Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Takes Fourth Overall Win of Season at High Point National
Foothill Ranch, Calif. (June 17, 2018) – After a one-week break, Round 4 of the 2018 AMA Pro Motocross Championship resumed back east in the humid town of Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. The roaring crowd, who proclaimed themselves as the “Zoo” were on their feet throughout the day as Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac continued his winning streak, earning his fourth straight overall victory as well as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner who grabbed his first overall podium finish of the season with second overall.
After qualifying with the second fastest lap time, Tomac and his KX™450F lined up for Moto 1 determined and ready to attack the historic High Point Raceway track. Tomac blasted out of the gate grabbing his first holeshot of the season and held onto the lead for more than half of the race while facing the challenge of the technical track as well as passing lappers as the leaders turned well under two-minute lap times. With six minutes left on the clock, Tomac’s momentum was slowed as he worked his way through traffic and ultimately dropped back to second place, where he remained until the finish line.
In the second moto, Tomac was near the front once again, sitting in third this time around. Not wasting any time, Tomac went to work grabbing an outside line and passing his two competitors in the iconic High Point rollers on the first lap. After playing an intense game of cat and mouse with his primary contender for the last few minutes of the race, Tomac cranked out his fastest lap time of the day (1:55.8) and charged across the finish line 1.7 seconds ahead of second place to remain undefeated and ending the High Point National on a high note as he finished 2-1 for another overall victory and maintaining his points lead at 28.
"I really had to earn this one today so it feels great to take the overall win," said Tomac. "I felt a little off in the second half of Moto 1 so we made some adjustments and took a look at my lines to see if we could get around the ruts. Moto 2 was a real battle right to the end and leaving here with the win is huge. We're working hard to keep the red plate and we'll keep it rolling into Muddy Creek."
In the 250MX class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Joey Savatgy, Garrett Marchbanks and Austin Forkner all seemed to be off to a great start as they qualified fourth, sixth and eighth respectively. It was evident that Forkner got his groove back as he carried on his momentum from Thunder Valley by darting out front as the gate dropped in Moto 1. Forkner battled to steadily remain in fourth place, where he ultimately crossed the finish line, while his teammates fought to break into the top 10 for the first few laps of the moto. Savatgy trailed his teammates for the majority of the race as he gradually navigated his way around his competition to finish sixth. Just as Marchbanks tenaciously forced his way up to sixth with only two laps to go, he went down hard in the rollers forcing him to retire from the race and unable to compete in Moto 2. The rookie will see the doctor for further evaluation.
The second 250MX moto saw Forkner and Savatgy both launch off the line in front of the pack, but misfortune struck the Pro Circuit team early once again as Savatgy also suffered a hard crash forcing him to end his day early. Forkner did not disappoint as the sole rider to represent the KX™250F team as he proved he was not to be underestimated. Forkner exchanged positions with his opponents for second place multiple times until eventually sliding by to secure his first overall on the podium for second (4-2).
"It was really tough out there today so a podium finish was big for us," said Forkner. "We train for the heat but it still makes a huge difference on race day. All the hard work is starting to pay off and we're moving in the right direction. I’m looking forward to another solid finish next week.”
"Coming into the weekend I was feeling good," said Savatgy. “I was ready to turn things around and the bike was fast in qualifying. We caught a tough break today so we're going to get back to work this week and we'll be ready for Muddy Creek."
“I had a great day at High Point as I started the day qualifying sixth in practice,” said Marchbanks. “I pushed hard to reach the front in the first moto before I cross rutted off a jump, which ended the day for me. We’ll meet with the doctor on Monday and hope to get back on the bike as soon as possible.”
250MX Race Results
1.Aaron Plessinger (1-1)
2.Austin Forkner (4-2)
3.Justin Cooper (3-4)
13.Joey Savatgy (6-34)
250MX Rider Point Standings
1.Aaron Plessinger 171
2.Jeremy Martin 151
3.Alex Martin 141
5. Austin Forkner 115
11. Joey Savatgy 83
12. Garrett Marchbanks 72
450MX Race Results
1.Eli Tomac (2-1)
2.Marvin Musquin (1-2)
3.Justin Barcia (3-5)
450MX Rider Point Standings
3. Justin Barcia140