Eli Tomac and his No. 3 Monster Energy Kawasaki KX™450 ascended to the top step of the podium at Round 3 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Racing returned to Anaheim, California for the second and final stop at Angel Stadium, with Tomac grabbing his 28th career 450SX win, meanwhile 450SX rookie and teammate Adam Cianciarulo continued to impress by finishing in sixth place amongst the title contenders.
For the third week in a row, the Monster Energy Kawasaki dynamic duo kicked off the day by qualifying with the two fastest times as Cianciarulo clocked the fastest lap time of 51.865 with Tomac hot on his heels in second with a 51.934. The two Monster Energy Kawasaki riders were the only two riders to put in a hot lap in under 52 seconds. For the third week in a row, Cianciarulo was the fastest qualifier heading into the night show.
Tomac lined up for the first 450SX heat race and right out of the gate was able to tuck under the competition in the first turn. The No. 3 machine wasted no time getting out front and quickly darted away from the competition as he built an impressive nine-second gap over the field and went onto claim his first 450SX heat race win of the season.
Carrying the confidence of qualifying into the night show, Cianciarulo shot out of the 450SX Heat 2 gate in second place, but by the second turn had already claimed the lead. Cianciarulo began clicking off laps where he was able to lead the first half of the heat race before surrendering the top spot and finishing second.
In the 450SX Main Event both Tomac and Cianciarulo found themselves wedged out and sitting mid-pack after the first turn. Both racers began making quick work of the competition and followed one another toward the front of the pack. Tomac was able to maneuver his KX450 around the field and sliced his way into first place just before the halfway point of the race and never looked back, claiming his first 450SX victory of the year. Tomac’s win puts him into third place in the championship point standings and only five points back from the leader. Cianciarulo was able to maintain a top-5 position for the majority of the race but would ultimately cross the finish line in sixth place overall.
Eli Tomac: “Today was the day we worked for all offseason. Things were just clicking all day, we qualified second coming into the night, and in the first heat race we were able to get out front early and just kind of set the tone for the rest of the night. In the main, I didn’t get the best jump of the gate, but I was able to find some good passing lanes and remained aggressive in the opening laps. The two sets of whoops and dragon back were so mentally and physically demanding, I believe that is where I was able to separate myself from the rest of the pack. All in all, I can’t thank my team enough, the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki crew for all the hard work this past week, it definitely paid off tonight. I am looking forward to Glendale next weekend and to race a Triple Crown. My first 450SX win came in Phoenix and the high-intensity Triple Crown format really suits my racing style.”
Adam Cianciarulo: “Today was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me. I was able to qualify on top again which always helps going into the night show. In my heat race, I was able to get out front but my buddy Ken (Roczen) got by and I settled into second. In the 450SX Main Event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. I began to go forward and was able to make my way up to fourth, but unfortunately, I made some minor mistakes that cost me a better result. Sixth place isn’t where I want to be, but it is a long season and we are going to keep grinding. I am looking forward to the Triple Crown format next weekend in Glendale and the three gate drops we get to race.”
After starting the day off qualifying with the second-fastest lap time, Monster Energy/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner set the tone for the night by nabbing the win in the first 250SX heat race of the night. Forkner did so in dominating fashion by winning with an impressive 10-second margin over second place.
In the 250SX Main Event the No. 52 machine of Forkner got out to a respectable start and by lap two had already worked his way into third place. With five minutes left to go in the 250SX Main Event, Forkner went for a wild ride in the whoops that threw him to the ground violently. Forkner remounted his KX™ and despite the setback, he salvaged as many points as he could, crossing the finish line in 17th place.
Forkner aims for a bounce back ride in Glendale at the first Triple Crown race of the year. In 2019, Forkner became the first rider to sweep all three Main Events in a single Triple Crown event.
Austin Forkner: “Well there isn’t much for me to say at this point. Tonight, was a night I just want to forget and move on from. I felt good all day and got a great heat race win aboard my KX™250, but that costly mistake in the whoops in the main event ruined my evening. My team and I are going to regroup and probably spend a good amount of time hammering out whoops this next week. I had a lot of fun racing the Triple Crown races last year, so I am just ready to get to Glendale and redeem myself.”