Given how much change has taken place within the championship battle the past few weeks, it felt like RedBud presented a unique opportunity for Tomac to take a big step toward a third consecutive title. While rival Ken Roczen kept him honest throughout the early portion of the summer, the German’s form had dropped considerably during the most recent rounds of the championship, and it opened the door for Tomac to establish some breathing room in the points. In Roczen’s absence, fellow rival Marvin Musquinstepped up and built some momentum for himself, but Tomac made sure that Musquin’s surge in confidence was limited.
With the added complexity of the title fight, and a two-round drought since his last win, Tomac seized the moment at one of his favorite tracks. He started the afternoon solidly inside the top five of the timed qualifying chart, which provided an early gate pick for the always-crucial start. Behind him, fellow Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Joey Savatgy slotted inside the top five as well, while the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing tandem of Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger followed in ninth and 13th, respectively.
That increased need for a strong start panned out for Tomac, who emerged near the front of the pack in third. Barcia fought his way to a top-five start as well, while Plessingerand Savatgy were in the thick of the fight for a spot inside the top 10. With the leaders in sight, Tomac immediately went to work on a quest for the lead. He showed patience with the heightened early pace behind Cooper Webb, and after a few laps of testing some alternate lines, Tomacpulled the trigger to move into second about a quarter way through the moto. From there it was only a matter of time before Justin Bogle’s handle on the top spot came under threat.
Like a shark with blood in the water, Tomac knew the opportunity to strike was there and he needed just one lap to seize control of the lead. Once he put his Kawasaki into the top spot, it was clear sailing for the champ to carry on to his class-leading sixth moto win of the season. Plessinger was the next best Monster Energy rider, just outside the top 10 in 11th, while misfortune plagued both Barcia and Savatgy and left them deep in the running order.
Things were a little more challenging for Tomac in Moto 2, when he emerged with a seventh-place start. However, he was still well in control of his own path to victory. Savatgyslotted in right behind him in eighth, with Plessinger not far behind in 10th. Barcia’s trying afternoon got even more difficult with a 37th-place start.
In typical Tomac fashion, he went to work in the opening laps and gained some valuable ground. He fought his way into the top five after just a few laps, and continued to climb forward. Once he moved up to fourth, Tomac had the overall in his grasp, but he wasn’t done. He fought his way by Jason Anderson for third, and with time running out in the moto, he stormed past Roczen for second.
The late effort in the final moto ultimately translated into a big points day for Tomac. His 1-2 effort easily gave him the 20th win of his career, which ties him with James Stewart for fifth on the all-time wins list. The edge in victory was a huge seven points over Anderson, the runner-up, and eight points over Musquin, which pays big dividends in the championship standings.
In his second start of the season, Plessinger just missed out on the top 10 in 11th, while Barcia was resilient en route to a 14th-place finish. Savatgy endured through a nightmare day and finished 38th.
Tomac’s victory moved him out to a 34-point lead in the 450 Class standings, which should be a major cause for concern for the rest of his fellow competitors. It’s the largest lead he’s had at this point in the season compared to the previous two title-winning campaigns.
450 Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (2-1)
2. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna (2-4)
3. Marvin Musquin, KTM (7-1)
4. Cooper Webb, KTM (3-5)
5. Ken Roczen, Honda (6-3)
11.Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (11-11)
14.Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (39-10)
38.Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki (38-34)
450 Class Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 304
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 270
3. Ken Roczen, Honda – 264
4. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 252
5. Cooper Webb, KTM – 238
7.Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 170
18.Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 54
23.Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 28