The final showdown of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship saw Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac capture his first 450SX championship in Salt Lake City, Utah by securing more than enough championship points with his fifth-place finish on Sunday. Tomac earned the title in dominant fashion, with seven wins and five additional podium finishes during the 17 rounds aboard his KX™450.
Tomac kicked off the finale in a familiar way by topping the charts in qualifying in the 450SX class with a fastest lap of 49.438. After tying with the competition for first place in the final qualifying session, the AMA had to go to ten-thousandths of a second to determine who was fastest, which landed Tomac his fifth pole position of the season.
Keeping the momentum rolling into 450SX Heat 2, Tomac got off to a great start in fifth and remained there for more than half of the race. As the time ran down, Tomac began to make his move on arguably the most technical track raced in Utah and passed two other riders to finish third.
As the gate dropped on the final 450SX Main Event of the 2020 season, Tomac got tangled with riders in Turn 1 but was able to avoid any kind of disaster, starting in 10th. Maintaining his cool, calm and collected demeanor, Tomac began to put in laps and gradually pick off riders, making his way to sixth by Lap 9. Tomac made one last pass a few laps later to cross the finish line in fifth, earning Kawasaki's 11th 450SX championship as well as the 2020 Manufacturers Cup award.
The day was a victory for all as Monster Energy Supercross is the first professional sport to complete their series after being suspended due to the global pandemic. Tomac has expressed many times that the silver lining of the time off was being able to see the birth of his daughter and he is now the first rider in history to win the title as a father, making it even more special to earn on Father's Day.
"This is just so cool, to win my first 450SX title. This championship is literally the last carrot that I was chasing, especially after coming up short for the past three years. I have worked so hard for this and can't thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team and entire company enough for all of their support and for helping me finally achieve this goal for myself and everyone who is a part of this program. It has been a long time coming and we set ourselves up for success starting from day one of this series and just kept fighting till the end."
– Eli Tomac
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki twosome of Austin Forkner and Cameron McAdoo returned for their final race of the season as they qualified third and eighth, respectively.
Just barely escaping the first turn carnage of the 250SX West Heat race, the Kawasaki duo ran up front with Forkner in fifth and McAdoo in seventh. The teammates put their heads down and got straight to work as they charged towards the front to fight for the best gate pick in the main event. By the final lap of the race, Forkner was able to pass one other rider and finish third with McAdoo right behind him to cross the finish line in fourth.
As the gate dropped on the 250SX East/West Showdown and the final 250SX Main Event of 2020, both Kawasaki KX™250 motorcycles shot out front. Just as he looked to be on his way to the front, Forkner made a critical mistake and crashed hard on the dragon's back to bring out the red flag, forcing the field to restart the race and leaving McAdoo to represent Team Green solo. Fortunately, McAdoo was able to get off to another great start in fourth. Gunning for a podium, McAdoo had made his way to third by the halfway point of the race. With the top 250SX riders from East and West, McAdoo battled hard to hold the podium position only to come together with another rider and ultimately finish in 11th.
Despite not being able to restart the final round of the series, Forkner finished third overall in the 250SX West Region Point Standings, while McAdoo, who overcame injury earlier in the season, finished in 12th place.
"I was feeling great today and we were in the hunt for the championship. Unfortunately, I made a mistake that really cost me. It's too bad the season had to end this way but that's the way racing goes sometimes. I'm really proud of myself and the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for our fight and just wish it could've turned out another way."
– Austin Forkner
"Although we didn't finish where we wanted to, it was a good day overall. I felt good throughout the day, my KX250 was dialed and I felt like I was riding really well. I had some great starts and even started to lead in the main before the red flag came out. It's really too bad about Austin, but I believe the restart to the race is really what got to me. I got another great start but ran out of steam there at the end. It got really hard for me to breathe and all I could think about was just finishing the race to my best ability. It was a great season and the team, and I will get back to work to take on the outdoors."
– Cameron McAdoo