Monster Energy Cup took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, October 19th. The three-moto event is always exciting for viewers, marking an unofficial start and preview to the upcoming Supercross season.

2019’s Monster Cup, however, fell under swift and harsh criticism after riders like Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson, and 2019 Supercross champion Cooper Webb all announced that they would not be attending the event. That left many fans and spectators wondering if the race would even be worth it – luckily, it was. The night gave fans a taste of Adam Cianciarulo’s 450 speed, Malcom Stewart’s and Jeremy Martin’s return to racing, and Tim Gajser’s MXGP flair, all in three tense and thrilling motos. Keep reading for the full race report and results.

Race Report

Moto 1

Cianciarulo didn’t waste any time making his presence known in the 450 class. With the gate drop of the first moto, the 450 rookie took the holeshot and early lead of the race. In second place was Martin, showing top speed and form after a long season off. Stewart, Vince Friese, and Gajser were in the mix, too, all holding down top positions. Outside of the top 5 was Tomac, though nobody expected him to stay there for long.

A few laps in and Cianciarulo was still leading. Friese had made his way to 2nd place, while Tomac was making his charge for the front. Then, Cianciarulo went down. Over a double and into the slick dirt, Cianciarulo took a quick spill, relinquishing 1st to Friese. Soon after, Tomac made a mistake too, coming up short in a rhythm section and letting a few riders go by. The Kawasaki riders both scrambled to make up positions.

By the midway point, Gajser had fallen back to 7th place, Plessinger was in 8th before he crashed out of the race, and Reed was barely in the top 10 at 9th. Back up front, Friese was struggling to hold off Tomac who had sped his way back into 2nd place. After a few failed attempts, Tomac finally made his way past, making room for teammate Cianciarulo, who was following close behind after successfully passing Stewart, to make the pass as well.

By the checkered flag, Tomac, almost unsurprisingly, took 1st, Cianciarulo took 2nd, Stewart finished in 3rd, and Friese and Barcia rounded out the top 5.

Moto 2

The start of the second moto saw many of the same riders up front. With the gate drop, Martin took the holeshot, but was flanked by Friese and quickly lost the lead to him. Behind them were Gajser, Tomac, Barcia, and Stewart, along with Cianciarulo who was making up spots from a slower start.

Places were shuffling as the laps ticked by. Tomac was quickly sliding past positions, maneuvering his way into 2nd place. He looked to be making a charge for first until disaster struck. Coming over a wall, Tomac landed at an angle and flipped off his bike. 3rd, 4th, 5th, and all the way to 9th place flew past him, leaving Tomac to resume the race in 10th place. With that, his shot at the Monster Million was up in smoke, and his chance at the overall was in serious jeopardy, too.

Things were going much better for Tomac’s teammate, Cianciarulo, up front. After his slower start, Cianciarulo had made his way up to 2nd place, challenging Stewart, who had moved into 1st, for the overall. The Kawasaki rider wasn’t able to make a pass before the checkered flag, though, leaving Mookie to bag his first-ever Monster Cup win. With Stewart in 1st , Cianciarulo finishing in 2nd, and Tomac miraculously making his way all the way up to a 3rd place finish, it was a three-way tie for the overall going into the third moto. In other words, it would be a winner-take-all race.

Moto 3

All eyes were on Tomac, Cianciarulo, and Stewart as the gates dropped on the third moto. One of them was walking home with $100,000 and, after the first few turns, it was evident that it was going to be one of the Kawasakis. Cianciarulo was in the lead after taking the holeshot, but Tomac was right on his rear fender.

The battle between the two Kawasakis was one of the most intense we’ve seen in a long time. Lap after lap, Cianciarulo was barely fending off Tomac’s speedy attempts to pass. The two were seemingly bar-to-bar, mere tenths of a second separating them. Tomac would almost make a pass, but Cianciarulo would shut the door. It was like that until the second to last lap when the two peeled off, Tomac to the Joker Lane and Cianciarulo around the regular track one more time.

It all came down the last half of the final lap. As Tomac came around the track and Cianciarulo out of the Joker Lane, it was impossible to tell who would be taking 1st. But, out of the lane, Cianciarulo barely edged out Tomac. The #3 was on Cianciarulo’s rear tire for the last half of the lap, but it wasn’t enough to make the pass. The rookie took his first win on a 450, proving that he’s going to be steep competition for the upcoming Supercross season.

2019 Monster Energy Cup Results

19Adam CianciaruloKawasaki2*21*5
21Eli TomacKawasaki1326
327Malcom StewartHonda3137
464Vince FrieseHonda45514
5 243Tim GajserHonda74415
651Justin BarciaYamaha58619
750Benny BlossKTM97723
86Jeremy MartinHonda66*1420
922Chad ReedHonda8121030
1034Tyler BowersKawasaki1191131
1156Justin StarlingKawasaki1410933
1211Kyle ChisholmSuzuki10111233
1361Alex RaySuzuki12141339
14722Adam EnticknapSuzuki16151546
157Aaron PlessingerYamaha2217847
1692Austin PolitelliHonda20131649
1771Ryan BreeceYamaha15161849
1872Robbie WagemanYamaha17181954
19800Mike AlessiYamaha19191755
2067Jerry RobinHonda13222257
21211Tevin TapiaYamaha18202159
22184Scott ChampionHonda21212062