Photo by: Octopi
The 2019 Monster Energy Cup is officially in the record books and it was Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo in his 450 debut that took home the biggest trophy on the night with his 2-2-1 scorecard. AC was joined on the podium by his teammate, Eli Tomac in 2nd and Smartop / Motoconcepts / Honda’s Malcolm Stewart in 3rd. The Futures 250 class and the Supermini classes were won by GEICO / Honda’s Jett Lawrence and Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Evan Ferry.
After the racing was over, we gathered some quotes from some of the top finishing riders in every class.
Adam Cianciarulo: (1st in Cup Class [2-2-1]) “I felt really good on the bike for the last couple of weeks. The first couple of weeks I was riding, I just wanted to take it easy and, and kind of get into it and be smart. Contrary to how I normally ride. (laughs) I felt like I’ve been coming around these last two weeks and the team really has the bike dialed in. I felt comfortable kind of from day one on it. So, my expectations were to be near the front. I wasn’t necessarily saying I was, you know, I think I could win or this or that, but I felt like I was capable of running up front if I got some good starts. I have kind of been struggling with keeping the front end down going over to the gate with all that power. So that’s something I struggled with there in the second man, even the first one. I don’t know how I pulled that off, but I think my expectations were to just to run up front.”
Eli Tomac: (2nd in Cup Class [1-3-2]) “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.”
Malcolm Stewart: (3rd in Cup Class [3-1-3]) “Any time you take time off with a big injury like I had, there’s just noting that can replicate a race. You can do all the practice laps you want, but when it comes down to racing with the big dogs, you cannot replicate that. For me to end up on the podium…I didn’t have any expectations for tonight, I just wanted to go out there and have some fun. What a lot of riders don’t understand, you have to go back to the drawing boards and realize why you did it. It’s because it’s fun, not because it’s a job.”
Chad Reed: (9th in Cup Class [8-12-10]) “I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my time but showing up with next to zero seat time may just top the list. (laughs) I had a blast racing again and actually felt a lot of positive feelings to take away from this weekend. Thanks to all who stopped by and showed support.
Tim Gasjer (5th in Cup Class [7-4-4]) “It was amazing, with just five days of training on SX tracks. I was happy with my riding and the top five. I was enjoying it a lot. Thanks to all my HRC team, honda America and all my fans. Thank you
Justin Barcia: (6th in Cup Class [5-8-6]) “My bike felt really good, we just needed a few things. Any race we go to we want to win, that’s always the goal, but there were some positives to take from today. We learned a few things about the new bike, and for me there are a few things I need to work on as well. The first race I was kind of near the front, in the top five, but took the Joker Lane early and made a few little mistakes and wasn’t able to move forward on that. In the second race, I just didn’t feel comfortable right from the start on that track. The track backward for me was difficult, so I struggled with that all day a bit and just wasn’t able to find the speed I needed to. In the last race, I made a few changes with the bike, there were a few positives and a couple of negatives, but the nice thing is we were able to feel that. We didn’t lose any points today and we’re out of here healthy. So just back to work.”
Aaron Plessinger: (15th in Cup Class [22-17-8] “The Monster Energy Cup did me dirty. I qualified well and got a good gate pick. I got a pretty good start and was running behind (Tim) Gasjer and (Jeremy) Martin and went into the sand section about halfway through and came out on my head. I went out in the second main, kind of just rode around a little bit and got back into it. In the third Main, I got a pretty good start, then Justin and Benny Bloss got by me. I got back by Bloss, and then Justin but when I took the Joker Lane, I made a couple of mistakes and Bloss got out before I did. Overall, I’m happy with the bike and happy with the way I’m riding. I just need to stay off the ground next time. I’m ready to get back to work for Anaheim I.”
Jett Lawrence: (1st in Futures Class [1-1]) “Practice started off pretty well. I got to ride it yesterday. I was pretty dialed and practice went pretty smoothly. I was able to get that quad and that stuff, but for the main event they tamed it down a bit and I couldn’t do that—250 couldn’t handle it. Practice and qualifying went well and I went P1 in all three. The main event went really well. I got a good jump and had to make one pass. I rode my race and was able to win that. In the second race, I drove it in a little bit too hard into the first turn but I was able to come out I think 2nd. I just made one more pass and rode it home.
Evan Ferry: (1st in Supermini Class [1-1]) “I wasn’t the fastest in timed qualifying. I was .4 seconds off of Chance Hymas. I knew exactly where I needed to make up some time: the sand section. I went up to the gate with the 21st gate pick all the way on the outside and somehow pulled the holeshot. Then I just had to send it through the sand section. The next moto, I did about the exact same thing. I got off to an okay start and got out to an early lead and just put my laps down.
Gavin Towers: (2nd in Supermini Class [2-3]) “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