Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Finishes Second in Houston
Round 2 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship landed in Houston’s NRG Stadium with an electric audience and frigid temperatures. Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac went into qualifying hoping to power through an injury sustained at the season opener but ultimately was unable to continue.
“We did everything we could this week to work through the injury but I didn’t feel right on the bike and I wasn’t able to ride at race speed,” said Tomac. “We have to think about the rest of the season so we’re going to take it day-by-day and focus on getting healthy for Anaheim 2.”
Teammate Josh Grant, lined up for Heat 1 in the 450SX Class feeling confident and got off to great start by taking the holeshot. As the race ran on, Grant dropped a few spots but held on to transfer directly into the Main Event with a fourth place finish. In a highly contested 450SX main, Grant finished in the top 10 for the second week in a row with a ninth place finish and sits eighth in the 450SX Rider Point Standings.
“There are a lot of positives we can build on,” said Grant. “Taking the holeshot in my Heat race showed our hard work on my starts is paying off. We’re in the hunt, I’m feeling confident and we’ll continue to put in the work so we can be on the podium.”
Following a strong performance at last weekend’s season opener in Anaheim, Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo hoped to carry that momentum into Houston. Both riders were able to do just that with Savatgy taking the holeshot and finishing third in 250SX Heat 1 and Cianciarulo qualifying first and posting his fastest lap of the day to win 250SX Heat 2. As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event, both Kawasaki riders had great starts with Savatgy taking the holeshot, just ahead of Cianciarulo in third. After five laps, it became a battle of the KX™250F riders until a mistake by Cianciarulo with less than seven minutes remaining dropped him to fourth. With two laps to go, both Kawasaki riders looked to have podium finishes when Cianciarulo went down while chasing his teammate. Savatgy crossed the finish line second and Cianciarulo rebounded to finish seventh as the checkered flag waved.
“I felt really strong tonight,” said Savatgy. “Obviously I wanted the win, but I learned last year that it’s a long season so we’re happy to be on the podium. We’re feeling really good and excited to head back to Anaheim next weekend.”
“I expect to be on the podium,” said Cianciarulo. “I came in prepared this season. I have the best team in the business and they set me up to win every single week. We felt great all day, but I made a couple of mistakes in the Main Event that cost me. We’re going to learn from this and come back strong next week.”
Savatgy and Cianciarulo are third and fourth respectively in the 250SX West Championship as the series returns to Southern California next weekend for Anaheim 2.