Off Road

Monster Energy Cup win for Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac

As Roczen throws away $1 million

KAWASAKI’S Eli Tomac won the first Monster Energy Cup championship of his career and the small matter of $100,000 prize money for the overall win in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

HRC Honda’s Ken Roczen looked favourite to claim a $1 million prize for winning all three races but blotted his copy book with a spectacular crash in moto two.

Roczen was in blistering form on his first competitive outing on the CRF450R and looked to be the fastest rider on the night, taking the first chequered flag ahead of Tomac (pictured) and Ryan Dungey. Marvin Musquin charged hard for fourth, while early race leader Blake Baggett was fifth.   

Race two was looking like a repetition of race one until Roczen’s crash.

Tomac, who’d been on Roczen’s tail, then cruised to win the second race of the night with Dungey second and Musquin third. Chad Reed was fourth and Cole Seely rounded out the top five.

Australian Reed stole the Toyota holeshot in the third moto with Alessi, Roczen, Seely and Musquin in tow. Eventual overall winner, Tomac, was buried in 10th place at that point. Roczen took the lead early though, with Musquin following past Alessi for second early on.

The real battle however, was for the overall win between Dungey and Tomac.

On Lap seven, Dungey wobbled and allowed Tomac to jump passed into third. Roczen and Musquin elected to take the joker lane on their ninth lap.

Dungey and Tomac waited until the final lap, when Dungey was able to re-take Tomac for third, but it wasn’t enough to secure the overall.

Tomac edged Dungey out for the $100,000 prize by just a single point, going 2-1-4 on the night.

Dungey’s 3-2-3 scorecard was enough to pip his teammate Musquin, who camr third.

Tomac said: "It was a crazy race and I did not make it easy on myself with a terrible start.

"I knew going into the [final] race that I just needed to finish behind Ryan [Dungey] and I was able to catch up to him and have a good battle before settling on the last lap.

“I'm really happy with tonight's performance and looking forward to the next season."

The best FMX riders put on a blinding show earlier in the day, despite strong winds, with Taka Higashino popping a backflip lazy boy to emerge as the winner in the FMX High Rollers Contest.

Jared McNeil led the way in FMX QuarterPipe Big Air and Tom Parson took the top honors in the Dirt Shark Best Whip contest.

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