The following is from Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.:
Foothill Ranch, CA (October 16, 2016)–Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the 2016 Monster Energy® Cup, one of the most anticipated races of the year. Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac lined up his KX450F behind the starting gate for the first Main Event of the night. As the gate dropped, Tomac pushed his way into third as he crossed the holeshot stripe. One lap later Tomac accelerated out of Turn 1 on the back wheel, took the faster line through the rhythm section and claimed second place. He quickly opened a gap on third and settled into second where he would take the checkered flag.
As the second moto began, the No. 3 of Tomac led the field down from the top of the stadium and into Turn 1, but crossing the line in third. Tomac wasted no time pushing his way into second and was focused on the leader. With four laps to go, Tomac was able to capitalize on a mistake by the leader and take over first place. Tomac fulfilled his once per race obligation to the Joker Lane with two laps to go and cruised home to a win in the second Main Event.
The start of the third and final moto saw Tomac’s lowest score put him in a prime position to claim the overall, until he rounded the first turn in 11th. By the start of the second lap, Tomac had moved into 10th and continued to focus on moving to the front. One lap later he had raced up into seventh and quickly followed that up with a pass for sixth. At the halfway mark, Tomac continued to battle for position, racing the No. 3 KX450F into the top five and back into the contention for the Monster Energy Cup crown. With four laps remaining Tomac made the pass for fourth and immediately followed it up with a pass for third. On the penultimate lap Tomac moved into the lead but had not yet taken the Joker Lane. On the final lap of the race he entered the Joker Lane and upon exit was back into a heated battle for second. The battle relegated Tomac to fourth, which would be good enough to take the 2016 Monster Energy Cup championship!
“It was a pretty typical Monster Energy Cup, filled with excitement,” said Tomac. “In the third moto especially, I was buried on the start and really had my work cut out for me. I couldn’t tell who was ahead of me at times, I knew was in a great spot to win but had to keep track of my competitors. On the last couple laps I had to put my head down and go to battle. I made it up to where I needed to be, got the job done and took the win!”
In the Supermini Class, second place qualifier Stilez Robertson lined up and as the gate dropped for the first race, Robertson grabbed the holeshot and set the pace out front for Lap 1. The No. 325 of Robertson remained out front until halfway through the second lap when Seth Hammaker pulled off an aggressive inside move, taking over the lead on his KX™ 100. For the remaining laps the two Kawasaki riders stayed out front and would cross the line with Hammaker taking the win and Robertson in second.
At the start of the second race Robertson exited Turn 1 in third and within moments made the pass for second. On Lap 3 Robertson made an aggressive move for the lead in the middle of a heated three-way battle. At the beginning of the third lap, Robertson was passed and then immediately countered and reclaimed the lead. With one lap remaining Robertson opened up a gap on second, rode a clean and consistent final lap and claimed the Race 2 win and fifth Supermini Class championship in six years.
“When you jump back into the stadium it’s amazing,” said Robertson. “You can hear all the fans go nuts and it makes the Monster Energy Cup absolutely incredible. In the race I knew there were a few places I was fast and a few places I needed to be faster. When it came down to it I got out front and was able to run my own race to take home the win. Winning the Monster Energy Cup Supermini Championship is huge for me and Team Green Kawasaki, I couldn’t be happier right now.”
For the Amateur All-Stars Class Garrett Marchbanks qualified in fifth position and for the Race 1 gate drop he rounded the first turn in ninth. Marchbanks set off towards the front and within the first lap had passed his way into sixth. On Lap 3 Marchbanks made a mistake and was relegated to seventh place where he would remain until the final lap, charging into sixth before taking the checkered flag.
At the start of the second moto Marchbanks crossed the line out of Turn 1 in 11th. Mayhem near the front made for a hazardous first lap that allowed Marchbanks to move into eighth place. He continued to move forward throughout the race and with two laps to go had raced his way into sixth. Moments before the start of the final lap Marchbanks moved into fifth and immediately followed it up with a pass for fourth, where he would stay until the checkers flew. With 6-4 race finishes, Marchbanks claimed a third overall in the Amateur All-Stars class.