas took fifth overall (8-2).
"I am so proud and excited right now. I'm so thankful to be part of Team Green and grateful for all of their help with my transition on the team and the new bike. We've put in a lot of time together so going home with a second overall gives me a lot of confidence and I'm proud to earn this for all of us."
- Gavin Towers