The 2019 Monster Energy Cup is officially in the books and Eli Tomac was edged by his Monster Energy / Kawasaki teammate Adam Cianciarulo—in his first-ever 450 race—for the overall MEC win last weekend, but it has actually been the 2018 Monster Energy Cup and some leftover drama between Eli and his previous teammate Joey Savatgy that has gotten more of the chatter this offseason.
As most of you likely remember, Joey was leading the 2018 Monster Cup and looked well on his way to winning the third moto and spoiling his new teammate’s chance at winning a million dollars, but instead Joey slowed down on the last lap and eventually waved Eli around for the win and a massive 1 million dollar check.
After the race, everyone wondered if Eli slid Joey a little financial kickback for sacrificing his five-figure moto win bonuses from Kawasaki and other sponsors or maybe covered the difference in overall purse money, but Joey shot down that speculation and openly spoke his mind about Eli during a podcast last month with Swapmotolive. He was very outspoken that not only did Eli not give him any kickback financially, but he goes on to say the real issue was that he never got so much as a thank you from him. Joey says a lot more than that and while some say he comes off as whiny, it was nice to hear a rider speak openly without fear of repercussions. And, to be fair, he actually made some good points that I found hard to argue with.
Since listening to that interview with Joey, I was really interested in hearing Eli’s reply if someone asked him about it. Well, Chris Cooksey—a MotoXaddicts, VitalMX and Cooksey Media contributor—asked Eli about it after the race at last Saturday’s Monster Energy Cup. I’m not sure if I was more surprised that Chris asked Eli about it or that Eli did not respond with “no comment”, but I am glad someone had the balls to address the elephant in the room.
You can listen to Eli’s response by clicking the play button on Cooksey’s interview with him below, and if you haven’t heard the Swapmotolive interview with Joey Savatgy, click play on the Youtube video below as well.