Round 7 of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross Championship returned to Buchanan, Michigan for the 45th annual RedBud National over the 4th of July weekend. With arguably the most energetic crowd of the entire series, the RedBud faithful donned their red, white and blue attire while chanting Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac's name after he captured his third overall 450MX victory of the season, and the fans continued on for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo as he earned second overall in the 250MX class.
As the rowdy crowd lined the fence for 450MX Moto 1, Tomac fired out of the gate in third and began his mission to take over the lead. On Lap 3, Tomac capitalized on the momentum of an outside line to make the move around his competition into second and then followed up with another pass for the lead in that same section of the track on the very next lap. Tomac went on to lead the remaining 13 laps to grab the checkers with a 6.3-second gap on the rest of the field for his sixth moto win of the season.
As the gate dropped on the second moto, Tomac began his charge from seventh position. After reaching fourth by Lap 5, Tomac found himself stuck behind one of his competitors for the next seven laps before catching a second wind and laying down the fastest lap time (2:08.3) of the moto. With two laps remaining, Tomac managed to pass one other rider before crossing the finish line in second, earning the overall victory (1-2) and further extending his lead in the 450MX championship points standings to 34.
After a respectable qualifying result of fifth to start the day, Joey Savatgy faced adversity in both motos, finishing the day 38th overall (38-34). Despite his best efforts and starting within the top-10 in both motos, Savatgy was forced to withdraw early from both races; in Moto 1 after colliding with another competitor and again in Moto 2 following a crash with a few laps remaining while running in sixth.
Not only were the fans displaying their American pride, but the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team sported special team hats, graphics on the race bikes, and riding gear, while Savatgy took it to the next level by arriving to the pits with red, white and blue hair.
The defending back-to-back champion and the rest of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team will take a week off, as Round 8 of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross Championship will pick up on July 20th in Millville, Minnesota for the Spring Creek National.
"Man, the track was gnarly out there, but I always have fun riding at RedBud. The crowd was so loud, it was unbelievable; there's really nothing like riding out there with all of that energy and being able to get the job done for them. The team has worked so hard to get me the best bike set up and I'm feeling even more comfortable and confident on my KX™. It feels so good when you put it all together and get another overall win. Because of all that work put in, we've been able to go on a roll this season and we're all looking forward to keeping that momentum going after taking this next weekend off."
"I'm trying so hard to put two decent motos together but I've run into some unfortunate issues these last few weeks. I got into a downed rider in Moto 1 and bent my foot peg to the point where I couldn't even stand on it. Then, I made a small mistake in Moto 2 and crashed with about 3 laps left while running sixth. We all know this isn't the easiest sport, but I'll get back to what I know and keep working. The Monster Energy Kawasaki team has been so supportive and continue to work with me so I can get back to the front where I belong."
Moto 1 in the 250MX class saw Cianciarulo wedged off the track in the opening lap of the moto but he managed to stick it out and reenter the track quickly. By Lap 7, Cianciarulo reached third just before dropping to fourth a few laps later. With just two laps remaining, Cianciarulo capitalized on a competitor's misfortune with their bike, allowing him to finish third. At the conclusion of the moto, Cianciarulo was penalized two positions by race officials for not decelerating when running off the track on the opening lap, moving him back to fifth.
As the gate dropped on 250MX Moto 2, Cianciarulo shot out of the gate aboard his KX™250, positioning himself in fifth. At the halfway point of the moto, Cianciarulo had reached third but wouldn't stop there and made his final pass on Lap 12 to reach the finish line in second. Cianciarulo's 5-2 score placed him on the podium with second overall and he continues to lead the 250MX Class standings with a 25-point advantage.
After riding through the morning practice session and qualifying 11th, Martin Davalos and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team decided he would not line up for motos that afternoon. Davalos has been struggling with lingering injuries throughout the season and after reevaluating his condition that morning, the group decided it was best he sit out in order to focus on the healing process. Davalos will follow up with the doctor later in the week for an updated status.
"Although I'm struggling to accept and understand the decision to dock me two positions in the first moto, I'm going to stay positive and focused. I'm stoked to turn it around with a solid second moto and second overall on the day. Being able to perform in front of that crowd, with all the energy and enthusiasm, is truly special. It's something I certainly don't take for granted. I'm looking forward to a weekend off and finishing this season strong."
"I have been dealing with some lingering injuries all season and although it's not in my blood to give up, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team and I made the choice not to line up for today's motos after struggling to get through practice and qualifying. We decided it made more sense for me to listen to my body and not take a chance at doing any further damage or creating any more risks. I'll check in with the doctor this week and we will go from there but for now, I'm looking forward to a weekend off."