Eli Tomac got his second victory of the season Saturday after winning a hard-fought duel with Ken Roczen at the 450 AMA Supercross in Oakland.
He is now second in the 2020 standings, just three points from series-leading Roczen.
Heading into the main event Saturday at RingCentral Coliseum, Tomac had been fast – but second-best – all day. He was second in qualifying rounds, second in his qualifying heat and second to the first turn in the main event.
In the feature race, Roczen took the lead in the first lap, with Kawasaki teammates Adam Cianciarulo and Tomac in hot pursuit. Defending champion Cooper Webb was in fourth.
Tomac survived a challenge and a bump from Webb in the second lap, then pulled away and zeroed in on Cianciarulo. By the seventh lap, the three leaders were bunched together ahead of the pack, separated by less than two seconds. Tomac made his move on Cianciarulo in the eighth and quickly closed in on Roczen for a duel to the finish.
He took the lead in the 11th and began to pull away, but four laps later, went off the track and gave the lead back to Roczen. After recovering, Tomac made a second charge, running two fast laps to blow by Roczen again for the lead in the 18th lap.
This time it would stick. Tomac pulled away for a comfortable win, and Roczen, faltering in the final lap, gave way to Webb. Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five, about 15 seconds off the lead.
The win was Tomac’s second in three races. He won in Anaheim on Jan. 18 and was second in Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 25. Since Anaheim, he has outscored Roczen 75-70.
Qualifying roundsIn his qualifying heat, Tomac got off to a fast start and was second to the first turn. He overtook Roczen for the lead, but Roczen quickly passed him in the sand, and the top three – Roczen, Tomac and Blake Baggett – opened up a nine-second gap on the field. Tomac attempted to pass Roczen in the sixth of seven laps but stalled and dropped to third. He recovered, and in a bold dash for the checkered flag, charged past Baggett for second place. Roczen won the heat by his widest margin of the race, just 1.140 seconds.
Justin Hill won the second heat wire to wire, holding off Webb, who chased the leader all the way. Justin Brayton, Aaron Plessinger and Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. Cianciarulo recovered from an early tip-over and finished sixth.
Earlier Saturday, Cianciarulo and Tomac were the top two qualifiers in the 450 cc class, for the fifth consecutive week. Cianciarulo posted a top lap of 59.448 seconds, and Tomac was close behind, at 59.508. Webb, Baggett and Anderson filled out the top five.
Next week, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads south to San Diego for the sixth of 17 races in the series.