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Kawasaki’s Open-Road Ready 2020 Ninja 1000SX Ups The Comfort, Tech And Power

By | General Posts

by Bill Roberson from https://www.forbes.com

It’s raining and I’m sheltering in place with my family, which sadly means no motorcycle riding as spring weather imminently arrives in the Northwest. Thankfully, Kawasaki just broke the boredom by holding a model reveal online, as is the sudden new norm, and the new bike is the 2020 Ninja 1000SX. It looks to be another fine machine from the always capable Kawasaki. But after the presentation, I found myself wandering down memory lane (and through digitized photos) to the first and only Ninja I personally owned. In the early 1990’s, I happened across a pristine first-gen Top Gun era 1986 GPz 900 Ninja in bone-stock, unblemished like-new condition (below). Resplendent in original red, white and blue livery, it was by that time somewhat of a performance relic, but I bought it anyway because, well, I had always wanted one and the price was right. Compared to the back-road-strafing Suzuki GSX-R 750 I was riding at the time, it was heavy, a bit wobbly when pressed in the curves, and big. But still, it was just so cool. It still is.

One weekend, a riding buddy and I saddled up our respective bikes with some soft bags and headed out to parts unknown in the wide-open (and very lightly patrolled) reaches of eastern Oregon. Midway into a long leg of the trip, my cohort was complaining about the uncomfortable riding position of his mount and tried everything from using the rear pegs to sitting on towels to soothe the pain. But I had made an unexpected discovery: That big, heavy GPz Ninja was a near-perfect sport-touring machine, with a supple yet sporty suspension, a comfortable seat, a near-perfect bar-seat-peg triangle (for myself at least), and a willing, powerful engine. That was the first of many long trips on the Ninja.

Over 30 years later, Kawasaki’s now-venerable Ninja nameplate has gone through numerous iterations and generations, ranging from sword-sharp track attack weapons to the beyond-bonkers 300+hp H2R supercharged exotic. But sitting in the sweet spot in the lineup is the great, great grandchild of that first GPz machine, the 2020 Ninja 1000SX. It still looks fast, with rakish, geometric bodywork and a mean, purposeful stance. And it is Ninja fast, with a new 1,043cc inline-four that puts out triple-digit horsepower and is tuned for more torque than your typical sportbike screamer. But best of all, this modern Ninja calls out to me like my old friend, with more focused capabilities that weren’t readily apparent in my sturdy GPz.

The $12,399 2020 Ninja 1000SX is both a sport-riding and a sport-touring platform with a definite emphasis on sport, but Kawasaki has also embraced and expanded its touring acumen. Hard bags that use a slick low-profile mounting system are an OEM option, the quick-release windscreen adjusts across four settings, there are four seat options, and the SX has been retooled digitally for open-road riding including, at long last, electronic cruise control (the real kind, not the plastic throttle lock I used on my ‘86 Ninja). But it’s also designed to be a competent back-roads tool, including a new clutchless quick shifter and slipper clutch, giving riders the ability to scratch an itch in both worlds.

For 2020, Kawasaki has also upped the tech quotient to a large degree over the 2019 model. The KIBS ABS smart braking system is now standard, and a new Bosch inertial module adds more safety options to the braking and acceleration parts of the ride, including a novel new cornering management system. For pilots wanting less tech intervention, certain aspects of the system, such as the three-level traction control, can be set to “off.” Incredibly, the Bosch IMU doing all that thinking for you only weighs a scant 40 grams, or about as much as a handful of paperclips. There are also expanded ride modes including Sport, Rain and Road, as well as a custom Rider mode where you can set up your own favorite profile. Parameters within riding modes can be adjusted as well and everything can be set up on the bike’s new 4.3-inch TFT color cockpit display, or through the Kawasaki Rideology smartyphone app. As I recall, my Top Gun Ninja had a gas gauge, which I thought was pretty damn trick at the time. I taped an LCD clock from the dollar store to the tach to really take things to the next level. Ah, the carbureted days…

To be sure, the 2020 NinjaSX is a smart-looking bike, and Kawasaki’s engineers have tweaked the fairing for better airflow, as well as moving from a two-pipe muffler layout to a more sporty (and lighter weight) single-sided affair more in tune with its pure sportbike brethren.

