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