Eli Tomac placed fourth Saturday in the 450 AMA Supercross in San Diego, but closed to within a point of series-leading Ken Roczen, who finished sixth.
And defending champion Cooper Webb took the lead late from Adam Cianciarulo to win his first race of the season and move into third place in the season standings.
The PetCo Park main event was tight from the start.
Blake Baggett won the holeshot, but Cianciarulo won a back-and-forth duel with Webb to seize the lead.
Roczen and Tomac dropped to ninth and 10th. However, the series leaders regained their form and began picking off riders in the second lap. They moved into fifth and sixth place in the seventh lap, less than 8 seconds off Cianciarulo’s pace.
In the ninth lap, as Roczen challenged Justin Barcia in the whoops, Tomac crept up behind him and slipped by to take fifth place, then two laps later, passed Barcia for fourth.
With Barcia hot on his heels, Tomac, looking at a 5-second gap behind Baggett, picked up the pace, but Baggett also went to his throttle as he pursued Webb.
Webb overtook Cianciarulo in the 21st of 25 laps for the lead, and Tomac was relegated to fourth, about 4 seconds behind Baggett. Roczen was sixth, stuck behind Barcia for most of the race.
Qualifying roundsCianciarulo and Tomac again posted the top combined qualifying times Saturday afternoon, at 49.024 and 49.494 seconds, respectively. The Kawasaki teammates have set the pace in qualifying rounds at all six events this year.
Tomac was third in his qualifying race, to Roczen and Zach Osborne. Justin Hill and Aaron Plessinger were fourth and fifth. In his heat, Tomac was in ninth place after one lap, but climbed into fourth by the seventh of nine laps. In the next lap, he passed Hill for third place.
His teammate, Cianciarulo, won the second heat, leading all nine laps. Justin Brayton, Baggett, Barcia and Jason Anderson filled out the top five.
Next week, the AMA Supercross series goes to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the seventh race of the series.