Las Vegas played host to the final race of the 2016 Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM Championship season. Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Josh Grant prepared to leave it all out on the track in the rain soaked Sam Boyd Stadium. In 450 Heat 1 Grant earned a transfer to the Main Event with a fourth place finish while Tomac crossed the line third in 450 heat 2. After the final gate drop of the 2016 season, Tomac rounded Turn 1 in fifth with Grant in eighth. Before the end of the first lap Tomac had raced up into third, then went down and dropped back to ninth, but immediately put his head down and started working towards the front. In no time at all Tomac had cut through the group of riders in front of him and put his KX™450F back in a podium position. With two laps to go, while running in seventh, Grant was involved in an incident relegating him back to 11th place where he would remain until the checkers. Tomac continued to take time out of the leader until the end, crossing the line in third and earning his fifth podium of the 2016 season.
“The conditions changed here in Las Vegas more than I’ve ever seen,” said Tomac. “We started the day with a track that flowed really well and was in great condition. Then the rain started and we missed the second practice. The Night Show became an absolute mudder and one of the most challenging Monster Energy Supercross races of my career. I’m fortunate to get out of here with a third and I’m really excited to leave the season with a few podiums and some momentum for next year.”
“It was definitely an interesting weekend,” said Grant. “With all the rain and how everything played out. I’m honestly excited to get that race done and now that the last Monster Energy Supercross is over I’d like to really thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for allowing me to come out and compete. I’ll be building on the weekend off and bringing that speed into Hangtown and the rest of outdoors.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki headed to Las Vegas for the final race of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season for a 250 East vs. West combined points race with Joey Savatgy leading the four man Kawasaki team of Chris Alldredge, Tyler Bowers and Gannon Audette. Heat Race 1 in the 250 class saw fast qualifier Savatgy gaining momentum by taking his seventh heat win of the season with teammate Alldredge crossing the line in second. In Heat Race 2 East competitors Bowers and Audette earned their tickets to the main by crossing the line fourth and seventh respectively. Savatgy showed his speed and determination from the word go, taking the holeshot with Alldredge close behind in second. At the end of Lap 1 Savatgy was setting the pace out front with Alldredge in fourth, Bowers sixth and Audette in ninth. Bowers and Audette fought through the mud and worked through the pack to cross the line in fourth and fifth respectively by the end of Lap 4. The race track continued to deteriorate throughout the main as Savatgy continued to control from the front and with two laps to go, Savatgy had a 20 second lead over the rest of the field. At the conclusion of the 12 lap Main Event it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Savatgy aboard the KX™250F taking his third win of the season, Audette in fifth and Bowers in seventh. Alldredge was involved in a last-lap incident.
“This is what it’s all about,” said Savatgy. “I work hard during the week and I work hard all year, to end the season like this is great. We were fast in the dry and we got it done in the wet. It hurts that we lost the title but in the same breath we made a statement and ended the year very strong. I’ll be here next year battling for the title.”
“My day started out really well,” said Bowers. “I’m a bit of a mud rider so I was happy about the rain. In the heat and didn’t get the start I wanted, but I made some good moves and ended up fourth. In the main I had inside gate, which had a great rut to the turn and then it all let go and I went right into the tough blocks. I raced my way up to fourth until the whoops ended up biting back. I got back up and was able to make a few more passes before the checkers and brought it home for seventh.”
“I qualified the best I have all season in Las Vegas,” said Audette, “which gave me a good gate pick for the heat. I had a good start and transferred to the main with a seventh place finish. The Main Event was messy as it was still pouring rain for the entire 12 laps. My goal was to keep it on two wheels and finish in the top five which is exactly what I did. I’m happy to finish off the year with another great finish for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team.”
Tomac rode Las Vegas in custom gear with gold highlights and Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A 50th Anniversary logo to help celebrate Kawasaki’s 50 years in the United States.