Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Riders Show Speed at Monster Energy Cup
CORONA, Calif. - Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s riders showed speed on their Pro Circuit-backed Kawasaki KX450F’s at the inaugural Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Returning to U.S. racing, Ben Townley impressed with a second-place finish in the first main event of the night, eventually finishing 15th with a 2-19-20 moto result. Broc Tickle continued to get more comfortable on the KX450F throughout the night and finished just behind Townley in 16th with a 16-18-9. After injuring his leg in practice, Josh Hansen rode through the pain to finish 21st with a 22-17-21. In between the premier class racing action, Pro Circuit support rider Adam Cianciarulo earned the first ever Super Mini title at the event with wire-to-wire wins in both motos.
In his first race back with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team since 2007, Townley used this one-off race to remind fans why he holds an AMA Supercross Lites, Eastern Region championship. Townley started the night qualifying straight into the main event and immediately went to work, finishing second in the first race.
“It wasn’t the best night for results, but I think I went out there and showed that I can still run up front,” said Townley. “There were a lot of fast guys out there and I think the overall results would have been a lot different if I didn’t have to come in with a bike issue. The whole team has been really great and I’m really thankful for the opportunity to come out and ride.”
After capturing the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region championship, Tickle is now moving up to the premier class in 2012, giving him a great opportunity at the Monster Energy Cup to get laps under his belt prior to the season opener in January. The track design made starts important and Tickle had to come through the pack, but eventually finished with a best result of ninth in the final main event.
“I am really glad we were able to do this event because I feel like we’re going to be ahead in our testing compared to if we didn’t do the event,” said Tickle. “Normally we wouldn’t have started testing until later, but now we can take a little break and come back with a little more knowledge about what direction we need to go. I’m looking forward to having a little time off and then come back ready to go to work.”
Hansen was looking to stand on the podium at the beginning of the weekend, but a crash in practice made his weekend harder than expected. With a heavily bruised left leg, Hansen didn’t give up and made it into the main event through the LCQ. After putting in over 15 laps, he lined up for the main event and pushed as hard as he could, but the pain held him to a 21st-place finish.
“With a hurt leg, I basically had to ride every single lap out there,” said Hansen. “It was really hard on me and I am pretty disappointed because I know I could have been competing for the podium if I wasn’t hurt. I’m really thankful to everyone who stayed behind me even though I couldn’t ride to my potential tonight.”
As the premier class took a break, the action on the track continued as Cianciarulo and the Super Mini class raced on the same track as the big bikes. Earning the holeshot in both races, Cianciarulo raced to an easy 1-1 victory and took home the inaugural championship for the class.
“I had so much fun tonight,” said Cianciarulo. “The track was awesome and I am so happy that we were invited to race at such a great event. It’s a dream come true to ride on a track designed by the guys that got me into racing (McGrath/Carmichael). Hopefully they will invite us back again.”