With the 2019 race season quickly approaching, it’s time to bring you up to speed on how the paddock will look come Anaheim One. Over the next few weeks, we will share updates and background on the top racers and teams, including the staff members, gear deals, equipment, and other important information.
For 2019 the Monster Energy Kawasaki team will field two riders, Eli Tomac and Joey Savatgy, aboard the latest generation of KX450 motorcycles with Kayaba suspension on Tomac’s bike and Showa on Savatgy’s bike with support from Pro Circuit, Renthal, D’Cor Visuals, Acerbis, Dunlop, D.I.D. Boyesen, CP Carillo, UNI, Cometic, Hinson Racing, Maxima, and XTRIG. Dan Fahie will once again serve as Team Manager.
3. Eli Tomac
Mechanic | Brian Kranz
After signing a “multi-year” contract extension with Monster Energy Kawasaki in the middle of the 2016 season (we have been told it was a three-year agreement), Eli Tomac is slated to enter the final year of his current deal with the team, but it’s expected that he will re-up and continue on green. 2018 was remarkable for Tomac, as he entered the Monster Energy Supercross Series has a title contender and led the opening Main Event at Anaheim One until a crash injured his shoulder and broke the clasp on his pants. The pain was too much to deal with one week later at Houston and he sat out the night show, but then clocked back to back wins at Anaheim Two and Glendale. Crashes at Oakland, San Diego, and Indianapolis greatly affected his final point total and despite eight wins on the year, he was only third in the final standings.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship was better for Tomac, as he clicked off fifteen total moto wins, over half of the twenty-four contested. Things were kept interesting due to a mechanical DNF at the RedBud round and this allowed Marvin Musquin to keep the point standings close until the final race at Ironman, but Tomac held on to take his second consecutive 450 MX championship.
Tomac has maintained a low profile since scoring a million dollar win at the Monster Energy Cup in October, as he prefers to spend his time on his private tracks at the family ranch in Colorado and bypassed any of the offseason events in Europe.
Tomac will again remain in Alpinestars riding gear and boots, Oakley goggles, and Bell helmets.
17. Joey Savatgy
Mechanic | Justin Shantie
After years in the 250 class with Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki crew, Joey Savatgy has signed a one-year deal that moves him up to the 450 class with the factory team, taking the place of Josh Grant.
Savatgy’s final 250 season could be considered stable, as he scored eight top-five finishes through the ten-round 250 West Coast SX series and nabbed the overall win in the Triple Crown format used at the Anaheim Two race. Unfortunately for Savatgy, a tenth place at Indianapolis and a twelfth place at Seattle caused him to lose critical points in the championship and he finished fourth in the final standings. The Nationals were mixed on Savatgy, as he posted sixteen top-ten moto finishes that included one moto win at Washougal, but failed to score points in three motos. This dropped him back to ninth in the series standings.
The Monster Energy Cup was Savatgy’s first race with the factory 450 and his debut surprised many in the industry, thanks to the fourth-fastest lap time in qualifying and 5-6-2 finishes in the night show, the last race being the one he led until the last lap, when he allowed teammate Tomac to pass for the three-race sweep and million dollar prize.
Savatgy has split his time between Florida and California this offseason to work with the team and maintain his normal preseason boot camp.
Since his 450 contract allowed him to persue new sponsors, Savatgy has inked a deal to be the face of Italian brand Just1 in the United States and will wear the company’s helmet, goggles, and gear along with Alpinestars boots.