Probably my only complaint is the color scheme, which is a natty grey and black scheme with Kawi-green accent stripes (as above) as the only option, at least so far. Come on, Kawasaki, find some old cans of Ninja red, white and blue paint already!

Once the world starts turning again, the new Ninja 1000SX should be available in Kawasaki showrooms, and it’s only a $200 bump over the old model.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom unveiled – A 250cc track machine

By | General Posts

by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom is a track-only version of the brand’s new 249cc four-cylinder sportsbike

Kawasaki has unveiled the all-new Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom ahead of its official debut event which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The pandemic has caused a lot of confusion among global automotive industries with back-to-back plant shutdowns, event cancellations and rising losses. However, manufacturers have taken social media as an effective platform to introduce their latest products.

Coming back to Kawasaki’s latest product, the Racer Custom variant is essentially a track-focused, track-bred and track-only version of the Ninja ZX-25R that was unveiled last year. The sportsbike’s main highlight is its power plant — a 249cc DOHC liquid-cooled ‘inline-4’ engine that can rev up to a cool 17,500rpm!

So far, Kawasaki has not shared the exact engine specifications of the ZX-25R or its track-only avatar. Various reports state that it could generate around 45bhp and a lot of acoustic drama (way more for the Racer Custom variant). In fact, Kawasaki had shared the exhaust note of its new light-capacity four-banger. To many, it wouldn’t make any sense to split a displacement of roughly 250cc into four cylinders, but for the very few who likes to ride a motorcycle at its absolute limit (in a safe environment) will find a fun machine in Kawasaki’s new ZX-25R.

Kawasaki also plans to introduce a new one-make championship next year with the ZX-25R (and NOT the track-only Racer Custom variant). The race will be open to anyone regardless of their track hours. Meanwhile, Kawasaki has introduced a host of performance and cosmetic upgrades for potential ‘25R’ buyers. This includes racing cowls, tank pad, track tyres (Dunlop Sportmax ?-13SP), Showa suspension, new chainset, performance exhaust, carbon bits and many more.

Sources suggest that Kawasaki’s ‘baby ZX-10R’ will first hit the Indonesian market, after which it will be filtered down to further potential markets in Asia and Europe. India may not get it and we don’t expect Kawasaki to make the effort.

Even though the concept of low-capacity four-cylinder motorcycles is relatively unheard among the wider scenario, such motorcycles have been around since the late 20th century. Kawasaki’s iconic ZXR250 could be considered as the virtual predecessor of the new ZX-25R. One might find 40-45bhp to be a normal figure in this day and age, but these motorcycles require an expert to harness their full potential by shifting correctly in extremely narrow peak power bands.

Eli Tomac Charges to Fourth in Atlanta

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. (March 1, 2020) – Round 9 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship made its way to Atlanta, Georgia, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac overcame a difficult main event, putting together a strong ride to come from behind to finish fourth and hold onto the red-plate.

Eli Tomac scored his first pole position of the season by setting a blistering time of 50.294 seconds marking the eighth time in nine races a Kawasaki rider has earned the pole position in the 450SX class.

As the gate dropped on the second heat race of the night it was the No. 3 KX™450 rocketing out the gate, grabbing the holeshot and checking out from the competition. Tomac crossed the finish line with an impressive nine-second lead to take the heat race win.

In the 450SX Main Event Tomac found himself buried off the start with his work cut out for him. As he began charging forward making his way up to seventh place, his progress was quickly halted when he and another rider came together, sending Tomac back to 15th place. Tomac began his charge forward, but a small mistake caused his bike to stall, a quick press of the electric start button on the handlebar minimized the damage and from there Tomac put together an amazing performance, riding from behind to narrowly miss the podium with a fourth-place finish. Tomac heads to Daytona tied in the lead for the 450SX championship point standings with Ken Roczen.

This weekend’s race in Atlanta marked the first time in Monster Energy Supercross history that a race would be held on leap day.

“The main event didn’t go as planned, but the good news is we live to fight another day and line back up next weekend at one of my favorite tracks, Daytona. There are still positives to take away from today; we were fastest qualifier, won our heat race, and we never gave up in the main event, and battled hard all the way to the very end to salvage as many points as possible. We are going to put this race behind us and be ready to rock next week in Daytona!” – Eli Tomac

This weekend marked Round 3 of the 250SX East Coast Championship, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Jordon Smith bounced back to score a top-5 finish and teammate Garrett Marchbanks not far behind in seventh.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki powerhouse combo kicked off the day by Marchbanks qualifying in fourth and Smith in sixth.

