Eli Tomac dueled wire to wire with Jason Anderson Saturday in the 450cc Supercross in Anaheim, California, but settled for second place and the lead in the championship series.
The second-place finish gave Tomac, riding his first season with Star Racing Yamaha, a 12-point lead over Anderson in the series standings, 134 to 122.
Tomac entered Angel Stadium for the third and final race at Anaheim this season with an 11-point lead over Chase Sexton after winning back-to-back races in Anaheim 2 and in Glendale, Arizona.
Sexton dropped to third place, with 122 points, after finishing seventh.
Saturday’s race featured a rare duel between two Southwesterners.
Anderson, riding with Tomac’s former Kawasaki team, broke into the lead at the start, with Tomac on his heels. The two – Tomac from Cortez and Anderson from Rio Rancho, New Mexico – often battled wheel to wheel early in the race, with less than a second separating them.
When Anderson struggled in the whoops, Tomac challenged but could not catch him, and midway through the race trailed the leader by more than two seconds. Anderson took the checkered flag 3.481 seconds ahead.
Anderson was fast all day, setting the pace in timed qualifying laps and winning his qualifying heat race. Tomac, second-fastest in the timed laps, placed third in his heat.
Justin Barcia of GasGas finished third at Anaheim 3 and now sits in fifth place overall. Malcolm Stewart was fourth, and is in fourth place overall, and Marvin Musquin finished fifth, for seventh place overall.
After six races in the 17-race series, Tomac has been on the podium four consecutive times, maintaining a momentum that he gained in his second outing, a fourth-place finish in Oakland.
Tomac was the second-fastest qualifier in timed practice runs, with a best lap of 56.772 seconds. Anderson was fastest, at 56.700, and Sexton was third at 57.213. Dylan Ferrandis and Stewart rounded out the top five.
In qualifying Heat 1, Tomac got off to a slow start and was in eighth place after one lap. Justin Brayton was first and was followed by Barcia, Musquin, Justin Bogle and Cooper Webb.
In Lap 2, Barcia took the lead, and Tomac was in sixth, behind Webb.
By Lap 5, Tomac had moved into fifth place. He advanced into fourth place in Lap 6 after passing Webb. He finished third after passing Brayton in Lap 8.
Brayton and Webb filled out the top five.
Anderson won Heat 2 wire to wire, with Aaron Plessinger in tow. Sexton finished third after overtaking Shane McElrath in Lap 4. McElrath and Stewart filled out the top five.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship series moves to US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Feb. 19 for the seventh of 17 races this season.
|1. Eli Tomac||Yamaha||134|
|2. Jason Anderson||Kawasaki||122|
|3. Chase Sexton||Honda||116|
|4. Malcolm Stewart||Husqvarna||112|
|5. Justin Barcia||GasGas||110|
|6. Cooper Webb||KTM||103|
|7. Marvin Musquin||KTM||98|
|8. Ken Roczen||Honda||92|
|9. Dylan Ferrandis||Yamaha||92|
|10. Aaron Plessinger||KTM||81|