Apr 10, 2017
Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Takes Championship Lead in Seattle
Foothill Ranch, CA (April 9, 2017) – Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac once again turned in the fastest laps of the main event and scored a podium finish on his way to earning the championship points leader's red number plate. This during Round 14 of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.
As the gate fell for the 450SX Class Main Event, Tomac rounded the first turn in 10th. Tomac began throwing down his fastest laps, moving his way up to fourth place with a unique line through the rhythm section. With eight minutes remaining the No. 3 KX™450F of Tomac made a pass for third stick and shortly after, a mistake caused Tomac to go down and rejoin the race in fourth. With one minute remaining Tomac moved into third, followed shortly by an aggressive pass for second where he would remain until taking the checkered flag. Teammate Josh Grant was involved in an incident in his heat race and retired from competition for the evening.
"That was a bit chaotic," said Tomac. "I didn't have the best start but I found a bunch of rhythm combinations early in the race that were vital to me moving through the pack. Once I made it up to about fourth, it was difficult to keep my momentum going and unfortunately I went down. Luckily I was able to get back up and everything was good on the bike, so I could keep pushing and I took one final position before the checkers. I have the red plate now and we'll just keep doing what we've been doing."
As the 2017 250SX West Region Championship returned to action, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider and championship points leader Justin Hill began the day as the fastest in qualifying and backed up that result with a win in the second Heat Race. As the gate dropped for the Main Event, Hill exited Turn 1 around mid-pack and immediately started heading towards the front. Shortly after racing into fourth place, a red flag came out, causing a race restart. As the gate fell for a second time Hill rounded the first turn in fourth and was immediately engaged in a heated battle for position. Hill made two back-to-back passes on the second lap, positioning himself second but was quickly relegated back to third. Moments later the No. 46 KX™250F of Hill raced his way back into second place where he would remain until the checkers.
"The track was pretty crazytonight," said Hill. "Early on I fell into my groove and did what I needed to do to stay safe. I was a bit more conservative than I probably had to be, but I doubt that increasing the risk would have benefitted me. I have an 18-point lead in the championship now with two races to go, so I'm happy with where we are."