The second 250SX heat race saw the No. 54 machine of Smith once again rocket his KX™250 out of the gate, and immediately challenging for the top position. Meanwhile, teammate Marchbanks found himself buried off the start and found himself in twelfth place at the end Lap 1. Marchbanks having his work cut out for him, began slicing and dicing his way past the competition on the tight and narrow track and was able to climb up to fifth place. Smith continued to jockey for position the entire race, and with two laps to go he pulled the trigger on making a pass stick for second place.

As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event, both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders ripped out of the gate aboard their KX250 motorcycles in the top-5 where they would both spend the vast majority of the race battling for position. Marchbanks eventually would make a pass on his teammate Smith and began going after third place, however a mistake would send Marchbanks off course causing him to reaggravate an old injury. Marchbanks did everything he could to ride through the pain finishing in seventh place. Teammate Smith rode smart and consistent crossing the finish line in fourth place.

Marchbanks currently sits fourth in the 250SX East Championship point standings with Smith close behind in fifth place.

Monster Energy Kawasaki: Atlanta SX Preview

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Eddie Warren Won on a Kawasaki KX125
The first 125cc (now the 250SX class) supercross race held in Atlanta was on February 23, 1985. Eddie Warren won on a Kawasaki for his first career win, en route to the class’ inaugural Eastern Regional Supercross title.

250SX All-Time Wins by Brand in Atlanta

Kawasaki: 11
Honda: 8
Yamaha: 8
Suzuki: 4
Husqvarna: 2
KTM: 1

One Last Ride

In his last year of racing before retiring at the age of 26, Mark Barnett won the Atlanta round of supercross aboard his Kawasaki SR125 in 1985.

Record Attendance

The previous Atlanta venue (Georgia Dome) holds the record for the largest recorded attendance in supercross history at 71,009 fans in 2012.

Eli Tomac Lasso’s the Competition in Texas to win his Fourth Monster Energy Supercross Race of the Season

By | General Posts

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Lasso’s the Competition in Texas to win his Fourth Monster Energy Supercross Race of the Season
February 22, 2020 | AT&T Stadium | Arlington, TX.

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 23, 2020) – Round 8 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship made its way to the Lone Star state, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac captured his fourth 450SX win of the season, further extending his championship points lead.

Rookie Adam Cianciarulo and his teammate Eli Tomac looked to once again top the charts of qualifying for the eighth week in a row, however, his day would be cut short after crashing during the first practice. Cianciarulo suffered a broken collarbone from the incident and was forced to sit out for the night.

As the gate dropped on the first race of the three-race Triple Crown format, Tomac found himself buried outside of the top-10 at the end of lap one. Tomac, using the power of his KX™450 motorcycle put his head down and spent the next 12 minutes charging past his competitors and worked his way into fifth place. This championship-caliber push would ultimately pay dividends later in the evening.

450SX Main Event 2 saw the No. 3 of Tomac sneak inside the competition at the end of the first corner and he went on to lead every lap of the second race. His 5-1 finishes going into the third and final moto put Tomac just one point back of the overall lead.

Similarly, to the second Main Event race, Tomac snuck inside once again, however, he was not able to capitalize in the opening corners and would cross the line in sixth on the first lap. With the Olympic style scoring to the Triple Crown format, every position ahead of Tomac would ultimately determine the fate of his overall result. Tomac was not going to be denied on the evening and spent the next several laps tirelessly clicking off competitors one by one and on lap 13 he was able to make a pass for the lead stick. Tomac’s 5-1-1 finishes was the lowest total score off all competitors, earning him the evenings overall win.

This marks Tomac’s second 450SX win in Arlington and his 31st career win. Tomac has now won four of the eight races this season, and further extends his championship points lead to seven markers over second place.

“We showed that we could fight and overcome adversity tonight. To be completely honest, I just got a bad start and struggled to find any rhythm in the first main event. Once I got into fifth place I kind of just got tight and couldn’t go forward after that. But I was able to quickly regroup with the team, and in the next two main events, we had a much better gate pick each time and were able to control the races from there. I am just happy to be leaving here healthy. We raced something like 50 laps tonight and as you saw, the track took out a lot of key dudes. I am glad we’re through it and looking forward to Atlanta next weekend.” – Eli Tomac

This weekend marked Round 2 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross series for the 250SX East Coast Championship, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Garrett Marchbanks and Jordon Smith would partake in their first Triple Crown event of the season. It was Marchbanks consistency that would pay off with a top-5 finish for the second week in a row.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo kicked off the day by Marchbanks qualifying in fourth and Smith in eighth.

