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Shots from Glen Helen MX Raceway, San Bernardino, California
NEWS

Another Monster Performance from Tomac

May 272018

For the second consecutive weekend Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac crushed the will of his 450 Class rivals in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The reigning national champion entered the Glen Helen National with all the momentum after a season-opening win at Hangtown, and he successfully picked up where he left off to post back-to-back wins at the first two rounds for the second time in his career.

All things considered, Tomac’s sweep of the motos at Glen Helen were even more impressive than what he displayed at Hangtown. This is largely because the Kawasaki rider faced a seemingly insurmountable deficit in the final moto of the day, but his trademark relentlessness allowed him to overcome a gap of eight seconds, take the lead with two laps to go, and proceed to storm out to a 16-second win margin.

It was the type of performance that left his rivals speechless, left wondering what they can possibly do to try and stop the Tomac stampede that has rolled through the first two Nationals. What’s even scarier for anyone forced to compete against Tomac is that there appears to be no end in sight for these types of rides as the Colorado native is more comfortable than ever on his Kawasaki steed.

“I was feeling good and was relaxed. I found some good lines and was able to get going. I just had a good flow all day.”

Tomac has had very little to say through the first two rounds of the season, and that doesn’t bode well for those hoping to challenge him.

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 

250 Class Moto 1

 

While Tomac carried the torch for Monster Energy in the 450 Class, Aaron Plessinger stepped up to fly the flag in the 250 Class. The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha rider was in a class of his own and made a major statement with arguably his most impressive ride as a professional.

 

Point leader and reigning champion Zach Osborne applied the pressure immediately out of the gate in Moto 1, capturing the holeshot. However, privateer Gage Schehr snuck by Osborne, which then made the champ vulnerable to an attack from Plessinger. The Yamaha rider took advantage off the opportunity to pick off Osborne and jumped into second. He continued to push the pace on the opening lap and seized control of the lead. For the rest of the 250 Class field, that was all she wrote.

 

Plessinger proceeded to lead every lap of the moto, and while he did receive some late pressure from Osborne, the point leader faltered and hit the ground, which essentially handed the win to Plessinger. The Ohio native easily took his first moto win of the season, 12 seconds ahead of Osborne.

 

250 Class Moto 2

 

The deciding moto saw Alex Martin race to the holeshot and early lead aboard his KTM, while Plessinger engaged in a heated battle for a spot in the top five. Martin was able to sprint to an early lead while Plessinger fought in a pack of studs that included Osborne and Jeremy Martin. 

 

With such elite talent pushing the pace up front, Plessinger eventually moved into third, and then made his way around Martin’s Honda for second. It didn’t take him long to close in on the rear fender of Alex’s KTM and after about a lap of pressure the Yamaha rider put himself back into the lead for good.

 

Plessinger was able to establish a lead of several seconds, which allowed him to control the pace as he worked through lapped traffic. Behind him, the Martin brothers and Osborne engaged in a tight battle for the final spots on the podium, where Osborne once again made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed.

 

Plessinger backed off the pace over the final laps, which allowed his rivals to close the gap, but he easily crossed the line to clinch his third Pro Motocross win and the first 1-1 sweep of his career. The Martin brothers followed in second and third, while Osborne crossed the line in fifth. The Martins accompanied Plessinger on the overall podium. 

 

The biggest shakeup from Plessinger’s dominant performance came in the championship standings, where the Yamaha rider moved into a tie for the point lead with Osborne. As a result, Plessinger will carry the red number plate for the first time at the next round.

 

250 Class Results

1. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha (1-1)

2. Alex Martin, KTM (3-3)

3. Jeremy Martin, Honda (5-2)

4. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna (2-5)

5. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (6-4)

6. Justin Cooper, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha (4-7)

8. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (7-10)

10. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (13-6)

 

250 Class Standings

1. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 88 

2. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna – 88 

3. Jeremy Martin, Honda – 82 

4. Alex Martin, KTM – 74 

5. Justin Cooper, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 60 

6. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 59

9. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 49 

11. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 41

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