In the dirt bike world, motorcycle brands stick to one color, and for Kawasaki that color has been a bold shade of lime green since 1969. That color choice wasn’t random, and in fact it began at Daytona International Speedway, the site of this Saturday’s round of the Monster Energy Supercross series. Prior to that 1969 Daytona 200 road race, a green bike had held a bad luck stigma, but Kawasaki rolled out five bold green machines in a tradition-be-damned marketing shot at convention. It got the brand the attention it was looking for, and the color stuck.
So far, in the dirt of Daytona’s infield, the green bike has had a history as brilliant as its Kawasaki Racing Green hue. Supercross’ defending champion, Eli Tomac, has been on a Kawasaki since 2016. The year he moved onto the green bike he earned his first win at Daytona, then went on to win three of the next four, including last year’s race. If he can win this Saturday, he will tie Ricky Carmichael as the winningest rider at the venue (5) and Kawasaki will move into a tie with Honda (17) as the manufacturer with the most Supercross wins at the track in the premiere class. Kawasaki already owns the category in the 250SX Class at 13 wins.
But nothing is a given in sports or racing and the 2021 trophy hasn’t been earned or awarded yet. Tomac has never lacked speed, only consistency. His past seasons had been streaks of wins marred by random off nights, strange crashes, or inexplicable off-pace riding. He earned his first Supercross title in 2020, but 2021 has been challenging with only one win so far and his career longest no-win streak of six races in a row without a victory.
Round eight was a must-win for Tomac. He finished sixth. Daytona is clearly the race where things must click for the rider if he hopes to defend his title. The two front runners, Honda’s Ken Roczen and KTM’s Cooper Webb (the 2019 champion) don’t care about past wins, manufacturer’s bragging rights, or bright green bikes and their history at Daytona. Together, they have assembled six wins in eight rounds this season and have no plans to stop their points grabs.
The 2021 Daytona Supercross has completely sold out of available grandstand and hospitality packages but the event can be streamed live at 7:00 p.m. ET this Saturday on Peacock and viewed live on NBCSN. So pick a color, any color, and tune in to catch all the action. For the full season schedule, ticket availability (rounds are run with restricted-attendance, pod-style seating), videos, photos, and race recaps please visit SupercrossLIVE.com.
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (180)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (174)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (149)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (136)
5. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (133)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (125)
7. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (123)
8. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (120)
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (113)
10. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (109)
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (26)
2. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (23)
3. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (21)
4. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (19)
5. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (18)
6. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (17)
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (16)
8. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (15)
9. Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha (14)
10. Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha (13)