The 250SX Main Event 1 saw the No. 54 machine of Smith rocket his KX™250 out of the gate and secure the holeshot. Smith would spend nearly the entire moto jockeying for a podium position, however, a competitors’ aggressive move late in the race sent Smith off course and he would finish in fourth place. Marchbanks had his work cut out for him as he found himself well outside the top-10 off the start of the race, but not to be outdone, Marchbanks charged all the way up to salvage a sixth-place finish.

As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event 2, it was once again Smith who nearly nabbed the holeshot but he got bumped by a competitor which shuffled him back to the back of the pack in the second turn. Smith worked his way up through the field but contact with another rider knocked him off his bike and he finished the race in 20th. Similarly, to the first main event, Marchbanks charged through the pack and just narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Consistency was the key to Marchbanks’ success on the night, as he would finish the final moto in fifth place, giving him scores of 6-4-5 which earned him fifth overall. Marchbanks currently sits in fifth place position in the 250SX East Championship Point Standings. Smith crosses the finish line in 14th and finished the evening in 13th place overall sitting seventh place in the point standings.

Monster Energy Kawasaki: Tampa SX Preview

By | General Posts

The First of Many

In 2018, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner earned his first career 250SX win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Brand Sweep

After a 19 year hiatus of racing in Tampa, Florida racing resumed in 2018 at Raymond James Stadium where Kawasaki riders swept both classes with Eli Tomac winning the 450SX class and Austin Forkner won the 250SX class. It is also the only time that any manufacturer brand has swept the Tampa Supercross race.

Jeff Ward – 1987

In 1987, Jeff Ward won the inaugural supercross race in Tampa, Florida in the 250cc class with fellow Kawasaki rider, Ron Lechien, finishing in second place.

Jordon Smith – #54
“I am really excited to get back behind the gate this weekend. It has been a long time since I’ve lined up, but I absolutely love my new Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250. I feel like I am gelling really well with the team and we’ve been putting in a lot of work this offseason. I am ready to let it show!”

Garrett Marchbanks – #36
“We learned a lot last year and it was great to earn the Rookie of the Year title, but we are looking for a lot more this year. I am excited to show all of the hard work I have been putting in.”

 

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Adam Cianciarulo Captures Second 450SX Podium of the Season

By | General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 9, 2020) – Round 6 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship presented perfect weather conditions in sunny San Diego, California where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo captured his second 450SX podium of the season with a second-place finish with Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner also bringing home a second-place finish in the 250SX class.

Cianciarulo kicked the day off by qualifying with the fastest lap time (49.024) for the sixth week in a row with his teammate Eli Tomac once more following closely in second.

As the gate dropped on 450SX Heat 1, Tomac was banging bars at the start which would leave him buried in the pack. Making quick work in the short race, Tomac was able to pass six other contenders in the nine-lap race before crossing the finish line in third.

450SX Heat 2 saw the No. 9 of Cianciarulo grab the holeshot aboard his KX™450 and lead every lap to take the checkered flag. His second heat race of the season.

Similarly to the heat race, Cianciarulo shot out front in the 450SX Main Event leading the 22-rider field. Cianciarulo led 20 of the 25 laps before getting passed, crossing the finish line in second. The runner-up result is the rookie’s second runner-up finish of the season and jumped him up to fifth in the 450SX Point Standings.

On the other hand, Tomac found himself buried mid-pack in the main creating a daunting task on the tight track, where it was difficult to make a pass. Tomac went straight to work and began maneuvering his way around competitors one-by-one, but not without a few wild battles along the way. Before the end of the 20-minute main event, Tomac was able to push forward and cross the finish line in fourth, now sitting just one point behind the series’ points leader.

Traditionally, the San Diego round is designated Military Appreciation Night to honor our servicemen and women, which provided the opportunity for the Kawasaki teams to rock unique camouflage gear and graphics on their KX™ machines.

