Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Goes Five for Five After Capturing the Overall Win at Tennessee National
Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac put his KX™450F back on top at Muddy Creek Raceway for his fifth consecutive overall win, capturing the first back-to-back victory in Tennessee National history, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Joey Savatgy and Austin Forkner both earned top 10 finishes in the 250MX class. Mother Nature provided a round of thunderstorms on Saturday morning, creating a track in mint condition and allowing the riders to truly enjoy a full day of riding.
Tomac kicked the day off by qualifying with the fastest lap time (1:51.4) and kept the momentum rolling into Moto 1 as he rocketed off the line on the leader's rear wheel. Tomac tracked the frontrunner for the first six laps as he carefully followed on what appeared to be the only clean line on the track before capitalizing on a minor mistake to steal the lead. Once out front, Tomac began to increase the gap on his contenders, establishing a comfortable lead and finishing the moto with an eight-second margin of victory.
Moto 2 proved more difficult as Tomac was forced to charge from outside the top 15 after the start. Accepting the challenge, Tomac began to navigate his way through the field passing several riders on a furious ride and eventually closing in on the leaders, positioning himself in fourth with 10 minutes and two laps still remaining. After making his move into third, Tomac continued to apply pressure and looked to make one more pass until ultimately deciding to back down and play it safe, knowing he would already take the overall victory with his third-place finish (1-3). Tomac’s overall win streak continues and increases his championship points lead to 32.
"It was a successful day and we're happy to be taking some points home with us," said Tomac. "The goal is to get a good start so we're out front and I was able to do that in Moto 1. Unfortunately, we didn't get the start we wanted in Moto 2 so I really had to battle to make some passes. It feels great to leave here with the overall win and we're going to keep working hard every week."
In the 250MX class, Savatgy recovered nicely from his crash last weekend at High Point as he started the day qualifying fourth, with teammate Forkner 10th. As the gate dropped for Moto 1, Forkner found himself battling amongst the top 10 and crossed the line in seventh on the opening lap. Forkner was able to maneuver his KX™ to position himself in fifth after the first few laps, where he would go on to reach the checkers, while Savatgy crossed the finish line slightly after him in sixth place.
Both of the Kawasaki riders were wedged out as the gate fell for Moto 2 and just narrowly missed the carnage early in the first lap. Forkner caught a bit of tough luck with a minor crash, causing him to play catch up from 18thposition. Savatgy also found himself outside of the top 10, forcing the teammates to fight towards the front. Savatgy went on to pass six of his competitors to finish in seventh giving him sixth overall (6-7), while Forkner impressively powered through eight other riders for ninth place and eighth overall (5-9) for the day.
"This week was definitely a step in the right direction," said Savatgy. "An overall win is what we're chasing but we were happy to be in the mix in both motos. I'm focused on minimizing mistakes and riding how I know I can. If I can do that, we'll be back on the podium where we should be. I’m feeling good and back on track as we head to the Wick."
"Even though we didn't make the podium, I felt like we rode solid this week," said Forkner. "The track was pretty tough today and a lot of guys were struggling so I'm pretty happy that we ran a clean race. The goal hasn't changed, and we expect to be in the hunt every race. It's all about picking up as many points as we can and moving on to the next race. I’m looking forward to another weekend of racing at Southwick.”
250MX Race Results
1.Shane McElrath (3-2)
2.Dylan Ferrandis (11-1)
3.Chase Sexton (8-4)
6.Joey Savatgy (6-7)
8.Austin Forkner (5-9)
250MX Rider Point Standings
2.Jeremy Martin 176
3.Alex Martin 170
5. Austin Forkner 143
10. Joey Savatgy 112
13. Garrett Marchbanks 72
450MX Race Results
1.Eli Tomac (1-3)
2.Justin Barcia (2-2)
3.Marvin Musquin (5-1)
450MX Rider Point Standings
3. Justin Barcia184