CORONA, CA – June 21, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – With the first off week of the season in the books, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad is refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to return to the track this weekend for the annual trip to Southern Maryland and the Budds Creek Motocross National. The break in competition serves as an ideal time for the riders to get some much needed rest while the team continues to dial in the Kawasaki KX250F and KX450F machines in search of good results. Historically, Budds Creek MX Park has served as arguably the most dominant track in the championship for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, as the team has secured the overall win in the 250 Class for seven consecutive seasons. The track was also the site of the team’s first overall podium result in the 450 Class one year ago.
Cianciarulo Set to Make Pro Debut
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has relied on a five-rider lineup for the majority of the 2013 season thus far, with four competitors in the 250 Class and one in the 450 Class. This weekend, the team will return to the six-rider lineup it began the season with, as 11-time AMA Amateur National Motocross Champion Adam Cianciarulo will make his professional debut at Budds Creek.
Cianciarulo, who joined the team prior to the start of the season, intended to make his debut at the opening round at Hangtown. However, a battle with salmonella poisoning put his first race for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki on hold for the first month of competition to ensure that he is at full health and has had enough time to get acclimated to the bike again. As a result of his amateur success, Cianciarulo’s move into the professional ranks has been one of the most anticipated stories for many years. His talent his immense and many within the industry feel he has a bright future in the sport.
“I feel like this day would never come, but it’s finally here and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity,” said Cianciarulo. “I took my time in getting back to full health and that off weekend definitely ensured I’m ready to go this weekend. I just want to go out there and get acclimated to the pace and competition of the field. I realize these guys have all been racing for a month now and I have some catching up to do, so I’m staying realistic about my expectations for this weekend.”
Rattray Eager to Build of Podium Effort
Through the first three rounds of competition Tyla Rattray made consistent gains in speed and in his comfort on the KX450F. As the lone rider in the 450 Class for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki he understood that his results needed to maintain an upward progression and at High Point the hard work paid off as Rattray secured his first overall podium of the season heading into the off weekend. With an additional week to build off that success, Rattray is looking forward to duplicating that effort at Budds Creek where he secured the win in the 250 Class just two seasons ago.
“That podium proved that we’re on the right track with our program so we didn’t try to make any drastic changes during the break,” said Rattray. “We just focused on some minor tweaks here and there and really placed a greater emphasis on starts. I came out of the gate really good in both motos at High Point and turned it into a podium, so I know that if I can start up front I have the ability to stay there.”
Rattray currently sits seventh in the 450 Class standings, but is just nine points from taking over sixth.
Baggett Seeking to Defend Budds Creek Win from 2012
After a month of competition, reigning 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett has had to battle through adversity in his early title defense as he continues to recover from a severe wrist injury suffered during the opening round of Monster Energy Supercross in January. With each passing week Baggett makes gains in his progression and thanks to the break in action last weekend, he’s feeling refreshed and eager to get back into action. Despite the challenges he’s faced, Baggett has still managed to finish inside the top five overall at each round this season, which includes a runner-up effort. As the defending race winner at Budds Creek, Baggett sees this weekend as a great opportunity to get back onto the podium and into the thick of the title hunt.
“That week off definitely worked in my favor and I expect to be battling up front this weekend,” said Baggett. “I’ve been able to get back into my normal routine in recent weeks which I know will pay off on race days. I know my speed is there and I know I have the ability to keep pace for an entire moto. More than anything I need to start getting good starts because it’s what I think has really held me back the most to this point. I won at Budds Creek last season and I expect to do so again this year.”
Baggett sits fourth in the 250 Class standings, 22 points from the top three.
Davalos Chipping Away at a Spot Inside the Top 10
Veteran rider Martin Davalos has shown consistent progression in recent weeks and as a result of his solid rides, he is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 in the 250 Class standings. At High Point, Davalos was in the mix for the top 10 in each moto and ultimately settled for a 12th place finish overall. With a week away from competition, Davalos took advantage by spending additional time training and making adjustments to the KX250F that will allow him to feel even more comfortable on the track.
“We’ve been working really hard this season to get the bike as good as we can and get myself in the best shape I can be in,” said Davalos. “This season is very tough both physically and mentally so it’s important to take advantage of the time off and use it to your advantage. We did that last weekend and I’m feeling confident heading into Budds Creek. I like the track and I think we can definitely be solidly inside the top 10 all afternoon.”
Davalos sits 11th in the championship, just eight points out of the top 10.
Hill in Search of Consistency as Rookie Season Continues
Justin Hill has shown the speed and tenacity that landed him a ride with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki at many moments this season. He has secured solid results throughout the first four rounds of competition, but he is always in search of improvement as he learns more and more about the bike and the competition with each passing week. At High Point, Hill learned a lot about resiliency with impressive come-from-behind efforts that ultimately left him tied for 12th overall with his teammate Davalos. With an extra week to prepare for Budds Creek, Hill is excited about what the weekend might bring.
“I made things tough on myself at High Point, but I learned I have the ability to come through the field which was definitely a confidence booster,” said Hill. “I spent some time during the break working on my starts so I can give myself a better chance at running towards the front in the motos. I know my speed is there and I feel like my fitness is where it needs to be. It’s just a matter of making it happen out there.”
Hill currently sits 13th in the 250 Class standings, just 12 points outside the top 10.
Durham Eager to Get Back into the Mix
Veteran Darryn Durham has had to battle through injury throughout his 2013 season, but as the weeks continue to pass, Durham continues to get faster and faster. At High Point, Durham was hoping for big things at his hometown track, but a DNF in the second moto ended his day early. With an extra week to continue the healing process, Durham is feeling close to 100% for this weekend’s race at Budds Creek and as a result is in search of a top 10 effort.
“I don’t see any reason why I’m not battling near the front with everyone,” said Durham. “I’ve felt better and better each week and the break just really helped get me back to where I know I can consistently be a contender. I think a top five is definitely realistic, but I’m going in with my sights set on a top 10. I haven’t had the best of luck this season, so I’m hoping to turn things around at Budds Creek now that I’m feeling better.”
Durham currently occupies 16th in the 250 Class standings.
Photos courtesy Steve Cox
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