Tomac Secures 50th Supercross Triumph
Eli Tomac wraps up his 50th Supercross win Saturday at Lumen Field in Seattle. (field photo)
SEATTLE — Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac won Round 11 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season and achieved a milestone by posting the second-most 450SX class wins in history in his 50thth Triumph.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb took second place to the cheers of 58,261 Seattle fans at Lumen Field. Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia rounded out the podium, earning points for both the Supercross season and the inaugural 31-lap SuperMotocross World Championship.
The Western Regional 250SX class returned to racing after a five week hiatus with Round 5 and Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence took his fourth win of the season.
Tank Masters Red Line Oil Next Level KTM’s Kevin Moranz grabbed the holeshot of the 450SX class event and defended the lead ahead of Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton, Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo and Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen .
Roczen was moving early, getting past Tomac for third just as Sexton put Moranz wide in a bowl spin. Moranz went over the berm, snagged on Tuff Blox and was well behind the pack before getting back on track.
With Sexton in the lead, Tomac put pressure on Roczen to reclaim second place. But two minutes into the 20-minute plus one-lap race, it was Cianciarulo who made the move. Tomac relinquished the spot to Cianciarulo and then lost another position when Cooper Webb passed him.
Tomac found himself in fifth place, going in the wrong direction in the rankings. He wasted no time regrouping and fighting back; Within 30 seconds, Tomac had the point back from Webb and 30 more seconds later he broke away from Webb’s re-pass attempts.
Sexton swerved forward and Roczen closed the gap to under a second. The top 5 racers were still close together. Four minutes into the race, Tomac reclaimed third place and was second within two more laps. Roczen retook the spot for a moment, but Tomac came around him again and targeted Sexton with almost three seconds remaining. Barcia was then the driver who made progress, finishing fifth and looking very quick on his 31st birthday.
Near the middle of the race, Sexton was washing his front end as he entered a corner. When the front wheel caught a rut, Sexton’s unbalanced momentum threw him off the bike. Tomac took the lead with Roczen and Webb still close behind.
With 9:45 on the race clock, Webb passed Roczen for second, putting himself 2.3 seconds behind Tomac. In a race that didn’t start well for Tomac and Webb, they both had positioned themselves to win the night.
With 8:00 on the race clock, Barcia took third place. Sexton was fourth shortly after and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson was fifth at 5:30. Over the last few laps, the top three, Tomac, Webb and Barcia, pulled away from the other racers but never got close enough to fight for position. Anderson was fourth before the queen flew.
Tomac and Webb’s placements brought the season’s points to a tie for the lead. After a rare race-free weekend, Tomac and Webb will once again face off with both the #1 Yamaha and #2 KTM riding the red license plate denoting the season’s points leader.
Interestingly, Tomac’s 50th Supercross milestone win comes as Supercross celebrates its 50th year of racing since the sport began.
Western Regional 250SX
In the Western Regional 250SX class races, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Stilez Robertson snagged the holeshot and led the aggressive pack of 250cc racers. Partzilla PR-MX Racing’s Hunter Yoder was second, right behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire, Jett Lawrence, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo and Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg. Just a minute into the 15-minute race plus one lap, Lawrence finished second and began reeling in Robertson.
A lap later, Lawrence was in position to repeat his pass and take the lead, but Robertson held strong. With Robertson commanding the race through speed and defensive lines, McAdoo managed to finish third ahead of Hampshire. Soon McAdoo was at the top and it looked like there would be a three-rider race for victory.
With 10:30 on the race clock, Lawrence passed Robertson and took the lead. Half a lap later, Robertson crashed badly, left the whoops and was out of the race. Hampshire attacked McAdoo and took second place while Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen finished just under fourth. From there, Hampshire and McAdoo battled it out and traded second place.
As the top three wound their way through the laps, the gap to Lawrence narrowed at times, but the lead was never threatened. Hampshire got the final pass for second place with the white flag in sight.
At the checkered flag, Lawrence won with Hampshire in second, McAdoo in third and Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Enzo Lopes in fourth.