Monster Energy Kawasaki Finishes Strong in Season Opener

January 12, 2016

Irvine, CA (January 11, 2016) - Monster Energy® Kawasaki® came into the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM Championship season opener in Anaheim, feeling strong and rejuvenated. Newest team member Eli Tomac came out swinging, winning his heat race in impressive fashion. At the gate drop of the Main Event, the hard charging Kawasaki rider found himself second coming out of the first turn. Tomac would race in the lead pack throughout the 20 lap Main Event just missing a podium position, finishing fourth in his debut on the KX™450F. His teammate Wil Hahn took the long way to the Main Event, taking the win in the last chance qualifier. Starting from a poor gate selection in the Main Event, Hahn rode consistently strong laps in his first supercross race since Toronto in 2014.

“After a great heat race, my KX450F got me off to an amazing start in the Main Event and I almost grabbed the holeshot,” said Tomac. “Overall, my speed was a little off of the pace of what it takes to win but I’m happy with my results. Considering how much time I had to take off riding, it was a successful weekend.”
“The day was full of jitters,” said Hahn. “I’m excited to start racing again but after injuring myself at this race last year, I was definitely nervous. Unfortunately my nerves affected my racing, but our goal was keep the bike on two wheels and finish strong, which is exactly what we did. I can’t complain as my new 2016 KX450F was better than ever, and I am happy to be going to round two.”

Before the racing began, a couple of supercross legends took to the racetrack for a parade lap. Fans were ecstatic to see Kawasaki brand ambassadors Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath and four-time supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto riding side by side.

Recently retired Kawasaki Engine Development Technician Rick Asch was given the Mickey Thompson lifetime achievement award on the podium during a break in the racing action. Asch was an integral part of Kawasaki Racing and the team congratulates Rick for 36 years of dedication and for his role in 32 Kawasaki championships.