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Eli Tomac finishes 10th at Thunder Valley motocross in Lakewood

Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday finished 10th overall in the 450 class of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Jim Bensberg)
Kawasaki rider from Cortez drops to 10th place in season standings

Eli Tomac of Cortez again struggled to finish in the top 10 Saturday as the AMA Motocross Championship series came to Colorado for the second of 12 scheduled races of the 2021 season.

Ken Roczen swept the two motos for the overall victory at Thunder Valley National in Lakewood and edged Dylan Ferrandis for the series lead.

Ferrandis, in his rookie season in the 450cc class, placed second in both motos after a relentless charge from ninth place in Moto 2. He dropped to second place in the series standings.

After two races in the season, Roczen has won three of four total motos and holds a 1-point lead over Ferrandis.

Tomac, who finished 10th overall, dropped a notch in the series standings to 10th place.

Moto 1

Ken Roczen passed holeshot winner Adam Cianciarulo to take the lead in the first lap, but gave it back to Cianciarulo in the sixth. Last week’s winner, Ferrandis, raced from third to take the lead in Lap 11 and launched a hard-fought battle and sprint to the finish with the veteran Roczen.

Roczen challenged Ferrandis in Lap 14, staying on two wheels through the single jump in the last turn. Ferrandis took the jump, but went off the track as Roczen moved inside.

Ferrandis again took up the chase with two laps to go and closed to within a second of Roczen, but Roczen held him off to take the checkered flag and his second moto of the season.

Cianciarulo was third, and Chase Sexton and Aaron Plessinger rounded out the top 5.

Tomac started in seventh, behind Sexton. Sexton passed Cooper Webb in Lap 2, and Tomac got by in Lap 4 to move into sixth place behind Sexton, However, he faded out of the top 10, dropping into ninth place in Lap 11, 10th in Lap 14 and 11th in Lap 15.

Eli Tomac of Cortez was third-fastest during qualifying rounds Saturday at Thunder Vallley National raceway in Lakewood. (Kawasaki Racing)
Moto 2

Roczen went to the lead in Lap 1, after overtaking holeshot winner Webb. Justin Barcia, Joey Savatgy and Aaron Plessinger filled out the top five after one lap.

Tomac started in eighth place, behind Kawasaki teammate Cianciarulo, who raced to fourth place behind Roczen, Barcia and Plessinger in Lap 2. Webb dropped to seventh, just ahead of Tomac.

Tomac again struggled to remain in the top 10, as he did last week at Fox Valley, and dropped to 10th place in Lap 4.

Ferrandis started in ninth, but moved into sixth place in Lap 4 and into fifth in Lap 5, five seconds behind Cianciarulo with a podium position at stake. He passed Cianciarulo in Lap 8 and quickly caught up with Plessinger, passing him in Lap 11.

In front, Roczen repeatedly ran fast laps, and increased a 10-second lead over Barcia to a 16-second lead in Lap 11.

Ferrandis, meanwhile, continued his relentless charge to the front to place second after passing Barcia in Lap 15, with one lap to go. Plessinger and Sexton finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Tomac held off Justin Bogle for 10th place, a minute off Roczen’s blazing pace.

Qualifying rounds

Earlier Saturday, Tomac was third-fastest after two time trials, with a lap of 2 minutes, 7.095 seconds. Roczen was fastest, at 2:05.667, and Cianciarulo was second-best, at 2:06.755.

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.