The AMA Pro Motocross Championship resumed racing this weekend for Round 8 at Spring Creek MX in Millville, Minnesota which brought some unusually heavy rain conditions, turning the track into "Mudville." Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo rode two strong motos to collect his sixth 250MX overall win of the season, while Monster Energy Kawasaki rider and two-time defending series champion Eli Tomac managed his race in the sloppy condition to finish on the podium in third place overall and extend his points lead.
Moto 1 in the 250MX class saw Cianciarulo get out to an impressive start and was credited with the holeshot but pushed wide to second place, where he would hound the leader for the first half of the race. Due to the muddy track conditions and taking on copious amounts of roost from the race leader and lapped riders, his vision became extremely impaired so he made the decision to ditch his goggles that were caked in mud. The gamble appeared to pay off at first but as the roost continued Cianciarulo began to make mistakes due to mud in his eyes. A small tip-over would ultimately cost him a position as he finished the moto in third place.
As the gate dropped on 250MX Moto 2, Cianciarulo shot out of the gate aboard his KX™250, determined to not settle for anything less than being first to the line. Cianciarulo made a quick pass into the lead and never looked back as he had the clear vision he was seeking. Cianciarulo's 3-1 score placed him on the top step of the podium, capturing his sixth overall race win of the season and the Florida native continues to lead the 250MX class standings with a 36-point advantage.
Making his return to racing after recovering from a crash at Round 4 of the series, Garrett Marchbanks and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team put together consistent results on a day that was a challenge with the ever-changing conditions. In Moto 1, Marchbanks found himself buried off the start but as the moto went on he gained several positions to cross the line in 10th place. In Moto 2, a much-improved start saw the No. 61 machine in fourth place for the opening laps and would ultimately finish the moto in ninth place, which resulted in a ninth place overall on the weekend.
"Today was one for the books. I am so incredibly proud of my team and the results from today. Days like today are where you can easily throw away a moto due to a mechanical or get swallowed whole by the nasty weather conditions. In the first moto, I struggled badly with my vision as mud got stuck on my goggles and I couldn't get it off, so then I ditched my goggles but that didn't seem to help as I kept making some minor mistakes and even tipped over at one point. In the second moto, I was determined to get out front and ride with clear vision and was able to do just that. We were able to increase our points lead a bit and keep working towards that bigger picture, which is all we can ask for at the end of the day."
- Adam Cianciarulo
"Well, I sure picked a good round to make my return to racing. Today was fun, but also extremely challenging. In Moto 2, I was able to get a great jump on my KX250 and was able to run in fourth for the first few laps. The nasty terrain didn't make it easy, but I am proud of the consistency I showed with my 10-9 scores for ninth overall. We will keep building from here and break into the top-5 before the end of the season."
- Garrett Marchbanks
As the dedicated, wet and wild fans lined the fence for 450MX Moto 1, Tomac fired out of the gate inside the top-10 and began his mission to take over the lead. Tomac capitalized on riders' mistakes and crashes as he darted toward the front of the pack. As Tomac ducked and dodged his competitors, he began clicking off laps, closing the gap on first place. With the leader in sight, they began running at a pace together that no other competitor was able to match and put almost a 45-second gap over third place. With the two-lap board out, Tomac looked to make a pass stick, but unfortunately, a lapped rider would derail his efforts and he would be forced to settle for second place in the moto.
Due to rain delays throughout the day, the second and final moto was pushed back as the gate dropped about an hour later than scheduled. Tomac got another good jump out of the gate but had to avoid a plethora of carnage as downed riders stacked up in the first corner. Tomac in eighth place after navigating the first turn began to mount a charge, but a small tip-over in the back section as his competitor bobbled would stall out that charge. Tomac quickly remounted and went back to work against his competitors, ultimately crossing the finish line in fifth place. Tomac's 2-5 scores earned him the third spot on the podium and further extended his lead in the 450MX championship points standings to 38. Joey Savatgy came into the weekend looking to bounce back from the adversity he had faced at the last round. In Moto 1, Savatgy found himself outside the top-20 but like his teammate, he began picking off his competitors in the sloppy conditions and was able to finish in eighth place for the moto. As the gate dropped for Moto 2 and looking for redemption, Savatgy unfortunately made a poor line choice in the sand roller section and found himself stuck in the mud. Savatgy finished the day with 8-35 scores, good enough for 15th place overall.
"Man, what a crazy day at Millville. The track was gnarly out there, but the track crew did an incredible job to give us something that we could race on. We only got one practice that was cut short due to lighting, and the track changed drastically throughout the day. It was a bit of survival mode out there for a lot of guys, which resulted in a lot of lapped traffic that held me back at the end of Moto 1. In Moto 2, we got a decent jump but got shuffled back and then I had a small tip over in the back section when I was charging towards the front, so I was only able to climb up to fifth. My Kawasaki team and I worked hard during the off week and have found a setting that compliments my riding on my KX™, which I think showed in Moto 1. I am happy to be leaving here with a podium and was able to add an additional four points to my lead in the championship points standings."
- Eli Tomac
"I'm trying so hard to put two decent motos together but I've run into some unfortunate issues these last few weeks. In Moto 1, I did myself no favors with a poor start but was pleased with how we fought all the way up to eighth place. In Moto 2, I made a bad line selection in the back sand rollers and got my bike stuck in the mud. The Monster Energy Kawasaki team has been so supportive and continues to work with me so I can get back to the front where I belong."
- Joey Savatgy