Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 35 September 4

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOLUME 56 ISSUE 35 SEPTEMBER 4, 2019 P121 Cianciarulo is the 31st rider to win the AMA 250/125 MX Championship. The journey to his first title is an especially compel- ling one. One of the most highly decorated amateur riders in the history of motocross, Cianciarulo was expected to be a champion- ship contender from the get-go. Instead, the Floridian battled with one injury after another until it all came together for him this season. "The road to this championship has been a journey," Ciancia- rulo said. "I grew up in the Team Green program, and many people had such high expectations, but because of injuries, I've been unable to fulfill those expectations until now. I wouldn't change a thing, though. I have learned so much, grown as a person, and appreciate this moment more than I could have imagined. I'm just so emotional thinking about this accomplishment my entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Ka- wasaki team and I have achieved; we have worked so hard for this, and I really put my mind to it. I wanted this title so badly; now it's time to celebrate!" Back the 450 class, Tomac becomes only the fourth rider in series history to win three years in a row. It's the first time in 13 years that the feat's been ac- complished. The only other riders to win at least three times con- secutively are Gary Jones, Tony DiStefano and Ricky Carmichael. Not bad company. Tomac scored a series- leading six overall wins in 2019. That moved him up from eighth to fourth on the all-time AMA 450/250MX wins list with 23. He moved past legends Kent How- erton, James Stewart Jr. and Rick Johnson. Think about that stat for a second—only three riders in the history of the sport have scored more premier class wins than Tomac. Another season like he had this year could move Tomac past Bob Hannah, who currently sits third on the all-time 450/250 wins list with 27. Hannah is be- hind only Carmichael (76 wins) and Ryan Dungey (39 wins). Ken Roczen, with his three national wins this year, also moved up the all-time list going past Jeremy McGrath and Jeff Emig into a tie for seventh with Kent Howerton with 18 wins. Tomac was very consistent this season, finishing on the podium at 11 of the 12 rounds. Cianciarulo's six 250 national wins this season topped the series and moved him into a 10- way tie for 22nd on the all-time AMA 250/125 MX wins list. Four riders each won overalls this year in both the 450 and 250 classes, which is historically a relatively average number. Laps led during the season often tell the story of the cham- pionship, but not this year. In the 450 class, Honda's Ken Roczen, who finished runner up in the series, led 151 laps this season as compared to 105 by champ Tomac. Marvin Musquin, who was third in the final standings, was third in the lap-leader category as well with 58 laps led. In the 250s, again it was second-place finisher Dylan Ferrandis who led the most laps on the season with 112, over- taking Cianciarulo (97 laps) on the final weekend. In terms of moto wins, Tomac led the way in the 450 class with 11. Ferrandis, with nine to Cian- ciarulo's seven, copped the most moto wins in the 250 class. Coo- per Webb used the power of his Red Bull KTM to grab the most holeshots in the 450 class this season with six, this despite miss- ing the final two rounds. Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha's Justin Cooper took the honors in the 250 class with seven hole- shots. The 2019 season will be re- membered for Tomac moving into the truly elite category in AMA Pro Motocross history. He's still only 26, so if he continues for another four or five years at this pace, he potentially might threaten Car- michael's record of seven AMA 450/250 MX Championships. It might be a long shot, but one more title puts him second for the most championships in the series. And if form continues in the 250 class there very likely will be a new champ in that class in 2020, especially consider- ing Cianciarulo is moving up. In the last 10 years, only one rider, Jeremy Martin, has managed to repeat in that championship. CN Subscribe to nearly 50 years of Cycle News Archive issues:

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