When the gate dropped for the Main Event, Tomac was on point. The No. 3 stormed into the first turn ahead of the field and emerged with the holeshot. Tomac wasted little time in asserting himself into the position and pulled the huge quad at the end of the first rhythm lane to establish a multiple bike length lead over Jason Anderson, the point leader. At that moment it was all she wrote for the field.
It took less than one lap for Tomac to pull ahead by more than a second, and that grew with each and every lap. As the advantage over Anderson continued to build, eventually into the double digits and capping off at just under 21 seconds, the attention shifted towards how efficiently Tomac was working through lapped traffic, and how many fellow competitors he was actually putting a lap down. At the conclusion of the Main Event, Tomac had lapped all the way through 10th place, leaving just nine riders on the lead lap.
It was arguably the most dominant Tomac has been in any of his 18 career wins in the premier division, and it came on the heels of what has already been deemed one of the greatest come-from-behind performances of all time at Daytona the week prior. While the points don’t reflect it, there have been more smiles than not coming from Tomac and his team in 2018, and that confidence is fueling his continued pursuit of Anderson atop the standings.
To his credit, Anderson did what he needed to do in St. Louis and minimized the impact of Tomac’s victory with a runner-up effort. After claiming his worst result of the season came at Daytona, Anderson’s rebound ride keeps 60 points between he and Tomac with six races remaining. Tomac moved from fifth to fourth in the standings with the win.
Tomac’s Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Tyler Bowers took a lot of positives out of St. Louis as well. The multi-time AMA Arenacross Champion turned heads in practice, and ended up with the sixth-fastest time overall. He led a good portion of his heat race before a miscue cost him several positions, but he bounced back and battled valiantly in the Main Event. Bowers was in contention for his first top-10 of the season for the majority of the race, and settled for a solid 14th-place finish.
Entering St. Louis, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing rider Cooper Webb was building a wave of momentum that looked like it could result in a shot at victory. Unfortunately for Webb, an incident while riding during the week put him behind the 8-ball on Saturday, and the hard luck continued in practice with a crash that forced him to sit out the evening.
450SX Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki
2. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
3. Marvin Musquin, KTM
4. Justin Brayton, Honda
5. Weston Peick, Suzuki
14. Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy Kawasaki
450SX Class Standings
1. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 246
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 204
3. Justin Brayton, Honda – 189
4. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 186
5. Blake Baggett , KTM – 181
8. Cooper Webb, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 146
11. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing – 113
15. Josh Grant, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 83
17. Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 78
East Region 250SX Class
Things couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in the fifth round of the East Region Championship, as Austin Forkner and Martin Davalos finished 1-2 in their heat race. But unfortunately for Mitch Payton’s legendary squad, the night concluded with frustration and heartbreak.
Tension was high as the field stormed out the gate and ripped through the first turn only to see the dueling red number plates of Forkner and Osborne running side by side down the opening rhythm lane. Like his 450SX counterpart, Forkner pulled the trigger on the massive quad that ended the section and put the No. 35 into the lead. The Missouri native then sprinted out to a near two-second lead in front of the hometown crowed and looked to have the pace to maintain that advantage.
Behind Forkner, Davalos enjoyed a strong start as well and positioned himself in fourth early on. The veteran then made a run past Jeremy Martin for third and ran in podium position for a couple laps. Davalos then settled back into fourth behind Martin and was riding a steady, patience race before encountering some trouble. The Ecuador native had been fighting through the pain of several challenging injuries to his knee and back for the majority of the season, and it appeared as though one of those was aggravated during the race, effectively ending Davalos’ run.
As he was forced to navigate through lappers, Forkner lost some valuable ground to Osborne, who picked up the pace as they neared the halfway point. The two budding rivals and co-point leaders were set for the showdown in Forkner’s home state, but a miscue right after the finish put Forkner on the ground and out of contention for the win. Forkner was fortunate to lose just a handful of positions and got back into the action running fifth.
Forkner gave it all he had to close back in and potentially salvage a shot at the podium and was in a position to make a run in the closing stages of the race. However, as he chased down Kyle Peters for fourth a lapped rider failed to give Forkner the required leeway, which caused contact that put just about put Forkner on the ground for a second time. The incident dropped the No. 35 down to sixth.
Osborne went on to equal Forkner’s win total at two, while Forkner was able to regain the position he lost late for fifth. As a result, Forkner faces an eight-point deficit to Osborne.
Frenchman Thomas Ramette made his debut for Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha in St. Louis and will contest the remainder of the East Region for the team as both Colt Nichols and Dylan Ferrandis recover from injury. Despite having very little supercross experience Ramette rode well and looked comfortable, and earned an impressive 10th-place finish.
East Region 250SX Class Results
1. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna
2. Jeremy Martin, Honda
3. Jordon Smith, KTM
4. Kyle Peters, Suzuki
5. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
10. Thomas Ramette, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha
22. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
East Region 250SX Class Standings
1. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna – 115
2. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 107
3. Jordon Smith, KTM – 102
4. Jeremy Martin, Honda – 93
5. Luke Renzland, Yamaha – 71
9. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 54
10. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 53
14. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 34
25. Thomas Ramette, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha – 10