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Eli Tomac finishes eighth in Indianapolis Supercross, loses series lead

Eli Tomac of Cortez runs qualifying laps at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He was fifth-fastest during the timed laps. (Star Racing Yamaha)
Cooper takes 1-point lead in standings as season enters second half

Eli Tomac started the Indianapolis 450 Supercross slow on Saturday night and finished in eighth place, giving the series lead to Cooper Webb.

Ken Roczen won the main event at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, his first victory of the season. Justin Barcia was second, and Webb was third.

It was Tomac’s lowest finish of the season, and gave Webb just enough room to take the lead in the season standings 202-201.

Tomac seemed off-pace all day, lagging riders during qualifying rounds and starting in a hole in the main event.

After the gate dropped, Roczen went to the lead, followed by Webb and Chase Sexton. Adam Cianciarulo was fourth, and Justin Hill was fifth.

Tomac was 11th.

After three laps, Sexton had overtaken Webb for second, and Barcia was fifth, behind Cianciarulo.

After five laps, Tomac had driven into eighth, behind fellow Southwesterner Jason Anderson of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He was only 8-plus seconds off Roczen’s pace.

Sexton crashed in Lap 7 and dropped to 12th place, moving the contenders up a notch, and Tomac into seventh place. Barcia passed Webb for second place in Lap 12 as Roczen set the pace, nearly four seconds ahead

Anderson passed teammate Cianciarulo in Lap 13 for fifth place, leaving Tomac behind the two Kawasaki riders, still in seventh.

With two minutes to go, Barcia slightly reduced the gap to Roczen, but the race seemed all sewed up.

Tomac lost a challenge from his trailer, Christian Craig, in Lap 25, but the lineup remained largely unchanged as the checkered flag dropped three laps later.

Roczen crossed first, about 0.739 second ahead of Barcia to win his first moto of the season. Webb was third, and Aaron Plessinger and Anderson filled out the first five.

Tomac was eighth, and Sexton was 10th.

Qualifying rounds: Tomac fades

Webb took the early lead in qualifying Heat 1, but was passed by Roczen in Lap 3. Barcia, Cianciarulo and Kyle Chisholm rounded out the top five as riders appeared to settle in for the ride to the finish line.

However, Barcia still had some racing to do. He passed Webb for second place and closed the gap to Roczen in Lap 4, then and took the lead in Lap 7. Webb went down in Lap 9 and got up to finish in fourth place behind Cianciarulo. Justin Hill finished fifth.

In Heat 2, Tomac won the hole shot and the lead, in front of Anderson and Plessinger.

Sexton moved into second place in Lap 1 and passed Tomac for the lead in Lap 3. Plessinger passed Anderson in Lap 1 and Tomac in Lap 6. Tomac then gave way to Anderson in Lap 8 to finish fourth, ahead of Craig.

During timed practice runs Saturday afternoon, Sexton posted the fastest lap, at 45.215 seconds. Tomac was fifth behind Sexton, Roczen, Anderson and Barcia with a best time of 45.665 seconds.

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship series continues next week at Ford Field in Detroit for Round 10 of the 17-round season.

2023 450SX standings
1. Cooper WebbKTM202
2. Eli TomacYamaha201
3. Chase SextonHonda189
4. Jason AndersonKawasaki166
5. Ken RoczenSuzuki164
6. Justin BarciaGasGas155
7. Aaron PlessingerKTM154
8. Christian CraigHusqvarna119
9. Dean WilsonHonda93
10. Adam CianciaruloKawasaki92