“Well, I was challenged tonight after having to fight my way towards the front in the main. I didn’t have the best start, but we’ll get back to work with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team this week and hope to improve for Tampa next weekend. I do feel I rode well tonight and I’m proud we were able to make up quite a few positions to finish fourth on the night.” – Eli Tomac

“I’ve been waiting and working for this my entire career, to ride in the premier class and get on the big stage. I’m still learning, still improving every day, and I feel like I rode really well tonight. I led nearly every lap of the race but unfortunately got passed at the end so I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t hold Cooper [Webb] off just a little longer. Honestly, I’m just excited to be up front with such a talented group of guys and prove I can compete.”– Adam Cianciarulo

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates kicked off the night show lining up for 250SX Heat 1 and putting on quite the show as they launched out front aboard their KX™250 machines. The duo began their battle as Forkner grabbed the holeshot but was quickly passed by McAdoo for the lead. McAdoo led the first two laps before Forkner raced around him, eventually pulling away to take the heat win and finishing 1-2.

Once again, Forkner grabbed the holeshot as the gate dropped on the 250SX Main Event but fell back into second in the first lap, while McAdoo started in sixth position. Forkner waited patiently before making his move and by Lap 5, the lead would be his. Forkner led the majority of the race before getting passed late to take second, earning his fourth podium of the season. Despite making his way into the top-5 and riding well all night, McAdoo was forced to retire early from the race due to a mechanical issue, placing him 22nd on the night.

Although misfortune struck on the track, McAdoo was surrounded by good company this weekend as his older sister Petty Officer First Class Mackenzie Poskevich, who serves in the U.S. Navy was able to attend and be by his side for the special military appreciation weekend.

Forkner and McAdoo will now take a six-week break from the races as the series heads East next weekend in Tampa, Florida. The duo will tag in their Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki East coast teammates, Garrett Marchbanks and Jordon Smith to continue the team’s winning ways.

“I had a pretty good day. I rode well starting from qualifying, won the heat race, led most of the main and grabbed another second. It’s not exactly where we want to be, but I’ll take another podium.  We’ve got a six-week break, so we’ll go back, get to work and come back swinging.”– Austin Forkner

“Things like tonight just happen sometimes in racing; it’s out of anyone’s control and you just have to roll with the punches. That said we had a solid heat race and it was cool to represent the U.S. Navy on the track with my sister in the stands. We’ll continue to work during the break, will be excited to get back to racing in a few weeks.”– Cameron McAdoo

Kawasaki Announces New Agreement with Roadrunner Financial to Offer Financing for Credit Builders and First-Time Buyers

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. – Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. is pleased to announce a new financing agreement with Roadrunner Financial to offer competitive near-prime loans to Credit Builders with 550-660+ FICO scores. Roadrunner delivers a revolutionary lender experience through digital applications with instant decisions, comprehensive credit coverage, and unbeatable dealer and customer support.

Kawasaki joins a group of Powersports and Outdoor Power Equipment partners that utilize Roadrunner Financial to bring great finance offers to their customers. The relationship with Kawasaki allows Roadrunner to offer an enhanced program with improved near-prime rates with no fees for dealers.

“Roadrunner Financial is a key addition for Kawasaki and our dealers” said Kawasaki Senior Vice President, Sales and Operations Bill Jenkins. “The focus on a near-prime credit program will offer dealers new opportunities for financing customers on Kawasaki powersports products.”

“Roadrunner will give Kawasaki dealers a new tool to close deals that would usually walk out the door.” When asked about the new financing agreement, Jon Vestal, VP of Sales at Roadrunner Financial said, “We’re very excited to strengthen our relationship with Kawasaki. By targeting near-prime, we plan to deliver significant incremental sales for Kawasaki in 2020 and beyond.”

This new Kawasaki program from Roadrunner Financial will be available to Kawasaki dealers starting March 1st, 2020.

About Roadrunner Financial:
Roadrunner Financial offers financing for customers across the entire credit spectrum. Roadrunner’s credit program suite includes ‘Roadrunner Prime’, ‘Roadrunner Credit Builder’ for customers down to 550 FICO, a first-time buyer program, ‘Roadrunner Lease’, and a pre-owned vehicle program.

