main content of page
Monster Energy® Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac Secures Second Moto Win and Overall Podium Finish at RedBud
The 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship resumed racing on Saturday after a weekend off for Round 4 from RedBud MX, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac grabbed his second moto win of the series and finished second overall, with teammate Adam Cianciarulo finishing 13th overall. In the 250 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda had a bounce-back ride finishing sixth overall, with Austin Forkner ending the day 16th overall.
A sea of fans in red, white and blue greeted Monster Energy Kawasaki for Round 4 at RedBud on July 4th weekend as the bikes and riders donned celebratory patriotic gear and graphics. In qualifying, Cianciarulo momentarily had the fastest lap time with a 2:04.635 before it was bested by just one, one-hundredth of a second, putting the No. 9 of Cianciarulo as second fastest. Back in sixth sat his teammate Tomac after setting a best lap time of 2:05.989 in the second qualifying session.
Once the gate dropped on 450 Moto 1, both riders jumped out to top-10 starts, with Tomac in fifth and Cianciarulo in sixth. The two Monster Energy Kawasaki riders would find themselves in third and fourth place after the first lap, with Cianciarulo leading the duo. Both riders would battle briefly before Tomac completed a pass for the position. Showing good pace, Tomac made a charge for the top-3 riders but ran out of time and had to settle for fourth. After being passed by his teammate, Cianciarulo fought hard to settle in sixth and remained in the position for the rest of the race.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki duo both got great starts in Moto 2, battling for the holeshot and the lead before a mistake by Cianciarulo in Turn 7 dropped him to the back of the pack. Cianciarulo remounted his KX™450 as quickly as possible, but the crash left his machine damaged, making it difficult for the No. 9 KX450 to move up through the field. Despite his best efforts, Cianciarulo could only advance up to 23rd by the end of the race. Tomac utilized his stellar start to stick with the lead rider through the first lap before making a pass for the lead and building a comfortable gap. The No. 3 KX450 went on to ride a near-perfect moto, maintaining a comfortable gap over the competition crossing the finishing line to collect his second moto win of the season. Tomac’s 4-1 moto scores earned him second overall on the day, while Cianciarulo’s 6-23 finishes were enough for 13th overall.
“The fans today were awesome. I was in a real dog fight the first moto but hearing the crowd cheering and screaming helped me keep pushing. We switched my rear tire to Dunlop’s paddle tire after the first practice, which gave me a bit more pace. Despite missing out on the podium in Moto 1, I still felt good with how I rode. Moto 2, however, was a much better race. I got a good start off the gate, which allowed me to battle for the holeshot and stick close to the lead rider before making a pass for first and pulling away. I’m feeling a lot like my old self on the bike again and think I’m ready to get back to consistently battling for podiums and wins.”
– Eli Tomac
“Today didn’t go the way I had hoped. My KX450 was running great and I felt like everything was clicking during practice, especially after setting the fastest lap time during the first session. But I still felt like I was battling the track each lap, which led to me making mistakes and ultimately going down. I gave it everything I had out there today. The team and I will look further into this race and figure out how we can build on it for next weekend. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team for their hard work and help this weekend.”
– Adam Cianciarulo
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s No. 30 KX™250 of Shimoda led the charge on Saturday morning, qualifying second overall with a 2:06.583, while his teammate Forkner set a time of 2:09.704, which qualified him in 16th place.
When the gate dropped on Moto 1 for the 250 class, both Forkner and Shimoda got out front off the start, rounding the first turn in sixth and 10th, respectively. Shimoda advanced to ninth by the beginning of Lap 2 and continued to charge forward throughout the race before crossing the finish line in sixth. Forkner, on the other hand, had a rougher go in the first moto, dropping back to 11th in the opening laps. A tip-over mid-moto put the No. 38 outside the top-20 momentarily, but the Missouri native did not get discouraged and salvaged a 20th place finish.
Moto 2 started similarly to the first moto with both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders getting good jumps off the gate and heading into the first turn mid-pack. Unfortunately, Forkner was pushed wide heading into the first turn and had to fight his way through the field from outside the top-20 once again. Battered and bruised, Forkner put his head down and rode a strong race, making his way to 12th, where he would finish the moto and end the day 16th overall. Shimoda was caught in a back-and-forth battle for seventh for the first half of the race but pushed forward as the track got rougher to make it up to fifth place before the end of the race putting him sixth overall.
“After last race, I was expecting to bounce back this race and do better than sixth. I have the speed to be in the top-4 consistently and challenging for podiums, but I need to get better starts more consistently. Having to work my way up through just makes it harder to compete with the riders in front. Overall, we still came away with a good amount of championship points which is good. We’ll take the sixth today and switch our focus on to Southwick.”
– Jo Shimoda
“RedBud is one of my favorite tracks to visit. The atmosphere here is second to none, which makes the racing that much better. Unfortunately, my day was off to a rough start from the first practice session after I went down in the corner after LaRocco’s Leap. I got up right away but was feeling pretty banged up, and that carried over into the way I rode today. I’ll regroup with the team this week and keep trying to get one percent better each day so I can get back to riding at my full potential.”
– Austin Forkner