Eli Tomac of Cortez raced into fourth place in the AMA Supercross standings after finishing fifth Saturday in the 450 class race at NRG Stadium in Houston.
He entered the main event in sixth place after a convincing victory Tuesday in the second of three races in Houston.
Tomac got off to a slow start Saturday and was in 10th place after one lap. By the seventh, he advanced into sixth place as Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb set the pace. Tomac’s teammate on Monster Energy Kawasaki, Adam Cianciarulo, was third.
Passing Malcolm Stewart in the 10th lap, Tomac began to pursue Justin Barcia, six seconds ahead, for fourth. Tomac got by him in the 14th lap, but Barcia recovered to regain fourth the next lap.
He wouldn’t go higher.
In the final lap, Roczen, who led 23 of the race’s 26 laps, rode wide around the lapped Dean Wilson, giving Webb an inside path to the lead and the victory. Cianciarulo finished third after racing all 26 laps behind Roczen and Webb. Barcia was fourth, and Tomac was fifth, 23.385 seconds off the lead.
Tomac’s fifth-place finish gave him 18 points for the race, enough to move him into fourth place in the overall standings, just five points behind Barcia and Webb.
He jumped two spots after a crash pushed Marvin Musquin into ninth place overall. Dylan Ferrandis fell from second place into fifth.
Roczen leads the series, one point in front of Webb and Barcia.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was the fastest rider during qualifying runs, with a best lap of 47.432 seconds. Roczen was second, at 47.579, and was followed by Cianciarulo, Zach Osborne and Justin Brayton.
Tomac was second in his qualifying heat race to Cianciarulo, who won wire to wire. In sixth place after the first lap, Tomac bolted into fourth in the second lap, where he remained for four laps. He made a clean block pass on Stewart in the sixth, and executed a triple jump in the final lap to pass Martin Davalos for a second-pace finish, 2.56 seconds behind Cianciarulo. Stewart followed Tomac past Davalos for third, and Brayton was fifth.
Next up: The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series goes to Indianapolis for Rounds 4-6 on Jan. 30, Feb. 2 and Feb. 6.