Defending champion Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday won the 450 Supercross at Daytona International Speedway start to finish, and inched closer to the leaders in the championship series.
The victory, Tomac’s third consecutive win at Daytona, tied Ricky Carmichael’s record of five total wins at the legendary track– in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017 and 2016.
Tomac placed second in 2018 and 2015.
Tomac went to the lead in the first lap after Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen went wide at the start. Roczen dropped to seventh place, and Tomac, with a clear track ahead, went to his throttle, pushing his Kawasaki to a 2-second lead over Webb in Lap 2.
In Lap 4, Aaron Plessinger passed Webb for second place. Roczen chased Webb, and Chase Sexton was in fifth.
In Lap 6, Tomac, beginning to feel pressure from the charging Plessinger, posted his then-fastest lap, at 1:09.985 seconds. In Lap 8, he responded to Plessinger’s challenge with still more speed, a 1:09.393 lap.
After 11 laps, Plessinger had faded to 4.4 seconds behind, and seven laps later, Tomac crossed the finish line 3.856 seconds ahead of Cooper, who passed Plessinger in the final lap.
Plessinger, Roczen and Malcolm Stewart rounded out the top five.
Tomac entered Daytona Beach in third place in the season standings, 31 points behind leader Roczen and 25 points behind runner-up Webb.
With the win Saturday, Tomac narrowed Cooper’s lead to 22 points, and Roczen’s lead to 24 points.
Tomac posted the third-fastest lap during two timed qualifying rounds, at 1 minute, 8.260 seconds. Roczen was first, at 1:08.019, and Dylan Ferrandis was second, at 1:08.129. Webb and Marvin Musquin rounded out the top five.
Webb and Roczen won the two 450SX heats.
In the first heat, Webb took the lead in Lap 1, with Justin Barcia and Plessinger in pursuit. Plessinger overtook Barcia for second place in the second lap, and the three frontrunners had an easy ride to the finish line. Sexton, who started in sixth, got by Broc Tickle and Ferrandis in the second lap to finish fourth. Ferrandis was fifth.
In the second heat, Roczen went to the lead in the first lap, and would lead all seven to the end, with Malcolm Stewart in tow for second place. Tomac was third start to finish, and Musquin was fourth. Justin Bogle finished fifth after passing Benny Bloss in the fifth lap.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series goes to Arlington, Texas, for three races, on March 13, March 16 and March 20.
1. Ken Roczen Honda 199
2. Cooper Webb KTM 197
3. Eli Tomac Kawasaki 175
4. Justin Barcia GasGas 153
5. Malcolm Stewart Yamaha 143
6. Marvin Musquin KTM 135
7. Aaron Plessinger Yamaha 134
8. Zach Osborne Husqvarna 123
9. Dylan Ferrandis Yamaha 121
10. Adam Cianciarulo Kawasaki 120