|Image courtesy Kawasaki|
Foothill Ranch, CA (May 21, 2017) – After a very successful Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Championship that saw Eli Tomac capture nine wins and teammate Josh Grant finish on the podium in Las Vegas, the Monster Energy Kawasaki team came into the Lucas Oil® Pro Motocross Championship beaming with confidence.
As the gate dropped on 450 Moto 1, 40 of the world’s fastest motocross racers came roaring around Turn 1 with Grant in fifth and Tomac in seventh place. Tomac wasted no time maneuvering his KX™450F through the competition and by lap four had made the pass for the lead and quickly began sprinting away. Tomac went on to win 450 Moto 1 by a remarkable 15 second margin over second place, while Grant raced hard to get into a podium position and finished the moto in third place.
The No. 33 Kawasaki machine of Grant came out swinging in 450 Moto 2 as he grabbed the holeshot and the early lead, while Tomac sat outside the top-10. Grant would lead for nearly 18 minutes before giving up the lead. The second half of the race was where Tomac came alive and began climbing his way up to the leaders. After passing his teammate for second place, Tomac began hounding the race leader, trying new lines and before long made the pass stick. Fans cheered as he crossed the checkered flag to capture his second win of the day and the overall victory. Grant would join his teammate on the podium with a third place finish in Moto 2 and the overall. Tomac will start Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with the red place, denoting the series’ championship leader.
“There was some good battling today,” said Tomac. “In the first moto, I got into a good groove quickly and made my passes early to get out front and get away, but the second moto was tough. I really had to dig deep and try every line possible to make time up on the leaders. It feels good to get through the first round and leave with the red plate.”
“Today wasn’t easy,” said Grant. “The track got rough quickly and I struggled in morning qualifying trying to find smooth lines around the track, but the team and I found the perfect setting when it mattered and finished the day on the box. I couldn’t be happier going into Round 2 at my home track sitting third in the standings.”
After winning the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East/West Main Event in Las Vegas, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo kept the ball rolling into Hangtown with a holeshot in Moto 1. Teammate Justin Hill began the moto in 10th, Joey Savatgy 14th and Austin Forkner in 39th. Cianciarulo would lead up until the halfway point of the race, before sliding back to second place where he’d remain until the checkered flag. Savatgy went on to finish seventh place, with Hill right behind in eighth. Forkner battled back to pass 28 riders and finish an impressive 11th place.
In Moto 2, it was Savatgy with the holeshot, followed closely by Cianciarulo in third, Forkner seventh and Hill in 19th. Forkner had the fans on their feet as the young gun sped his way through the competition and past his teammates into a podium position. He wouldn’t stop there as he continued to dig deep through the blazing heat and rough conditions and with two laps to go, put his KX250F into second place. All four Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders would finish inside the top-10 with Forkner in second, Savatgy seventh, Cianciarulo eighth and Hill ninth.
“Overall it was a solid weekend,” said Cianciarulo. “I felt really good on the bike in the morning. After getting the holeshot in the first moto, it felt good to lead laps again and finish on the box, but the heat and crazy rough track conditions got the best of me in Moto 2. We’re in a good spot leaving the first round and I’m looking forward to Glen Helen.”
“It was a bumpy start for us this weekend,” said Forkner. “After having to pull into the mechanics area on the opening lap in Moto 1 I was pretty angry and I think that helped me because I passed 20 plus riders and nearly finished inside the top-10. We again had some issues in Moto 2 but I pushed through it because I wanted to show I had the speed and fitness in Moto 2. I’m looking forward to rebounding next weekend.”
“This weekend was tough,” said Savatgy. “The track conditions were crazy and I struggled to find smooth lines. We’re going to do our homework next week and come back swinging next weekend.”
“I’m glad to get through the first race safe,” said Hill. “This track has always been one of the hardest in the series, so to leave here with a top-10, I can’t complain. It’s a long and tough series. You can’t win the championship at the first race but you can definitely lose it. The team and I will continue to do our work and improve each and every week.”
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