Well, secrets are seldom kept in the motocross and supercross industry. For several months now, it’s been widely reported that GEICO/Honda’s Eli Tomac would become Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac for the 2016 season, but out of respect for Tomac’s current team, the news did not drop officially until today. It looks like Tomac has agree to fly the green flag as Factory Kawasaki’s for the coming years.
In 2015, Eli showed he can win and contend for 450 Championships indoors and out, and you can be sure he demanded a heavy premium for the #3 to be on one of your 450s. Congrats to Kawasaki on the new hire, and congrats to Tomac on what is no doubt his most lucrative contract by far.
Also in the press release, Monster Energy/Kawasaki announced that they will be bringing Wil Hahn back for the 2016 season. With another big injury for Wil before he even raced a single race in 2015 and a rough return to racing during the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not Kawasaki would be looking for a different rider to be Tomac’s teammate.
With most riders in the paddock that speculation would be valid, but Wil’s drive, his unwillingness to surrender to pain, his perseverance and his likability are all characteristics that seem to bring an unwavering loyalty. You saw it with GEICO/Honda and he paid them back with a 250SX Regional Championship. If Wil can string together two or three relatively injury free season’s, he can no doubt repay Kawasaki as well. Good luck to Wil in ’16.
Check out Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s press release and video announcing their 450 and 250 riders for the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series’ below.
The Monster Energy® Kawasaki racing team looks to continue its championship winning ways with former champions Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn. Tomac, the 2012 250cc Supercross® West Region Champion and 2013 250cc Motocross Champion, continues to be a top competitor in the premier supercross class including winning supercross and motocross races during his first two years in the premier class. Hahn is beginning his third campaign in the premier class after capturing the 2013 250cc Supercross East Region Championship and is poised to collect podium finishes in 2016. Both will compete on the championship proven KX™450F as they look to continue Kawasaki’s winning legacy.
“The new KX450F provides a great platform to build champions,” said Dan Fahie, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager. “I believe we are poised to have a successful 2016 season with Eli and Wil under our tent. Both riders have proven to be top contenders in the 450 class and they are just as enthusiastic as we are to get back to racing and on top of the box.”
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Tomac brings with him an impressive resume that includes a 250cc Supercross West Region Championship, a 250cc Motocross Championship, three AMA premier class Supercross race wins, 11 podium finishes, second overall in the 2015 AMA Monster Energy Supercross season and two overall wins, two overall podiums and five moto wins in the 2015 Pro Motocross season. The Monster Energy Kawasaki racing team has been the most dominant supercross and motocross team in the last decade with eight combined AMA titles.
“Joining Monster Energy Kawasaki has always been a goal and dream of mine,” said Tomac. “I feel like with a bike and chassis as good as the KX, plus a team totally dedicated to the 450 class, we should be able to do big things in the near future. It’s a new team, new bike and a new year of racing. I can’t wait to get back at it.”
With all five riders returning in 2016, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racing team is also looking to reaffirm their position atop the podium. Adam Cianciarulo returns for his third full year after a podium and five top ten finishes in the 2015 Pro Motocross season, along with four-time Arenacross® champion Tyler Bowers for his second full season. Chris Alldredge also returns following an impressive first full season of professional racing with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racing team and will be joined by Arnaud Tonus who turned heads during his U.S. debut last year. Beginning his second year is Joey Savatgy who scored his first professional overall win at the Unadilla motocross round and ended the year third overall in the 250cc Motocross Class standings. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is one of the winningest supercross and motocross teams with 29 AMA titles.
“We are looking forward to starting the 2016 season at full strength,” said Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit owner. “I know every one of our riders is capable of winning races and I expect nothing but the best from them every weekend.”
Hahn will debut the 2016 KX450F at the Monster Energy Cup on October 17th in Las Vegas.</>blockquote>