Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac repeated his 2016 success at arguably one of the most iconic dates on the AMA Supercross trail – the Daytona International Speedway – by ripping to his fifth victory of the 2017 season and closing the gap to Ryan Dungey at the top of the 450SX standings to just 17 points with seven races to go.
Tomac had to use the grunt and agility of his works KX450F to drive through the rough and sandy sections of the famous course splayed on the Daytona infield to catch and pass surprise leader Jeremy Martin. Eli closed down a two second deficit to the Honda man to eventually take control and ride to his fifth win from ten and a 50% ratio from what has been a resurgent second term in ‘green’.
“I don’t’ think it’s a secret that I like Daytona,” #3 said. “To take win number five of 2017 here is a great thing. I felt confident in my riding all day, I came here to win and we did exactly that. My KX450F and my program are where I want them to be and I’m ready for the next round.”
A poor start and eventual fourth position for champion Dungey meant a useful numerical gain for Tomac but there was also celebration for Kawasaki and the Monster Energy Pro Circuit squad in the 250SX East contest as Adam Cianciarulo took an emotional first triumph at his home event. ‘AC’ continued his promising form on the KX250F and followed up his podium finish from Toronto last week to hold off teammate Joey Savatgy. It marked an authentic ‘return’ for one of the sport’s brightest amateur talents and after two years of poor luck and injury.
“Getting hurt a few times in a row can make you have those doubts [if you’ll win again],” said Cianciarulo. “It’s hard to come from the bottom and get back to the top. It’s the accumulation of so many people, so many hours of work that have pushed me to get here. It’s hard to describe but it’s an incredible feeling to be back on the podium.”
Cianciarulo is third in the standings, just 3 points behind Savatgy and only 9 away from Zach Osborne in the top spot. Four fixtures of 250SX East and the finale shootout in Las Vegas remain on the calendar.
Supercross makes the long journey north and west to Indianapolis and the Lucas Oil Stadium for round eleven next weekend.