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Images from the 2018 Supercross event in Minneapolis, MN

Tomac Weathers the Storm in Minneapolis

Apr 152018

Despite the blizzard like conditions outside Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium, Monster Energy Supercross generated plenty of heat inside with the third and final round of the inaugural Triple Crown. The three Main Event format had produced thrilling and unpredictable competition at its first two races, highlighted by heavy parity and a desperate need for consistency in the fight for victory. Entering Minneapolis the Triple Crown produced three different Main Event winners in each of its first two events, and that trend continued inside U.S. Bank Stadium, but for the seventh time this season it was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac who emerged triumphant.

Tomac’s path to victory wasn’t easy, with the Triple Crown format really forcing the winningest rider in the championship to be patient and tactful about his decisions on the racetrack. With starts being so critical to success, Tomac needed to be on point every time the gate dropped, and we was successful in putting himself in a competitive position to begin every Main Event.

The win is the just the latest instance of Tomac’s roller coaster season that has been filled with the highs we’ve come to expect from the rising star, but too many frustrations to keep him from a realistic shot at the title. Nevertheless, as the championship reaches its stretch run, Tomac still has his sights set on one thing and one thing only. Winning.

450SX Main Event 1


Tomac entered the night show with the fastest lap of qualifying, and he carried the momentum into the opening Main Event. The shortest race of the night required the biggest need for a good start and Tomac took care of that by putting the No. 3 into the lead. It was exactly what the Kawasaki rider needed as he was able to sprint out to an early lead that he easily maintained throughout the 14 laps of the race.


With Tomac untested out front, the attention shifted to the rest of the Monster Energy team. In his first race back from an injury that forced him to sit out six races, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia slotted himself into the top three, right behind point leader Jason Anderson. With all the down time Barcia had while recovering from a broken hand he was chomping at the bit, and he set an impressive pace considering the long layoff. So much so that he too would go unchallenged for the position.


Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers hoped to build of a career-best outing last weekend in Seattle, and he began his night in Minneapolis with a top-10 start. From there Bowers was able to continue a march forward with a pair of strong passes.


While all his fellow Monster Energy riders enjoyed a solid start to the evening, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb unfortunately saw his night end before it really even began. An incident on the opening lap of the Main Event left Webb in need of attention from the trackside medical team after another rider landed on him as the field jockeyed for position. Webb later confirmed on social media that the news surrounding his injury was grimmer than everyone had hoped, and he suffered a broken tibia.


Out front, Tomac was on cruise control en route to the opening Main Event win, which set the tone for the performances that followed. He took the checkered flag 4.2 seconds ahead of Anderson, while Barcia put two Monster Energy riders into the top three in third. Bowers finished eighth.


450SX Main Event 2


All three Monster Energy riders had their work cut out for them to start the second Main Event, with Tomac leading the way after a seventh-place start. Bowers and Barcia followed right behind him in eighth and ninth. The early lead went to Justin Brayton, with Blake Baggett right behind.


With the longer length of the second Main Event, Tomac refrained from forcing the issue in his quest to move through the field and instead was able to let the race come to him. He moved into sixth place after just three laps and then watched as the action unfolded in front of him. Both Baggett and Anderson began to apply pressure on Brayton for the lead, which allowed Anderson to slip into second. As he attempted to pass for the lead Anderson made contact with Brayton and went off track, which dropped him right behind Tomac.


Soon Weston Peick, Marvin Musquin and Tomac found themselves within striking distance of Brayton. Musquin took advantage of Peick’s efforts to challenge Brayton and took over second, which put Peick into Tomac’s sights. Musquin grabbed the lead in the waning stages of the Main Event and went on to grab the Main Event win by a slim 1.5 seconds over Brayton. Peick was able to fend off Tomac for third, with the top four separate by a mere 3.5 seconds.


Both Barcia and Bowers were successfully able to maintain their positions inside the top 10 and finished in seventh and eighth, respectfully.


With one Main Event remaining all three Monster Energy riders were in position to collect strong finishes. Tomac was in control of his own destiny as the leader, and his path to victory was helped when Anderson was docked one position for cutting the track after his earlier incident, which dropped him to sixth.


450SX Main Event 3


Tomac stepped it up when he needed to most in the final Main Event and put his Kawasaki into the top four on the opening lap. In need of a win, Anderson seized the opportunity to grab the early lead, which put the pressure on Tomac to respond.


As they ran, Anderson and Tomac sat tied for the overall, but by virtue of being in the lead for the final Main Event Anderson was in position to collect the tiebreaker. That meant Tomac needed to grab at least one position on the track.


Peick and Tomac battled for third, but Peick handed over the spot by tipping over right in front of Tomac. The incident briefly stopped Tomac, which caused him to have to fend of Barcia for the position. After Tomac successfully did so he then was forced to deal with a hard-charging Musquin, who soon dropped Tomac back to fourth and into a tie for the win.


Musquin’s momentum then carried him past Brayton for second, which opened the door to Tomac to make his return to third. The Kawasaki rider was aggressive through the track’s two most dynamic rhythm lanes and successfully moved back into podium position, which was also a winning position in the overall classification.


