Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Secures His Second Consecutive 450MX Championship
Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac showed the true heart and determination of a champion on Saturday aboard his KX™450F as he was able to successfully defend his AMA Pro Motocross title and clinch the championship for the second straight year in a row. The championship came down to the last moto of the 12 round series in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Proving persistence pays off, Tomac and the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team popped the champagne bottles to celebrate the newly crowned two-time champion after a hard-fought season.
Tomac and the Monster Energy Kawasaki team arrived early to the track ready to get the job done, but quickly realized that the fight for the championship was not going to come easy as the rain began to downpour all morning long. Due to weather delays, the practice sessions were cut down to just one timed session. This meant that qualifying was going to play a huge role in determining a good gate position, which is crucial to a good start in order to stay dry and maintain clear vision. Tomac went out for qualifying in the sloppy, wet conditions and set the fastest lap time with a 2:41.8; a time more than a second faster than his next quickest competitor.
As the gate dropped for Moto 1 with rain coming down, Tomac aboard his KX450F jumped out of the gate to a fifth place start where he was able to begin his attack on the field given the tricky track conditions. Through the early laps of the race and some technical navigation, Tomac was able to slide his way into second place, but became victim to the slippery conditions and slid out on Lap 7. Tomac quickly remounted in third place and pushed hard to track down the competition. Unable to bridge the gap to the race leader before the time ran out, the points leader was able to successfully pass one other rider, finishing in second place and keeping a 24-point lead going into the final moto.
The rain had come to a halt and the track began to dry as the gate dropped for Moto 2. Tomac needing to only earn one point with a finish of 20th or better to guarantee him the championship, got out to a 15th place start where he was challenged with vision issues during the early stages of the race. Acknowledging that he needed to ride smart, Tomac would eventually settle into ninth-place, where he ultimately would finish the race. Tomac rounded out the day with a 2-9 score for fourth place overall, more than enough to earn his second consecutive AMA Pro Motocross championship in the premier class.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said Tomac. “We came into the motocross season with one goal, and that was to repeat what we did last year and to accomplish that is just awesome. It has been 12 years since someone won back-to-back titles in the premier class, so that shows you how hard it is to do which makes this championship that much sweeter. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this Monster Energy Kawasaki team.”
Eli Tomac and the Monster Energy® Kawasaki race team will go straight to work testing the all-new 2019 KX™450 in preparations for the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) at the iconic RedBud MX track in Buchanan, Michigan on October 6th, as well as the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, Nevada the following week.
As the 250MX class lined up for their first and only practice of the day, the Kawasaki teammates Austin Forkner and Joey Savatgy braved the storm and sloppy track conditions aboard their KX™250F motorcycles. Group B broke in the muddy track first leaving less than ideal conditions for Group A, which consists of the top riders. Savatgy was able to qualify with the fastest time of Group A (2.38:6) and earn 11th overall for combined times. Forkner’s time in the difficult positions landed him outside of the top 40 and out of a qualifying position. The rules allowed him to start the event based on being inside the top 10 in riders standing.
As the gate dropped on Moto 1, both Kawasaki riders shot out of the gate and quickly started to maneuver their way to the front. Savatgy made quick work as he climbed to eighth by Lap 2, but shortly after, found himself right back where he started in 11th after tipping over in the slippery mud on the track. Unable to find his rhythm again in the brutal conditions led Savatgy to finish in 26th. Forkner made the most of the provisional starting spot and continued to charge through the field as he faced a flood of lappers, making it a challenge to make many passes. Forkner was able to battle the entire moto to capture a top 10 finish in seventh place.
As the rain began to subside and the gate dropped for Moto 2, the teammates faced another challenge as the track was drying and becoming extremely tacky. Forkner came out of the gate in fifth, which is where he remained for the entirety of the race finishing 7-5 for sixth overall. As a result of the track conditions, it was incredibly difficult to make passes but Savatgy was determined to finish out the day strong as he made his way from 10th to finish eighth for 12th overall (26-8).
“It’s been a tough season, but I’m happy with the accomplishments the team made over the last few months,” said Savatgy. “I’m pumped to have some time off and am looking forward to preparing for next year.”
“It hasn’t been an easy season by any means, but I’m pretty pumped to just finish the season out healthy,” said Forkner. “I had good moments in both SX and MX, but just didn’t get the chance to put it together. I’m excited for some time off and to give the body some rest.”
250MX Race Results
1. Aaron Plessinger (1-1)
2. RJ Hampshire (4-3)
3. Chase Sexton (2-6)
6. Austin Forkner (7-5)
12. Joey Savatgy (26-8)
250MX Rider Point Standings
1. Aaron Plessinger500
2. Alex Martin390
3. Justin Cooper 352
7. Austin Forkner314
9. Joey Savatgy 275
450MX Race Results
1. Justin Barcia (1-1)
2. Ken Roczen (3-2)
3. Marvin Musquin (4-3)
4. Eli Tomac (2-9)
450MX Rider Point Standings
1. Eli Tomac527
2. Marvin Musquin511
3. Ken Roczen 445