MOTOCROSSTIME - NEWS FROM MONSTER ENERGY® KAWASAKI
As the fans painted The Dome at America’s Center in all green attire, Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac put his KX™ on the top step of the podium with a dominant performance on St. Patrick’s Day to capture his fifth victory of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.
Heading into 450SX Heat 2, Tomac was feeling confident after setting the fastest time of the day in qualifying and earned a transfer to the main with a third place finish. The Kawasaki rider demonstrated that he had a lot more in the tank when the gate dropped in the 450SX Main Event by taking the holeshot. Proving it takes more than just luck as he shot out front, Tomac went on to lead all 27 laps for a wire-to-wire victory, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor with the largest margin of victory this year.
“There are days where you just feel like you’re on and I was on all day,” said Tomac. “This is the best dirt in the series and I just had fun riding my dirt bike tonight. We work hard all year to find a good setup for my KX™450F and I think we showed tonight how that work is paying off.”
Teammate Tyler Bowers showed tremendous growth as he rode impressively all day in his third race with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team. Bowers started the day with fast lap times in qualifying and entered the night show qualifying sixth. In 450SX Heat 1, Bowers was leading the field for the first three laps until a mistake forced him to wash the front wheel and crash in a turn. Bowers was able to bounce back and finish in fifth. The Main Event saw Bowers finish a hard-fought 14th after starting near the back of the pack, making it difficult to track down the other riders before the checkers flew.
“We felt really good in qualifying today and hoped that would transfer to the night show,” said Bowers. “Unfortunately, I got behind the pack in the main and wasn’t able to catch up, but I’m hoping to come back strong next week and fight for that win.”
In the 250SX class, the night looked to be all green with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider’s Austin Forkner and Martin Davalos finishing 1-2 in 250SX Heat 1. Forkner, racing in front of his home crowd, took the holeshot with Davalos not far behind him and the duo never looked back. As the gate fell in the 250SX Main Event, Forkner would narrowly miss the holeshot but made a powerful leap into the lead. He was setting a quick pace out front until he made a mistake and crashed with just over six minutes remaining. Showing toughness and his reluctance to give up, the No.35 Kawasaki rider was able to get back on his bike to finish fifth, minimizing the points damage. His teammate Davalos suffered misfortune and was unable to finish the race.
“It was great to ride in The Dome for the first time, especially in front of all my family and friends,” said Forkner. “The track was a lot of fun and I felt confident all day. Unfortunately, I made a couple of errors in the main, but we’ll work on it this week and get ready to suit up for the shootout next weekend.”
“I have the most supportive team in my corner,” said Davalos. “It has been really tough riding these past few weeks due to injuries and I couldn’t do it without their help. I continue to give it my all out on the track and I hope to rest this week, allow my body to heal and get back to what I love doing, riding.”