Tomac & Cianciarulo Remain With Monster Energy Kawasaki For 2021
Although we’re just days removed from the last round of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Series, we’re already hearing talk of what’s to come next year. On Wednesday, Monster Energy Kawasaki announced that Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciaurlo will return to their positions on the green team for the 2021 race season. The press release served two purposes: it celebrated Tomac’s 450 SX title and stated that the rider and team will defend it together next year, plus confirmed a contract extension for current rookie Cianciarulo.
Tomac’s spot on the Monster Energy Kawasaki squad was never in question, as he signed a multi-year deal in 2019. The exact length of this contract hasn’t been publically stated, but the general consensus in the paddock is that the current deal is for two years and it will expire at the end of the 2021 race season. If this turns out to be true, Tomac will spend next year defending his newly-earned rank in SX and will have to decide if he wants to continue racing into his late-20s or call it a career. The 2021 race season will be Tomac’s sixth with Monster Energy Kawasaki, but his first with the number one plate in the Supercross (and possible Motocross, if he can win a fourth-consecutive title this summer). It’s tough to say if Tomac stops racing after 2021, especially now that he’s been able to check the SX title off his to-do list. Now the question becomes, “Do we see a press release announcing an ET3 contract extension or retirement in 2021?”
Cianciarulo’s move to the 450 Class in 2020 came via a one-year contract, an unusual length considering his long history with the brand and his status as a superstar in the making. On a podcast late last year, Cianciarulo explained to us that the one-year agreement was an investment in himself and that the pressure of riding for a contract would help him rise to the challenge. His debut win at the Monster Energy Cup plus a slew of fastest qualifier honors and podium finishes in 450 Main Events proved that 2019 250 MX National Champion has what it takes to run in the “Big Bike” class. We had known Cianciarulo and Kawasaki were eyeing up a new deal during the first part of the season, but that understandably went silent during the COVID-19 situation, but the return to “normalcy” with the Supercross over and the upcoming 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship allowed the two groups to reach an agreement. Although the contract duration is not specified in the press release, it’s most certainly a multi-year term.
The full press release from Monster Energy Kawasaki, including quotes from both riders and Team Manager Dan Fahie, is posted below…
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. announces Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo will return to the Monster Energy® Kawasaki racing team for the 2021 season. The Monster Energy Kawasaki riders aboard KX™450 motorcycles will feature the newly-crowned 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Champion and three-time defending AMA Pro Motocross Champion, Tomac, and reigning 250 Pro Motocross Champion, Cianciarulo, after a successful rookie season of supercross winning the 2019 Monster Energy Cup and capturing two podium finishes during the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season.
“We have a very strong 2021 team roster,” said Kawasaki Racing Senior Manager, Dan Fahie. “We are prepared to continue our championship journey with both Eli and Adam. We had an unusual, yet successful 2020 supercross season and look to continue that into the motocross season as well. We have learned a lot about our KX450 and are in a good place heading into outdoors and 2021 with the development of the motorcycle.”
2021 will mark Tomac’s sixth year with Monster Energy Kawasaki, as he relentlessly remains a top contender in the premier class. Tomac captured the coveted 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Championship title after earning seven wins and 12 podiums of the 17 rounds. Tomac currently sits sixth on the all-time 450SX race wins list with 34 wins, and also sits fourth on the all-time 450MX race wins list with 22 overall wins and 44 podium finishes. Tomac cemented his legacy as an elite champion, becoming only the fifth rider in history to win titles in both the 450SX and 250SX classes as well as AMA Pro Motocross Championships in both classes. Meanwhile, Cianciarulo kicked off his 450SX rookie campaign by taking the crown at the Monster Energy Cup and he backed that up by showing his speed on the bike by qualifying fastest at seven of the eight races he competed in and earning two podiums before his season was cut short due to injury. As the reigning AMA Pro Motocross 250 Champion, Cianciarulo looks to be a top championship competitor in the premier class this motocross season.
I’m at home with Monster Energy Kawasaki,” said Tomac. “I feel we have an outstanding team in place, an excellent KX450 motorcycle and a common goal of winning races and championships. I couldn’t be happier with how the supercross season ended as we clinched our first 450SX championship. Now our focus will be on winning our fourth consecutive Pro Motocross Championship and continuing to let the good times roll.”
“Monster Energy Kawasaki is the team I have loved for so long,” said Cianciarulo. “What a journey it’s been to get to this point. Most people know it’s always been a dream of mine to be a part of this team at the top-level of the sport and I’m looking forward to putting in the work and continuing to improve and grow. I’m honored to be on what I believe to be the best team in the sport and to have been part of the Kawasaki Team Green program for all of these years. We’re halfway through my rookie year and the team has been so supportive. I truly believe we’re on our way to reaching our ultimate goal of winning races and championships.”