Tomac was dominant at round one of the series a month ago at Hangtown, but since then he hasn’t managed to win a single moto. Between bad starts, front-brake problems, and inopportune crashes, it was a testament to his dogged determination that he left round three of the series in Colorado only down in the championship by 17 points. And just as Tomac hit the skids for a couple of weeks, former 250cc National Champ Blake Baggett caught fire. It was clear coming into Hangtown that Tomac was going to have to put an end to Baggett’s hot streak and start up a new one of his own.
In moto one, Tomac’s Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Josh Grant snared the holeshot and his teammate Tomac moved into second early, only to lose the front end and go down for the second race in a row, forcing him to remount dead-last.
Grant led the first three laps in front of Australian racer Dean Ferris, who took advantage of his weekend off from the national series in Australia to fly to Pennsylvania and take on the Americans. Ferris took the lead momentarily early in the race, but soon lost the spot to Baggett, who sped away with the win in front of Ferris and Grant. Behind them came Broc Tickle, Jason Anderson, and Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha’s Cooper Webb.
Tomac could only manage to fight his way up to 12th at the finish, and Grant was happy with third in the first outing, although on Father’s Day weekend his thoughts were with his son, Wyatt, who was back home in California nursing a broken leg.
“We knew that a start was going to be really important for this race,” Grant said. “I was able to get a holeshot and yeah, I feel good. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out at High Point and rode this well. My little man is at home with a broken leg, so it’s tough, but I love him and hope you’re doing well, Wy.”
Tickle got the holeshot to start moto two, but Anderson quickly moved into the lead just in front of Tomac, Tickle, Wilson, Webb, Grant, Davalos, Bogle, Musquin and Baggett at the tail end of the top 10. Tomac quickly focused forward and moved his way into the lead in the opening few laps. Baggett moved into second a few laps later and attempted to chase Tomac down, but Baggett just couldn’t make up any time. Tomac pulled away to win by over 20 seconds, getting the monkey off his back with his first moto win since Hangtown. The 12-1 score was good for fourth overall on the day.
“That first moto was a bummer,” Tomac said. “I lost the front end. I’ve done that a couple of times the past few weeks, so it’s disappointing for sure, but I came back the second moto fired up and got it done the whole way. I rode like myself early on and kind of felt like Hangtown there. Thanks to Monster Energy Kawasaki and we’ll see if we can come out swinging next week.”
Grant was battling with points leader Marvin Musquin in the second moto when he went down with a few laps to go and was forced to settle for 11th, and ended up 6th overall. Webb fought his way up to fifth in the second moto, and his 6-5 scores were good enough for fifth overall on the day. The 31 points Webb scored on the day mark a new high for points at a single 450cc event during this his rookie season in the class.
The good news for Tomac isn’t just that he’s managed to put another moto win in the books, but he narrowed the points gap from 17 down to 11 points as the series heads to round five at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee, next Saturday.