450 Class Moto 1
The first moto of the day saw Honda rider Christian Craig claim his second holeshot of the season, but he went down hard a short time later. That allowed his teammate Ken Roczen to move into the top spot for the first time since his return to the championship, which unsurprisingly brought the crowd to cheers.
As Roczen pulled away out front, Tomac was methodically working his way forward from a fifth-place start. It took just two laps for him to take control of second place, from which he set his sights on the Honda out front. A lengthy battle for the lead eventually unfolded, as Roczen defended numerous pass attempts from Tomac for more than half of the moto.
It was only a matter of time before Tomac got the upper hand, and when he finally worked his way around Roczen he proceeded to check out. He took his third moto win of the season more than 12 seconds ahead of KTM rival Marvin Musquin, while Roczen held on for third.
450 Class Moto 2
As the field roared out of the infamous “Talladega” turn to start Moto 2 it was Jason Anderson who not only grabbed a definitive holeshot aboard his Husqvarna, but also sprinted out to a comfortable lead in the opening laps. Tomac positioned himself in a similar spot to the first moto, but he was unable to make passes as quickly in his journey to the front.
Tomac put his Kawasaki into podium position by the third lap, but he then had to deal with Musquin in a heated battle for second. This battle lasted for five laps, but soon enough Tomac left his primary challenger in his dust and worked to close in on Anderson’s huge lead that sat at more than eight seconds.
From a big picture standpoint Tomac didn’t need the moto win in order to clinch the overall, which he had in hand from the moment he took control of third place. But true to his nature, Tomac saw it as a challenge, and rather than settle for the position he chose to push the limits and dropped his lap times.
The pace of Tomac was easily the fastest on the track, but Anderson responded by dropping his own pace, which ultimately minimized the damage done by Tomac each lap. Unfortunately for Anderson, he couldn’t keep that pace for such an extended period of time and soon enough Tomac was eating large chunks of his lead.
With time running out in the moto Tomac has Anderson in his sights. He absolutely decimated a near three-second deficit as the two-lap board came out and flew past Anderson as if he was standing still. Tomac wasn’t finished. He continued to put the hammer down and surged out to a winning margin of more than 16 seconds in the span of one lap. Game. Set. Match.
Tomac stood proudly atop the podium with his second 1-1 sweep, while his rivals were left to lick their wounds and reassess their confidence. Musquin earned yet another runner-up finish, but lost valuable ground in the point standings. Anderson parlayed a strong second moto into his first overall podium result of the season.
After just two rounds Tomac has already opened up a 14-point lead over the field, and he’ll next move on to his home race from Colorado’s Thunder Valley, looking to extend his undefeated start.
450 Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM (2-3)
3. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna (4-2)
4. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (6-4)
5. Ken Roczen, Honda (3-8)
450 Class Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 100
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 86
3. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 73
4. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 73
5. Blake Baggett, KTM – 60