Founded in 2016 and based in New York, Roadrunner helps dealers finance more customers by taking the traditional hassles of lending and replacing them with one seamless process that can take as little as a few minutes. Roadrunner’s unique financing experience offers instant decisions, electronic contracting, and financing for more than 10,000 vehicles across 40+ Powersports & Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) OEMs. For more information, please visit www.roadrunnerfinancial.com.

ABOUT KAWASAKI
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki’s commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski® watercraft through a network of almost 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 250 of them located at KMC’s Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Dominates the Competition in Oakland

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 2, 2020) – Round 5 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to Oakland, California where Team Green found success all day long. Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac put on an impressive show as he returned to the top step of the 450SX class podium for his second win of the season, while Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner battled hard, earning second overall in the 250SX class and placing his KX™250 on the podium once again.

Adam Cianciarulo and Tomac continued to show the way in qualifying/practice with the dynamic duo once again qualifying one-two respectively for the fifth straight week.

Tomac lined up for the first 450SX heat race of the night where he crossed the finish line in second place and was able to find fast lines that would pay dividends later in the Main Event. Teammate Cianciarulo lined up for 450SX heat race number two and found himself buried mid-pack off the start. As Cianciarulo began picking off his competitors one by one he ran into the back wheel of his former Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Martin Davalos. Cianciarulo got shuffled to the back and had to charge all the way back up to sixth place to qualify into the Main Event.

As the gate dropped on 450SX Main Event, it was Cianciarulo and Tomac getting off the line in great shape. Rounding the first turn side by side amongst the leaders, they ran second and third place respectively. After dicing it out in the first few turns the teammates settled into place. Near the halfway mark the No. 3 Kawasaki machine of Tomac saw an opportunity and began to charge towards the front. After passing his teammate, he was able to make quick work of the leader and began building a lead around two seconds, but a costly mistake at the end of the sand section sent Tomac over the berm. However, there was no denying Tomac on this night. He regrouped and with two minutes left, he was able to reclaim the lead and win the race with authority. Cianciarulo would ultimately end up crossing the finish line in fourth place on the night.

With the win in Oakland, Tomac ties former Monster Energy Kawasaki racers James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto with the most wins in Oakland. After capturing his second win of the season, Tomac now sits just three points behind the series points leader heading into Round 6.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Forkner kicked off the day qualifying second, while teammate Cameron McAdoo returned to racing in Oakland after two weeks off, and able to qualify in ninth place heading into the night show.

Forkner lined up for the first 250SX heat race of the night and got off to a good start. After picking his way past a couple competitors, he began to run down the leader, and after a few turns of playing cat and mouse, Forkner was able to take control of the lead and never looked back. In the second 250SX heat race of the night, it was a wild ride for the No. 29 machine of McAdoo as the Top-5 running order shifted lap after lap. McAdoo capitalized on the opportunity and he went on to win his first ever 250SX heat race.

As the gate dropped on 250SX Main Event, Forkner shot into second place and by lap two had moved himself into the lead and began putting distance between the competition knowing that every point counts towards the championship points lead. As the race progressed. Forkner would be forced to battle lapped traffic allowing the competition to close the gap. Following a quick battle, Forkner would have to settle for second place overall.

In the 250SX Main Event McAdoo found himself buried in the mid-pack off the start. After dodging mayhem in the early laps, McAdoo settled into seventh place and wanted to get valuable track time after returning from injury and ultimately crossed the finish line in 14th place.

After putting his KX™250 on the podium in Oakland, Forkner’s point deficit remains at 10 in the 250SX West Point Standings, however he was able to move up into third place in the championship point standings.

“Wow, what a crazy night. We got a good start tonight and were able to get going right away. Had a good battle with Ken (Roczen) tonight, then got a little excited and missed my rear brake and went over the berm there. Luckily, I was able to recover quickly and charge back to the front. My KX™450 was straight up ripping tonight and we closed the points gap up to three points. I am feeling really good right now, and we are just going to carry this momentum into San Diego next weekend.”  – Eli Tomac

“For me tonight we made great strides and for only riding one time this week to see if my tailbone was good to go, I am pretty pumped with the result. I can’t thank the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for giving me a setup tonight that allowed me to do what I did after being a little banged up. I am looking forward to some more recovery this week and to come out swinging next week in San Diego.” – Adam Cianciarulo

 

Rider Austin Forkner Captures First Triple Crown Win of the Season

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. (January 26, 2020) – Round 4 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to the desert in Glendale, Arizona for its first of three Monster Energy Supercross Triple Crown events of the 2020 season. Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner raced for redemption as he returned to the top step of the 250SX class podium with a 1-1-3 score, while Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac rode consistently all night for a 2-2-3 score, earning second overall in the 450SX class and placing his KX™450 on the podium once again.

