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Eli Tomac plows through mud to finish second in Jersey Supercross

Eli Tomac of Cortez during qualifying rounds Saturday, April 22, in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (State Racing Yamaha)
Barcia wins; front-runners Sexton and Webb bogged down

Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday finished second on a muddy track in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to widen his lead in the 2023 Supercross standings.

Justin Barcia finished first in the 450 Supercross in MetLife Stadium after a bump and pass with Ken Roczen. Roczen finished third, and Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Tomac now stands atop the standings with 315 points, 11 more than Webb, at 304 points. Sexton is third with 294.

Tomac seemed off-pace all day at MetLife, with lackluster results in qualifying rounds, but he came alive at night.

But in a main event delayed and shortened by rain and lightning and raced in the mud, Tomac plowed through a crowd at the start and picked up 23 points in his quest for a third 450 Supercross title.

Sexton won the hole shot, but Barcia knocked him over for the brief lead before being overtaken himself by Ken Roczen.

After one lap, Tomac was third, 3.5 seconds off the pace. Series runner-up Cooper Webb was seventh, and Sexton was eight.

By the seventh lap, Barcia had taken the lead from Roczen. Sexton had battled back into a distant fourth place, and Webb was fifth. Already, nine riders had been lapped.

In Lap 13, Tomac caught up with Roczen and began to challenge him for second place. Meanwhile, Barcia was way out in front, 16 seconds ahead.

In Lap 14, Tomac’s charge paid off: Roczen crashed in the whoops, giving Tomac a distant second place, but a couple of additional points in the series standings.

Barcia won easily, crossing the finish line in Lap 18 about 14.7 seconds ahead of Tomac and 25.4 seconds ahead of Roczen. Sexton was fourth, 45 seconds off the pace, and Webb was fifth, a lapped rider who finished only 17 laps in the 17-minute main event.

Qualifying rounds

In Heat 1, Roczen passed Webb in the second lap and led the final eight laps to finish ahead of Webb by 3.093 seconds. Justin Hill started and finished in third, following Webb throughout the course. Colt Nichols and Kyle Chisholm filled out the top five.

In Heat 2, Sexton broke quickly out the gate for the lead and a wire-to-wire victory over Jason Anderson, who finished second, 8.067 seconds back.

Tomac started in seventh, but moved up a couple of notches into fifth place in Lap 2 and into fourth place in Lap 5. He caught Barcia but could not muster a pass and finished fourth, about 0.7 second back. Benny Bloss was fifth.

Tomac qualified seventh during timed practice rounds, with a best lap of 48.930 seconds, behind Webb at 48.740. Anderson was fastest, at 47.707, ahead of Roczen, Sexton, Justin Hill and Justin Barcia.

What’s next

Next Saturday, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship goes to Nissan Stadium in Nashville for Round 15 of the 17-round series. The following Saturday – May 6 – the series goes to Tomac’s home field, Empower Field at Mile High in Denver. The series then concludes in Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on May 13.

2023 450SX standings
1. Eli TomacYamaha315
2. Cooper WebbKTM304
3. Chase SextonHonda294
4. Justin BarciaGasGas265
5. Ken RoczenSuzuki259
6. Jason AndersonKawasaki225
7. Aaron PlessingerKTM213
8. Adam CianciaruloKawasaki155
9. Justin HillKTM154
10. Christian CraigHusqvarna150