MOTOCROSSTIME - NEWS FROM MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
After a weekend off, Monster Energy® Kawasaki came into Round 4 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship poised and ready to get back on the podium.
As the gate fell on 450MX Moto 1, it was the No. 33 of Josh Grant on his KX™450F grabbing his second holeshot of the season, with Eli Tomac in third. While passing for second on the opening lap, Tomac would hit a slick spot in the corner and go down, remounting in 36th. Grant would lead for four laps before sliding back to third place on Lap 5, where he would remain until the checkered flag flew and capture his fourth podium finish in four rounds. Tomac passed 24 riders in 18 laps to finish 12th place.
After a week of rain and a full day of racing, the track conditions were treacherous for 450MX Moto 2 with temperatures in the high 90’s. These conditions would slow the pace of everyone, except for the No. 3 Kawasaki machine of Tomac, having earned the nickname “The Shark” for his ability to attack any track condition with aggression and speed. Tomac started Moto 2 in third place, and it wouldn’t take long before he’d strike and take the lead on Lap 4. Tomac quickly disappeared from the competition and pulled out to a 20+ second lead over second place. He’d capture his third moto win of the 2017 Pro Motocross Championship and finish fourth overall. Teammate Grant would finish 11th after a small tip over in the ruts on Lap 13 and finish sixth overall. Tomac sits 11 points down in third place with Grant eighth in the 450MX rider points standings.
“I’m glad to finish today with a win,” said Tomac. “It was unfortunate to have that crash in Moto 1, but shook it off and pulled off a big win in the second moto by 20 seconds. That feels good. Looking forward to doing it again in Tennessee.”
“The day started off great,” said Grant. “My starts were on point today with pulling a holeshot in the first moto and finishing third again. I got another great start in Moto 2 but just had a few little mistakes that held me back from the podium.”
Coming off his first win of the 2017 250MX Pro Motocross Championship, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Joey Savatgy picked up where he left off at the start of Round 4 in Mount Morris by qualifying on pole position. As the 250MX class came barreling around turn 1 of High Point Raceway for Moto 1, Savatgy sat fifth, Adam Cianciarulo seventh, Austin Forkner ninth and Justin Hill 12th. On Lap 7, Savatgy would go down in sixth place and remount in 18th. Meanwhile, Cianciarulo was in a battle for fifth with two other riders including his teammate Forkner for nearly 10 long laps. When the checkered flag flew, Cianciarulo crossed the line in fifth with Forkner in toe in sixth and Savatgy eighth. After a crash, Hill would not finish 250MX Moto 1.
Moto 2 saw Forkner start in fourth place, with Savatgy in seventh, Hill 14th and Cianciarulo 21st. The opening six laps were action packed with the top five battling and swapping positions every lap. Forkner would briefly battle in third place before moving back to sixth, where’d he stay for the remainder the race. Savatgy held on to finish in seventh, Cianciarulo 13th and Hill 17th.
“Today was alright,” said Forkner. “Had decent starts and hung around the top-5 all day and picked up two sixth place finishes. Not exactly what we’re striving for but there is always next weekend to improve. Looking forward to moving on.”
“Not the results we were hoping for,” said Savatgy. “After winning last weekend, it’s hard to accept these results. We’ll go back to the farm, do our homework and come back to Round 5 swinging.”
“Today’s conditions were rough,” said Cianciarulo. “Overall I think my riding was good and I made a lot of passes and held my own out there, but really need to work on my starts to make it easier on myself.”
“It just wasn’t in the cards for us this weekend,” said Hill. “On the positive side, it could always be worse. The conditions were tough today and the whole team and I are walking out of here and into Round 5 healthy and at the end of the day, that’s most important.”