Anderson went unchallenged throughout the remainder of the Main Event and crossed the line more than two seconds ahead of Musquin. After he initially gave pursuit of Musquin for second, Tomac later chose to settle into third to ensure his overall victory. Barcia finished the night strong in fourth, while Bowers earned his best result of the night in sixth.


The penalty Anderson received in the second Main Event proved to be the difference maker, as Tomac’s combined eight points edged out Anderson’s nine. Musquin completed the overall podium in third. 

"We're out here to win and that's what we did. We got it done tonight. It's been a long, hard day and everyone worked their butt off when we got here. Just a great way to cap off the night."


Barcia enjoyed a successful return to competition in fifth, while Bowers followed up his career-best result from the week prior with another top 10 in seventh to put a trio of Monster Energy riders inside the top 10.


It was the second Triple Crown victory for Tomac, which awarded him the first-ever Triple Crown Championship trophy. The win helped Tomac maintain his hold of third in the championship standings, where he faces a 26-point deficit to Musquin for second and a 65-point gap to Anderson in first.


450SX Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki
2. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
3. Marvin Musquin, KTM
4. Justin Brayton, Honda
7. Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy Kawasaki
22. Cooper Webb, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing


450SX Class Standings
1. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 311
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 272
3. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 246
4. Justin Brayton, Honda – 232
5. Blake Baggett , KTM – 224
8. Cooper Webb, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 181
11. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 131
14. Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 123
20. Josh Grant, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 83 

250SX Main Event 1


As the winner of the first Triple Crown race for the East Region, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner arguably had the most confidence of any 250SX Class rider entering Minneapolis. That confidence was obvious when the gate dropped for the first Main Event of the night. Forkner got a great jump and put himself into an immediate battle for the lead alongside fellow Monster Energy rider Thomas Ramette, who continued to fill in at Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha.


Ramette put up a brief fight before Forkner gained the upper hand and immediately pulled away. Behind them, point leader Zach Osborne was mired deep in the field and completed the first lap in seventh.


With a clear track ahead of him Forkner was able to lay down a torrid pace and he easily maintained his advantage, going wire-to-wire en route to the win. He crossed the line 2.3 seconds ahead of Jordon Smith, followed by Jeremy Martin in third. Osborne rebounded to finish fourth, while Ramette parlayed his strong start into an eighth-place finish.


250SX Main Event 2


Forkner positioned himself well again to start the second Main Event and slotted into fourth right beside Osborne. Moments later, Forkner suffered the first of several incidents in what evolved into a heartbreaking evening for the budding young star. A slight miscalculation of his racing line forced Forkner to land in the tuff blocks and sent him to the ground, but he was able to get back on his bike and return to action, albeit at the tail end of the field. As Forkner began his journey through the field, Ramette looked to take advantage of yet another strong start in fourth. 


Forkner had blazed his way through the field and was as high as 15th before he had his front wheel taken during an attempted pass, which forced him back to the tail end of the result. He then went down in near identical fashion just a few laps later.


Out front, early leader Smith was passed by Osborne just before the halfway point, and the point leader maintained it through to the finish. Smith finished second, while Martin finished third. Forkner’s resilience eventually brought him back into the top 10 and kept him in the hunt for victory with a 10th place finish. Ramette finished 15th.


250SX Main Event 3


While Smith, Osborne and Martin entered the final Main Event with the best shot at victory, another first-place finish from Forkner would give him a realistic shot at the overall win, and would all but ensure a spot on the overall podium. He didn’t quite get the start he needed, but a solid position inside the top 10 and a lengthy Main Event gave him ample time to go to work.


In the span of a lap, Forkner’s relentless pursuit of the lead group saw him climb from ninth to fifth, and then into fourth. With Osborne in his sights, Forkner soon followed his rival into third and was poised to finish the night on a strong note. Unfortunately, Forkner’s night came to an abrupt end at the halfway point of the race when he crashed out of the race in the whoops.


After taking the early lead from Smith, Martin controlled the remainder of the Main Event, withstanding pressure from Osborne. He took the win 6.6 seconds ahead of Osborne, while Smith followed in a distant third. After starting 12th, Ramette put Monster Energy into the top 10 in seventh.


The final classification resulted in a three-way tie for the overall win between Martin, Osborne, and Smith and given the tiebreaker rules that is exactly how they would finish, with Martin earning the victory in front of his hometown crowd. It also signified his second straight win.


Ramette led the way for Monster Energy with a ninth-place finish, while Forkner still secured a top-10 result despite all the adversity he faced. Forkner later confirmed he suffered a collarbone injury from the crash in the final Main Event, but will need further evaluation.


“I wish things went differently but injuries have been brutal this season. I’ve gone through them before and know I can come back strong on the other side of this.”


Osborne now holds a 12-point lead in the East Region standings with two races remaining. Forkner is fourth, 17 points out of the lead, but his future status is unknown.


East Region 250SX Class Results
1. Jeremy Martin, Honda
2. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna
3. Jordon Smith, KTM
4. Sean Cantrell, KTM
5. Anthony Rodriguez, KTM
9. Thomas Ramette, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha 
10. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki


East Region 250SX Class Standings
1. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna – 154
2. Jordon Smith, KTM – 142
3. Jeremy Martin, Honda – 138
4. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 137
11. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 54
12. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 53
19. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 34
22. Thomas Ramette, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 31