Tomac begins 2017 in Anaheim

Eli Tomac takes fifth in Monster Energy Supercross season-opener

Keywords: Cortez,
Eli Tomac prepares to race at the Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday. Enlargephoto

Kawasaki Racing/Instagram

Eli Tomac prepares to race at the Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday.

The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season opened on Saturday night to a reported sold-out crowd of 45,050 fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

Having won at the Anaheim 1 in the 250 class in 2013, Cortez rider Eli Tomac was familiar with the excitement that accompanied the series’ season opener.

But that didn’t mean he was comfortable.

“There is extra energy here,” he explained during the A1 press conference. “So you try to treat it like another race and just another Anaheim 1, but the truth is, every time you come here you’re always a little bit extra fired up or a little bit more nervous. So you try to be better at it and you try to do that with preparation and come into the season as healthy and as ready to go as you can and just see what you can bring to the table.”

Tomac shook off those butterflies by winning his five-minute, six-lap qualifying heat race, and he challenged for the top spot during the main event.

Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen jumped out to an early lead, but Tomac was close behind.

Tomac battled with 2016 Supercross champion and Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin for the 2-4 spots during the 20 minutes-plus one lap event.

But he eventually fell behind them and Jason Anderson to finish fifth in the season opener.

Roczen controlled the race to win his third opener at Anaheim in the last four seasons, Dungey finished second, Musquin was third and Anderson placed fourth.

Tomac will look to move up in the points standings next Saturday, January 14, with the second round from San Diego’s Petco Park. The action can be seen live on FS1 starting at 8 p.m./MT.

Eli Tomac celebrates after winning the 450 Heat 1 race at the Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday. Enlargephoto

Kawasaki Racing/Instagram

Eli Tomac celebrates after winning the 450 Heat 1 race at the Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday.