Shane McElrath Dominates Opening Round of Eastern Regional 250SX Class
Round seven brought forward a new points leader in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series. Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac grabbed his 30th career win and the title points lead on track conditions that challenged athletes and forced mistakes in front of 46,173 fans inside Raymond James Stadium.
Smarttop/BullFrog Spas/Motoconcepts Honda’s Vince Friese crossed the holeshot line first but before the second corner Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo sailed past. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen, the points leader going into this round, was buried in the pack; last weekend’s winner, Cooper Webb of the Red Bull KTM team ran just outside the top five at the holeshot line. The racers on the move early trying to chase down Cianciarulo were Tomac, Smarttop/BullFrog Spas/Motoconcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart, Webb, and Roczen who’d made his way to fifth after five minutes of racing. The track was slick in areas with a challenging sand section, and Tomac used the split lanes in the sand to rail an outside berm and take the lead away from Cianciarulo on Lap 11. With just over eight minutes and one lap of racing left Webb jumped past Stewart into third. Roczen passed Stewart next, but a tip over allowed Stewart by at about the same time Cianciarulo crashed in the whoops, dropping from second to tenth. Roczen made it back around Stewart and the top three riders in points held onto the podium positions.
Also establishing a new points leader by virtue of it being the starting round of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class series, Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing’s Shane McElrath took an impressive win, leading the pack nearly from the start. The Florida race not only kicked off the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship but was also the “This Race Saves Lives” event in which teams ran St. Jude patient-inspired artwork on their bikes and gear. The custom graphics and one-of-a-kind gear was collected after the race and will become available in the coming days where fans can bid on items from their favorite teams or riders. The online auction went live during the opening segment of Race Day Live and the first item up for bid was Ricky Carmichael’s custom-built Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. Fans can bid on Ricky’s bike and other items by visiting stjude.org/supercrossauction through the final round in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 2.
With eleven points now separating three riders in the 450SX Class, the series heads to Arlington, Texas next weekend, February 22, where AT&T Stadium will host the second Triple Crown event of the year in which riders compete in three 10-Lap Main Events.