MOTOCROSSTIME - NEWS FROM MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
Round 14 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship wrapped up the third and final Triple Crown format event, which features three main events deciding the overall winner.
As the Minnesota newscast continued to call the blizzard outside “historic”, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac was inside U.S. Bank Stadium making history for Kawasaki and himself as he captured his seventh win of the season and the first-ever overall Triple Crown Championship. Tomac finished with the lowest overall Olympic-style score in the three-race series with teammate Tyler Bowers achieving another consistent top-10 finish for seventh overall.
Despite the treacherous weather outside, the crowd was on their feet as Tomac shot out of the gate in front of the 22-rider field for the 450SX Main Event 1. Tomac led all 14 laps to take the first win of the night, while Bowers started mid-pack and aggressively pushed his way forward to finish in eighth.
The 450SX Main Event 2 was one for the books as the elite 450SX class riders continued to battle by assertively passing one another and swapping positions. Tomac made a minor error, dropping him to eighth and just ahead of Bowers in ninth. Trying to remain patient, Tomac gradually made his way up to sixth with eight minutes left to go. The intensity was at an all-time high as all of the top players were stacked up and Tomac finally made a move on his KX™450F to gain two positions in fourth, where he remained as the clock ran out. Bowers managed to gain a position crossing the line with another eighth-place finish.
As the gate dropped for the third and final race of the night, Tomac battled for the lead early but due to traffic took an outside line while sitting in third and he found himself held up by another competitor’s crash. Fortunately, Tomac only lost one position and avoided an incident of his own, but he did not let that stop him as he quickly retook third to seal the deal and finish 1-4-3 for the overall victory. Bowers rode consistently all night to finish 8-8-6 for an impressive seventh overall. Tomac has now won as many races as everyone else in the 450SX class combined and secures the overall Triple Crown Championship by winning two of the three superior events.
We got it done tonight,” said Tomac. “The track was tough and technical but I tried remaining patient and just get it done for all of us. It’s been a long day for the team but we’re out here to win so that’s what we did. It was definitely a great way to finish off the night.”
“These Triple Crown events are fun and intense at the same time,” said Bowers. “I’m proud of our progress and consistency. Having the support of this team has made such a difference and I’m so grateful for them, especially on long, hard days like these.”
After a shortened qualifying schedule due to weather, a surprise Kawasaki rider Brandan Leith logged the fastest qualifying time and had first gate pick on his KX™250F. Once racing got underway, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo found himself qualifying through the Last Chance Qualifier, while Joey Savatgy finished fourth in his heat race. As the gate fell on the 250SX Main Event, Savatgy briefly sat in second place before he slid into the tuff blocks and went down. Savatgy would remount in 21st and begin to charge through the competition to cross the finish line in 12th place. After a 10th place start, Cianciarulo raced through the deep, rutted Seattle track to pass seven riders to finish on the podium in third place. Cianciarulo now sits in third place in the 250SX Rider Point Standings.
“These triple-crown races are really intense,” said Forkner. “I felt good all day and happy to get the win in the first race, but I think I was being impatient and just couldn’t catch a break for the rest of the night. I’ve got a great team behind me so we will have some examinations done and then decide what is best for me and the team.”