Not much has been heard from the Monster Energy Kawasaki team since the 2017 Monster Energy Cup, when Eli Tomac crashed in Moto One and skipped the rest of the night. Since then, Tomac and teammate Josh Grant have stayed out of the spotlight and have instead spent much of their time prepping for 2018. (Grant was slated to race the 2017 AUS-X Open in Australia until a late decision was made to skip the event in favor of continued testing in the US.)
Kawasaki wasted no time locking in Tomac to a “multi-year” contract extension, a deal that was announced during the rider’s late surge in the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series. This wasn’t much of a surprise, especially since the rider and team had worked out most of the issues that hampered the results in 2016, year one of the initial deal. Aside from two very strange front brake malfunctions, Tomac had a solid summer and clinched the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 class title.
Grant, meanwhile, reportedly spent much of the summer in negotiations to remain in the team’s second spot. He missed the final portion of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship due to a knee injury that required surgery but has been back on the bike since late August. Around the time it became clear that Kawasaki was not going to move Justin Hill up to the 450, Grant and the team came to an agreement for another one-year contract, news that we confirmed at the 2017 Ironman MX.
Although Tomac and Grant are teammates, they have two very different practice programs. Grant is a Southern California native and spends most of his time at the team’s private tracks in Corona with a rare appearance at a public spot.
Tomac remains in Colorado as much as possible, where he has a full SX and MX track on his family property, and recently invited GEICO Honda rider Jeremy Martin to join him for training in the offseason. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the two riders in 2018 because they are both known for preferring to be by themselves.
Both Tomac and Grant are in the middle of their offseason preparation for the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series. Per a post on one of the team members social media accounts, Kawasaki spent time with Tomac in Colorado while Grant stayed in California.
Kawasaki’s KX450F has been the same for the past two years (the current platform was first revealed in 2016) and the talk in the paddock is that an all-new bike should be coming in the next model year.
In all, there are very few changes to Monster Energy Kawasaki for 2018. Brian Kranz will continue to wrench for Eli Tomac, Travis Parry will continue with Josh Grant, and the rest of the team staff remains intact. There have been no new sponsorship announcements for riders or the team, either.