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Eli Tomac crashes at Anaheim 2 while racing for Supercross win

Eli Tomac on Saturday was the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 450 Supercross at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Star Racing Yamaha)
Chase Sexton gets overall victory, but Tomac retains the series lead

Eli Tomac of Cortez crashed hard Saturday night while racing for the overall victory in the 450 Supercross triple crown event in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, but kept his lead in the series standings.

After strong showings in the first two motos – a third-place and second-place finish – Tomac fell to sixth place overall after finishing 13th in the final of three motos. He entered the third moto tied with Roczen for first place.

On Sunday, Tomac said on Instagram that he was OK and would race Saturday in Houston for Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champions series.

“Well, I’ll start off by saying I’m OK and will be just fine for next weekend!” Tomac said. “So thankful to walk and ride away from this one unscathed. I jumped the triple ‘on’ to the table top multiple times throughout the day from the second and third rut. With Cooper (Webb) on the inside, I think my instincts to not jump towards him caused my mistake to drift left off the ramp. Obviously, lucky for this to happen in the triple crown format and salvage 6th overall on the night.”

Chase Sexton of Clermont, Florida, got the overall victory after winning the first and third motos and placing fifth in the second.

Jason Anderson of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was second overall after placing fifth in the first moto, first in the second, and third in the final moto. Ken Roczen of Clermont, Florida, was third overall after placing second, third and fourth. Cooper Webb of New Port, North Carolina, and Dylan Ferrandis of Tallahassee, Florida, rounded out the top five.

Tomac entered Angel Stadium after starting the season with a personal-best 2-for-2 in the 450cc Supercross, beating Webb in the season opener in Anaheim on Jan. 7 and holding off Webb for the season’s second race last Saturday in San Diego.

Last week, he became only the third racer to get a 90th career win and only the fourth race to win 46 Supercross races. Roczen was the last racer to start the season 2-for-2, in 2016.

Tomac was on top of the standings, with a tight 54-46 lead in the standings over Webb.

Saturday’s race in Anaheim featured the triple crown format, which runs three 450SX motos, each of them at 12 minutes plus one lap. The format uses an Olympic-style scoring system: First place is one point, second place is two, and third place is three. The rider with the lowest total after three races wins the overall race and is awarded 26 regular championship points. Second pays 23 points, and third, 21 points.

Moto 1

Tomac was sixth as the gate dropped. Chase Sexton, Ken Roczen and Adam Cianciarulo went to the front. Ferrandis was fourth.

Sexton and Roczen set the pace with lap times under 59 seconds, as Star Racing Yamaha teammates Ferrandis and Tomac battled through two laps before Tomac got the upper hand and took third place in Lap 3. He then posted his fastest lap of the young race, at 58.471 seconds, to close the gap behind Cianciarulo, and with an even faster lap, passed Cianciarulo in Lap 6 with a time of 58.055 seconds. Roczen was about 5 seconds ahead.

Ferrandis passed Cianciarulo in Lap 10 to set the stage for a race to the finish, with Sexton cruising out in front, and Roczen, Tomac and Ferrandis strung out behind him. Cooper Webb challenged at the back.

But as the white flag came out in Lap 14, the order remained unchanged, and Sexton posted his first moto win of the season. Roczen was five seconds behind, and was followed by Tomac, 11 seconds back, and Ferrandis. Jason Anderson took down Webb for fifth place, and Webb fell to seventh.

Moto 2

Anderson took the early lead and was followed by Roczen, Plessinger, Sexton and Cianciarulo. Tomac was sixth.

Sexton crashed in Lap 3 and fell to eighth place, and Tomac moved into fourth, about two seconds behind Plessinger. Webb was fifth.

Plessinger crashed in Lap 5 and fell to eighth place, giving Tomac third place, with Webb and Sexton in pursuit

As the top three bunched up in Lap 9, Roczen ran his fastest lap of the race to keep Tomac at bay as the two veterans battled for second.

Tomac ended it in Lap 11, when Roczen, yielded to Tomac’s relentless pursuit and dropped to third. Tomac rode the final three laps to a second-place finish, which gave him a tie with Roczen for the overall lead with one remaining moto to settle the score. Roczen, Webb and Sexton rounded out the top five.

Moto 3

Anderson again took the lead, with Sexton and Webb in tow. Tomac was fourth, just 2.5 seconds off the lead after one lap. Roczen was seventh.

Tomac crashed hard in Lap 5, and got up in 14th place. Sexton overtook Anderson for the lead, and Webb, Ferrandis and Roczen filled in the top five.

Tomac would move up a notch to finish in 13th place, but the crash cost him a podium finish in the overall tally after being tied for the lead through the first two motos.

Webb passed Anderson in Lap 11 and finished second in the moto. Anderson was third, and Roczen and Ferrandis filled out the top five.

Qualifying rounds

Saturday afternoon, Tomac was fourth-fastest during qualifying runs, with a best lap in 58.529 seconds. Chase Sexton was No. 1, at 57.564 seconds, and Jason Anderson and Ken Roczen with second and third. Webb was fifth, at 58.810.

The Monster Energy Supercross Championship series continues Feb. 4 in NRG Stadium in Houston.

2023 standings
1. Eli TomacYamaha69
2. Chase SextonHonda65
3. Cooper WebbKTM65
4. Ken RoczenSuzuki58
5. Jason AndersonKawasaki55
6. Dylan FerrandisYamaha54
7. Justin BarciaGasGas48
8. Aaron PlessingerKTM45
9. Adam CianciaruloKawasaki43
10. Colt NicholsHonda39

This article will be updated when more information becomes available.