Dylan Ferrandis knew he needed a little help to win the 250 West championship. He was more than prepared to do what was needed by earning the holeshot and dominating the Main. It was not going to be enough, however, with Adam Cianciarulo riding fourth.
With two minutes left on the clock, points leader Adam Cianciarulo handed him the championship when he crashed hard and bent his handlebar.
In the 250 East division, Chase Sexton had an easier night of it, bringing a nine-point advantage into the race. He watched his principal rival Justin Cooper fade outside the top 10 and knew that all he needed was to run a clean, steady race.
Ferrandis’ race win was never in question. He led flag to flag, while drama played out behind him. On the opening lap, he was in a points tie with his rival Cianciarulo. Comfortable in the knowledge that he had the tiebreaker, Cianciarulo rode calmly through Lap 1. The East division points leader Sexton rode one position ahead of him, but Sexton’s main rival Cooper was well back in the pack.
After Cianciarulo went down, “I just tried to stay focused but emotion was difficult to control,” Ferrandis said after being awarded the Number 1 plate signifying his championship. “It’s unbelievable. Wow.”
“It’s more than a dream come true.”
Ferrandis achieved the championship with a determined charge at the end of the season. He won back to back races in Seattle and Houston, finished second in the 250 Showdown in Atlanta and again in Denver.
“I got just a little too close to the tough block there and crashed – and would have been fine I think, but I got up and the bike was super mangled and unrideable,” a gutted Cianciarulo said outside of his hauler. “It’s unfortunate; that’s all I’ve got to say.”
“Unfortunately I made a mistake that cost me the chance to be a champion. I’ve been in this situation before and I’ve felt what the bottom feels like. I have some perspective. The sun’s going to come out tomorrow. … We put everything into this. You put your self-worth into it. I feel like a failure right now, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up. I’m going to put the boots on and go to work.”
Sexton could not afford to make a mistake so he rode a nice, safe race and finished fourth in the feature.
“That was the longest Main event I ever had in my life,” Sexton said on USA Network after the race. “To do it here in Vegas feels so good. I’ve been wanting this for so long and to get it my second year at only 19 years old is awesome.”
RJ Hampshire scored his second podium finish of the season with a third-place finish.
Cameron McAdoo saved his best for last. He finished third, which was not only his first podium of the season, but also his first top-five. McAdoo finished sixth four times, including in the most recent West race at Denver.
Alex Martin rounded out the top five.
250 West Heat: The West division set the tone for their championship with a head’s up heat. RJ Hampshire got the hole shot and held the lead till the finish. … Michael Mosiman finished a little more than a second behind with points leader Adam Cianciarulo, who was less than half a second back. … Dylan Ferrandis was outside the top nine on Lap 1, but he charged through the field to finish fourth, and transfer to the Main.
250 East Heat: Chase Sexton served notice he would be the rider to beat with the holeshot. He held the lead till the checkers. … Martin Davalos crossed under the checkers second with Kyle Peters third. … Justin Cooper struggled throughout the heat and never challenged for a top five. He was elevated to sixth at the checkers after Mitchell Oldenburg took a hard tumble with time running off the clock. He was running sixth at the time, but after getting pinned under his bike, he fell to 12th.
250 Last Chance Qualifier: In an East / West Showdown, the LCQ is almost as packed with talent as the Main in either division’s standalone races. Lorenzo Locurcio grabbed the lead just before the white flag waved and advanced to the Main. … He took the lead from Mitchell Falk, who inherited it after Mitchell Oldenburg crashed for the second time Saturday night. … Justin Starling and Chase Marquier also advanced. … When it’s not your night – it’s not your night. Oldenburg went down in exactly the same spot as he did in his heat race and once again got pinned beneath his bike. He ended the night three laps off the pace in 18th.
Dylan Ferrandis (226) (3 wins)
Adam Cianciarulo (211 points) (5 wins)
Colt Nichols (180) (1 win)
RJ Hampshire (168)
Cameron McAdoo (149)
Chase Sexton (193) (1 win)
Justin Cooper (180)
Austin Forkner (152 points) (5 wins)
Martin Davalos (148) (1 win)
Alex Martin (139)
Adam Cianciarulo: 9
Dylan Ferrandis: 8
Colt Nichols: 6
RJ Hampshire: 6
Shane McElrath: 5
James Decotis: 4
Jacob Hayes: 1
Garrett Marchbanks: 1
Jess Pettis: 1
Michael Mosiman: 1
Chris Blose: 1
Michael Mosiman: 1
Cameron McAdoo: 1
Chase Sexton: 9
Justin Cooper: 8
Austin Forkner: 6
Martin Davalos: 5
Jordon Smith: 3
Mitchell Oldenburg: 3
Alex Martin: 3
Brandon Hartranft: 2
Kyle Peters: 1
Next race: Lucas Oil Motocross Championship, May 18, Hangtown, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.