Las Vegas is a place known for risk taking and defying the odds, and on Saturday night that is exactly what the Monster Energy® Kawasaki team did as Eli Tomac became the first two-time winner of the Monster Energy Cup, and captured the “Monster Million” by sweeping all three races. Racing in the premier class for the first time was the No.17 of Joey Savatgy, whose textbook starts and consistency throughout the night was able to land him on the podium in third place overall.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac started the day out by qualifying second for the night program, while teammate Joey Savatgy followed close behind in fourth position. Also joining the team for the weekend was No. 43 Tyler Bowers, who qualified in 13th place. As the sun set and the fans packed the stadium, the stage was set with a million dollar prize on the line for a rider who could win all three 10-lap races in the premier class.
In Main Event 1, Savatgy was able to snag a holeshot aboard his all-new 2019 KX™450 with his teammate Tomac in tow. Tomac was able to quickly get by Savatgy and move into the lead by lap three where he would check out from the competition for the remainder of the race. Savatgy shuffled back a few positions and finished the race in fifth place. The second race of the night was almost identical to the first with Tomac taking the holeshot this time and winning by a large margin with Savatgy crossing the line in sixth place. Unfortunately, Bowers’ night would end early after he tangled with a downed rider in Main Event 2.
The pressure was on Tomac with the largest payday in motorcycle racing as he lined up for Main Event 3 with $1,000,000 on the line, Savatgy would make it a KX450 holeshot sweep for the night as he nabbed the holeshot once again and began to check out from the field. Tomac suffered from a poor start that left him in seventh place by the end of the first lap. Tomac would spend the next nine laps hunting down the competition and slicing his way to the front. The crowd was standing on their feet and cheering as it came down to the last lap. Tomac closed the gap on his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate and made the pass in the back section of the track to sweep the night and secure the Monster Million.
“This is crazy,” said Tomac. “To become the first two-time winner of the Monster Energy Cup and winning the “Monster Million” is just insane. My 2019 KX450 was running so well all night, our starts were dialed, the suspension was perfect; it all just came together, and I couldn’t be happier right now. It was a great team win tonight. To also have a fan defy the odds and win a million bucks because I won is just insane!”
A new wrinkle was added to this year’s Monster Energy Cup, one lucky fan, Jesse Hebert from Greenbelt, Maryland also won a $1 Million Grand Prize after successfully predicting Tomac would race his way to the “Monster Million.”
“Man, I am so pumped,” said Savatgy. “I am so thankful to be a part of this Monster Energy Kawasaki team. It truly feels like family over here and I am excited for what 2019 has to offer! My KX450 was a rocketship all night long and helped put me on the podium.”
Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green™ amateur riders also hit the Las Vegas track on Saturday night looking to become champions. Chance Hymas led Team Green by finishing third place in his first Monster Energy Cup race aboard his KX™100 in the Supermini class. Teammate and defending Amateur All-Star Amateur class champion Seth Hammaker put together a 2-5 performance aboard his KX™250 which saw him finish just off the podium in fourth.
Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac showed the true heart and determination of a champion on 25 August aboard his KX450F 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 pour all morning . 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 wet conditions and set the fastest lap time with a 2:41.8; a time more than a second faster than the 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.”
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 Tomac 527
2. Marvin Musquin 511
3. Ken Roczen 445
Three for ET3!
Eli Tomac claims 3 from 3 consecutive overall wins on his Kawasaki KX450F at Thunder Valley in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship.