Racing returned to the Motor City this weekend for Round 8 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner stole the show by winning five out of the six Triple Crown Main Events. Forkner's teammate Martin Davalos brought home another top-5 finish overall in the 250SX class. In the 450SX class, Tomac's teammate Joey Savatgy was in contention for another top-5 finish but a tip over in the third main event set him back to eighth place overall.
The last time the supercross series stopped in Detroit, it was the No.3 Kawasaki of Tomac who dominated the competition and was in the middle of one of the hottest streaks of his career winning five races in a row. On Saturday, it was no secret early on that he was once again feeling that dominant, as he was the fastest in all of his qualifying sessions.
In Main Event 1, Tomac was a man on a mission who was not going to be stopped as he put his head down and passed 10 riders on his way to victory. In Main Event 2, Tomac made quick work of the competition and once again found the checkered flag first. Going into Main Event 3, Tomac had a six-position cushion, but after a bad starthe quickly found himself on the outside looking in on an overall podium position. Tomac once again charged forward where he would pass up to sixth place, and finished on top of the podium with the Triple Crown victory. This marks Tomac's third career win in Detroit and third career Triple Crown overall victory.
The Detroit track layout played favorites to good starters, which is something Savatgy has proven to be. Savatgy started his day off by qualifying in fourth heading into the night show. Gate pick would be crucial for each Main Event of the Triple Crown race format. Savatgy did not get the jump he wanted in Main Event 1 but in the other two main events he put his KX™450 inside the top-3 off of the gate. In the second main event Savatgy held off the competition and joined his teammate Tomac on the podium with a third place finish. However, a late crash in the third main event would drastically alter Savatgy's overall points position on the night. Savatgy finished with a 8-3-11 score which gave him eighth overall.
Ford Field located in downtown Detroit, Michigan is not set up for the traditional pit party that is usually featured at most supercross rounds, so the teams lined the street and set up in an unconventional format. Furthermore due to it being a Triple Crown race most teams sent two bikes through tech inspection making it even more difficult to house the spare race bikes in the confined area. The Monster Energy Kawasaki crew opted to pit off the back of the semi's loading gate, while the Monster Energy/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki team elected to move inside the stadium into a storage area along with many other privateers.
"Today was just one of those days where everything clicked. Starting in practice and qualifying with having the fastest times in both sessions. In the main events, I was able to go forward through the pack the whole time which was good and other than my start in the third main event, my whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team and I put in a lot of good work this week and it paid off. I am really pleased with how tonight went. We gained some valuable championship points and will continue to keep charging forward." - Eli Tomac
"Tonight's overall result doesn't reflect how great I felt and my riding today. I qualified pretty good and in the first main, I just didn't get out of the gate quick enough which put me in a hole. I was pleased to bounce back in the second main and get on the podium with a third, and at one point in the third main event I was challenging for an overall podium but a small mistake ended up costing me. We will regroup this week and come out swinging in Atlanta which is kind of like a home-town race for me." - Joey Savatgy
In the 250SX class, it was another near perfect day for the No. 24 of Austin Forkner as he went three for three in winning each main events of the Triple Crown format in Detroit. For the first time this season Forkner was not the fastest qualifier of the day though he was just a tenth of a second behind the pole winner, and he led every lap of every main event except for one. Davalos showed flashes of being able to run with the leaders and would eventually once again finish the night fifth place overall. Mitch Payton and his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team will have a full house next week in Atlanta at the East/West shootout, and both Kawasaki's of Adam Cianciarulo and Austin Forkner will sport the red plates on their KX™250 machines.
The 250SX Triple Crown Main Events once again saw Forkner out front early and often in each race. Forkner was able to lead 41 out of the 42 laps raced on the night. Forkner and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team retain possession of the red plate and extend their points lead as they head to Atlanta, Georgia next week.
Consistency was the name of the game for the No. 73 machine on Saturday night inside Ford Field as he was able to string together 5-7-5 finishes for fifth overall. This consistency paid off as it bumped Davalos up two positions in the championship points standings where he now sits in eighth place.
"Three for three baby! I am obviously pumped on how today went and that I was able to continue to extend my points lead. My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250 was once again a rocketship that got me out of the gate and up front in each main event, which was crucial to winning the races. I am looking forward to having some fun in Atlanta next weekend and mixing it up with the west coast riders as well." - Austin Forkner
"Overall I'm happy with this weekend's result, but I would have liked to challenge for the podium a little more tonight. We have two back-to-back top-5 finishes, so we are moving in the right direction. We will get back to work this week to clean up a few minor things but it's going to be important to bring our "A" game next week as we race the west coast guys as well." - Martin Davalos