Adam Cianciarulo kept his streak alive by qualifying with the fastest lap time (1:02.5) for the fourth time in a row this season with his teammate Tomac once more followed closely in second.

The Triple Crown race format proved to be a test of endurance as the 450SX class was challenged with three 12-minute plus one lap main events while the 250SX class competed in three 10-minute plus one lap main events.

The dynamic duo of Tomac and Cianciarulo lined up for the first of three gate drops of the night knowing the importance of a good start in the shorter races, and without hesitation, the Kawasaki teammates shot out front as 450SX Main Event 1 began with Tomac in second and Cianciarulo in fourth. Cianciarulo quickly made his way into third, trailing Tomac in second for the entirety of the first race.

As the gate dropped on 450SX Main Event 2, it was the No. 3 Kawasaki machine of Tomac who quickly took the lead just before another rider went down on the first turn, forcing a red flag and the race to restart. Once again, the now 21-rider field would line up for the second main event but this time presenting Tomac with more work to get to the front as he started from fifth, while Cianciarulo was able to position himself in third. Just as Cianciarulo made his way into second, he made a minor error causing him to tip over and remount in eighth. Before the checkers flew, both Kawasaki riders were able to advance a few positions with Tomac crossing the finish line with another second-place finish and Cianciarulo in sixth.

Eerily identical, 450SX Main Event 3 saw another red flag at the start of the race forcing the riders to once again line up, making this their fifth gate drop of the night. As the gate dropped for the final race of the night, the Kawasaki teammates found themselves buried mid-pack in 11th and 12th positions. Acknowledging they had their work cut out for them, they began charging the field as Cianciarulo made his way into fifth by Lap 3 and Tomac trailing right behind him. With only a few laps remaining, Cianciarulo reached third before suffering a hard crash in the whoops and only managed to finish 17th, ultimately giving him eighth overall with 3-6-17 scores. However, Tomac was able to continue his consistency and takeover third place, where he would finish for second overall with 2-2-3 scores. Tomac has now advanced to second in the 450SX Point Standings, merely eight points behind the leader.

“These Triple Crown races are already crazy and then to add the two red flags, there was just a lot going on. We technically had five starts tonight and I didn’t exactly help myself on those, but I was able to make my way to the front and remain consistent with my finishes. Consistency really was the key tonight and the team worked their tails off to help me finish up on the podium. We still have some work to do but overall, we had a successful night and I’m glad we’re close in the point standings.”
– Eli Tomac

“That was definitely not how we wanted to finish the night and although this is part of racing, it’s always a tough pill to swallow. We kicked off the day qualifying fastest again and honestly, I was feeling good all day. I made some mistakes out there and that last one cost me. I’m sore and a bit frustrated but I have a great team behind me, who continue to remind me there are a lot more races left to go in this premier class. We’ll take the week to recuperate and look to come out strong in Oakland.”
– Adam Cianciarulo

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Forkner kicked off the day qualifying third and headed straight into the three main events with the momentum.

Forkner wasted no time proving he is still a force to be reckoned with as he dominated the first two races in the 250SX class after blasting out front and taking off to lead 17 of the 22 laps combined.

As the gate dropped on 250SX Main Event 3, Forkner cautiously shot out in fourth keeping the overall goal in mind. As he approached Lap 4, Forkner maneuvered his way into third with the goal to finish out the night consistently and with the overall win, which is just what he did with the 1-1-3 scores.

After putting his KX™250 on the top step of the podium for the overall win on the night, Forkner was able to reduce his point deficit to 10 in the 250SX West Point Standings and now sits fourth. The 250SX West class has two rounds remaining before a six-week break begins and the 250SX East class comes in to vie for their chance at the championship.

“I’ve been working on the whoops with the team all week because I’ve really been struggling there, so I was ready to race tonight. I’ve had to dig myself out of a hole after last weekend and now 10 points down isn’t too bad. I’ll just keep grinding, chipping away at those points and continue to dig out of this hole. Overall, it was a great night for the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team and we’re looking to keep it rolling.”
– Austin Forkner