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Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Victorious at Atlanta 1
Round 13 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, began the first of three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac captured his 37th career 450SX win, cementing sole possession of sixth place on the all-time 450SX wins list. In the 250SX class, Cameron McAdoo led the charge for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team finishing third on the day with rookie teammate Seth Hammaker right behind in fourth.
The defending series champion Tomac utilized the first round of qualifying to get a feel for the longer track layout of the Atlanta venue, but rainy conditions in the late morning forced the series to cancel the last qualifying session, leaving the No. 1 machine sixth in qualifying heading into the big show.
As the rain cleared out, it was time for the heat races to commence. In 450SX Heat 1, Tomac launched out the gate in second place but the slippery Georgia clay made it tricky to find traction early on. Tomac’s Kawasaki was quick to adapt, making passes in the whoops section and began applying pressure to the riders upfront. The defending champ capitalized from the leaders' mistakes to move into the lead late in the race and take the win.
With a record of success on the longer tracks and coming off an impressive heat race win, the momentum had shifted in Tomac's favor. When the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, the No. 1 KX™450 got off to a mid-pack start where he would spend the opening laps navigating around those in front. By the halfway mark, the Colorado native had moved up into third place, where he spent the next few laps applying pressure to the rider in front before advancing into second. As the final two laps began, the No. 1 machine stalked the leader's rear wheel waiting for an opportunity to make a move. The opportunity came as the leader was tied up by lapped traffic and Tomac jumped into the lead at the start of the final lap to secure the first 450SX Main Event win from inside Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"I came in here with a good mindset. The longer track layout felt like it was going to suit me, and it did today. The track was a beast today and it changed up a lot throughout the main. I was able to switch up my lines in the whoops and made up some great time there. I made a few good passes in combination with a couple of gifts, but I'll take it. I'm happy we're coming away from this one with a win, especially with the challenges the rainy weather brought us. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Kawasaki team for getting my KX™450 set up perfectly today. I can't wait to get back out there on Tuesday and battle for another win.”
- Eli Tomac
In the 250SX Class, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider McAdoo set the tone early by qualifying fastest amongst the field for the first time this season with his teammate Hammaker sitting in a respectable fourth overall heading into the main event show.
When the gate dropped on 250SX Heat 1, the rookie Hammaker launched out the gate in first to grab the holeshot aboard his KX™250 race machine. Hammaker would spend the first few laps in second adjusting the slick conditions but ultimately made the pass for the lead in the first whoops section before opening up a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. Despite a small mistake in the whoops that saw the No. 150 machine go down momentarily, the rookie quickly raced back into the lead and went on to earn his third heat race victory of the season. As the gate dropped on the second 250SX Heat Race, it was the No. 31 of McAdoo who nailed the holeshot and spent the majority of the race battling to keep the lead before going down with just three minutes to go. McAdoo would immediately remount his KX250 and reenter the track in fourth, where he ultimately finished.
At the start of the 250SX Main Event, McAdoo once again grabbed the holeshot but fell to third during the opening lap. The No. 31 began hunting down the riders upfront but unfortunately, he made a mistake in the whoops, sending him off the track. McAdoo quickly remounted, only losing three positions, and immediately began moving his way back into third, where he finished the race. For the rookie Hammaker, the No. 150 started the main event in sixth but rode hard to advance through the pack and finished in fourth place.
"There was a lot of chaos out there on the opening laps, and the track was extremely slippery today which led to some mistakes that really cost me a chance at the win in both the heat and main. Overall, I'm still happy we came away with a podium during a race like this. I want to give a big thank you to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for getting my bike fixed after my spill in the heat. I'm already shifting my focus to Tuesday and another huge opportunity picking up valuable championship points."
- Cameron McAdoo
"The track conditions were rough today. I ended the day in fourth, but I'm happy I pulled off a heat win in the slippery conditions. Overall, we had a solid day as a team, and I'm only getting more and more comfortable riding with the lead guys on my KX250. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad for all the hard work today. I'm looking forward to an even better result on Tuesday for Atlanta 2."
- Seth Hammaker