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Eli Tomac finishes 10th in Salt Lake, nails down third place in series

Defending champion dominated qualifying rounds at Salt Lake

Eli Tomac of Cortez got off to a slow start Saturday in Salt Lake City and finished 10th as the AMA Supercross series wound down to the final race of the season.

Tomac entered Rice-Eccles Stadium in third place in the series. He lined up for the main event with the top performance during preliminary rounds after winning his heat race and posting the fastest lap in practice runs.

“I was ... happy with my riding in the heat race,� Tomac said before the main event. “Into the first turn, I was able to get underneath those guys and then just had to hammer it down.�

“Feeling good so far and ready for that main,� he added.

But Tomac, who placed on the podium six out of seven times last year in Salt Lake City, was in for a disappointing ride. Still, he nailed down third place in the series.

In the main event, Ken Roczen took an inside path into the first turn to win the holeshot and the lead. Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson, Cooper Webb and Malcolm Stewart were in pursuit.

Justin Barcia and Savatgy crashed and fell out of the top 10.

Tomac was in the middle of the pack – eighth in Lap 1, seventh in Lap 2, and 10th in Lap 4 after crashing at the beginning of a turn. By Lap 11, Tomac was again in ninth, but almost 18 seconds off the lead.

Roczen, after leading through 14 of the race’s 25 laps, crashed in Lap 15 and dropped to sixth place, giving Musquin the lead and his first win of the year. Webb finished second, and Stewart, Chase Sexton and Dylan Ferrandis filled out the top five.

Tomac finished 10th.

The defending champion is in third place in the season standings, 28 points behind runner-up Roczen and 39 points ahead of Barcia. Supercross 2019 champion Webb leads all riders and was just five points shy of his second Supercross title. He leads Roczen in points, 362 to 340.

Earlier Saturday, Tomac posted the fastest lap in timed practice runs, at 46.980 seconds. Webb was second, at 47.058, and Savatgy, Anderson and Stewart rounded out the top five. Roczen was seventh.

In qualifying Heat 1, Webb took the lead out of the first turn, with Musquin and Aaron Plessinger in tow. Musquin crashed in Lap 5 and dropped to fifth, and Plessinger and Chase Sexton moved up a notch, with Anderson not far behind. Sexton and Anderson got by Plessinger in the last of the eight laps for second and third.

In Heat 2, Savatgy went wide at the start, giving Tomac, Stewart and Ferrandis an inside track to the lead.

Tomac grabbed the holeshot and wouldn’t look back. He ran his fastest lap in Lap 6 and held off Stewart for a 0.585-second win. Roczen got around Ferrandis for third.

The final race of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series is set for May 1 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Series standings

1. Cooper Webb KTM 362

2. Ken Roczen Honda 340

3. Eli Tomac Kawasaki 312

4. Justin Barcia GasGas 273

5. Aaron Plessinger Yamaha 249

6. Jason Anderson Husq. 236

7. Malcolm Stewart Yamaha 230

8. Dylan Ferrandis Yamaha 218

9. Marvin Musquin KTM 208

10. Joey Savatgy KTM 190