Tomac content with podium at Anaheim as mistakes cost Cianciarulo top three
Monster Energy® Kawasaki came into the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship season opener in Anaheim, California feeling strong and confident. Eli Tomac came out swinging, picking up where he left off from the Monster Energy Cup, showing great speed on his KX™450 and perseverance all night. Despite the unusual weather and muddy track conditions, Tomac started the season strong on the podium with a third place finish.
After months of build-up to the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium, not even a rare California rainstorm could turn away thousands of racing fans from all the exiting live action of the opening night.
Joey Savatgy proved to be a strong contender in his 450SX debut after qualifying directly through his heat race. Savatgy showed true grit as he was caught up in a first turn crash but continued to fight for a 16th overall finish.
Tomac raced to a brilliant come from behind performance where he charged from mid-pack to finish third overall, marking Tomac’s career-best, season-opening finish.
There were tricky track conditions due to the unusual amount of rain for Anaheim, but I managed to stay in good enough condition to keep jumping most of the lanes and pushing forward. I remained patient and controlled my pace throughout the Main Event, and although we’re always shooting for the top spot, I’m happy to kick off the season on the podium. The team and I are already looking forward to Glendale, let’s get this season rolling!” – Eli Tomac
“I’ve been working so hard this off-season and feel really comfortable on the bike, but the weather made quite the challenge for us. I had a tip over on the bike and some issues with my goggles in the rain, but I remained focused on finishing the race to my best ability. We have a long season ahead of us, I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike and continuing to grow and improve.” – Joey Savatgy
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team of Adam Cianciarulo and Garrett Marchbanks came out charging in the sloppy conditions on Saturday evening at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California at the season opener of the 2019 supercross series.
Despite the unusual rain showers, the veteran of the team Cianciarulo looked calm, cool, and collected all day long and showed that he has what it takes to fight for the 250SX West Championship. Meanwhile, the rookie Marchbanks made his supercross debut and quietly strung together an admirable performance for his debut ride.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Cianciarulo kickstarted the day by capturing the fastest lap time in qualifying, giving him the first gate pick in the heat race. Cianciarulo followed up that performance by going out and winning his first heat race of the season, which would once again give him the best gate pick coming into the Main Event. In the Main Event, Cianciarulo was off to a top-five start and began to mount an attack on the riders in front of him, unfortunately after he passed into fourth place the battle continued and he went down. Cianciarulo would remount and finish in fifth place on the night.
The No. 61 of Marchbanks started out his 250SX debut by qualifying in 11th place position. He then entered the second 250SX heat race of the night where he got his feet wet and raced to a sixth place finish. Marchbanks was able to get a solid start in the main event which allowed him to follow some of the lines of his veteran teammate, and would ultimately finish in sixth place overall.
For me, there are a lot of positives to take away from today’s race. The day started out great as we were able to secure the fastest qualifying time in practice, which gave us first gate pick to start the evening races. In my heat race, I got a little squirrelly off the start but I was able to save it and charge to the front and get my first heat race win of the year, which was awesome. The main event is a tough one to swallow because I know I should have been on the podium. It is unfortunate that I came together with another rider, however, I am happy I was able to remount and safely walk away from Anaheim 1 with some decent points. I am already looking forward to next weekend in Glendale.” – Adam Cianciarulo
“Coming into my first ever supercross race I was both excited and nervous as I did not know where I would fit into the picture compared to all the other racers. To finish 6th overall in my first supercross race in the mud is something that gives me a great building point to move from the rest of the season. I know I have the speed to be in top five each week and contest for podiums. I am really excited about getting back on the bike this week to work on a few things and improve on this result next week in Glendale.” – Garrett Marchbanks
Words and pics: Kawasaki