Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday dominated the 450 motocross at the Redbud National in Buchanan, Michigan, setting the pace in qualifying rounds, sweeping the two motos, and narrowing the gap behind series-leading Chase Sexton.
Tomac’s performance at the Redbud raceway on the Fourth of July weekend put him on the podium for the seventh consecutive time since winning Moto 2 at Hangtown on June 4.
The two moto wins gave Tomac his second consecutive overall win, coming two weeks after he beat Craig in a tiebreaker in Round 4 of the AMA Motocross series at High Point in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, on June 18. He has won three straight motos and five total, compared with Sexton’s three wins.
He now trails Craig for the series lead by seven points, 224 to 217. Roczen is in third with 194 points, and Jason Anderson and Ryan Dungey are a distant fourth and fifth.
“It was a great day for us,” Tomac said in a post-race interview. “From practice, we had super-good starts in both motos, the first moto start especially.”
“Just a good day. It was a fun track to ride this time. I think the prep was pretty good here. The whoops were harder, the sand whoops,” Tomac said “Yeah, not much to say. It was just a great day for us.”
Tomac began race day with the fastest time during qualifying rounds at 2 minutes and 2.784 seconds in his second lap. He was the only racer to break 2 minutes, 3 seconds.
“I felt like I had it going in the second (lap) also, but I just didn't put in a good lap,” he said. “But this is a perfect start for us.”
Anderson of Monster Energy Kawasaki was second-best, nearly a second behind at 2:03.505. Kawasaki’s Joseph Savatgy was third, and Honda’s Sexton was fourth. Tomac’s teammate on Star Racing Yamaha, Christian Craig, was fifth.
In the first moto, Tomac made an unusually fast start to win the hole shot, and led former Kawasaki teammate Savatgy by more than 2 seconds after Lap 1. Ken Roczen of Honda was third, and Justin Barcia and Sexton rounded out the first five.
As the riders passed the moto’s midpoint, Tomac worked on a 5.681-second lead over Savatgy at the end of Lap 8. Roczen remained in third but faced an impending challenge from Sexton, who had moved into fourth place. Craig was in fifth, and Barcia faded to ninth.
Sexton passed Roczen for third place in Lap 10 and went by Savatgy for second place in Lap 13. Meanwhile, Tomac stretched out a 12.579 lead in his ride to the finish line.
Easing off on the throttle in Lap 16, Tomac cruised to the finish line 6.382 seconds ahead of Sexton for the wire-to-wire win. Savatgy, Roczen and Craig rounded out the top five.
In the second moto, Tomac trailed Roczen and Barcia after the first lap but passed Barcia for second in Lap 2.
Tomac came from nearly 2 seconds back to run his fastest lap in Lap 6, catch Roczen in Lap 7 and pass him in Lap 8.
Roczen gave way to Sexton in Lap 11 and Barcia in Lap 13 as the second tier of racers battled for a place on the podium.
Tomac took the fast way home. He quickly stretched out a 5-second lead in Lap 10, and an 8-second lead in Lap 14, then coasted to a 6-second victory in Lap 17.
Sexton again finished second. He was followed by Barcia, Anderson and Dungey.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series next heads to the Southwick National in Massachusetts for Round 6 of the 12-round series.
|1. Chase Sexton||Honda||224|
|2. Eli Tomac||Yamaha||217|
|3. Ken Roczen||Honda||194|
|4. Jason Anderson||Kawasaki||179|
|5. Ryan Dungey||KTM||153|
|6. Christian Craig||Yamaha||151|
|7. Justin Barcia||GAS||139|
|8. Aaron Plessinger||KTM||115|
|9. Joseph Savatgy||Kawasaki||108|
|10. Shane McElrath||Husqvarna||102|