450SX red plate-holder will have to wait longer in bid to clinch title.
A conservative Eli Tomac was satisfied to salvage a runner-up result in the penultimate round of Monster Energy Supercross after ruining the start.
Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Tomac was at the rear of the pack through the first turn on Wednesday, but managed to claw his way back onto the podium.
That second-place finish behind title rival Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) meant that the 2020 series will go down to the wire on Sunday, with Tomac now holding a 24-point lead over the reigning 450SX champion.
“You know, the first turn it was just a joke,” Tomac stated. “I mean, I was way out the back and was probably the last guy on the inside. I went defensive and that did not work in that first turn…
“So, Mookie [Malcolm Stewart] went up this inside, I think [Justin] Barcia was even there on the inside and then, just really had to pick my way through the pack. That first lap was a little bit chaotic, I made a good move around the second and third turns there and then went to work.
“I felt like I could make easier passes this week compared to the previous track, where before I couldn’t get to the front, so I’m satisfied on that second. Gotta be a little bit better – there’s a lot of good guys on the line.”
Tomac was able to work his way into the top five by lap 10 and then by lap 23 it was a two-way fight at the front between he and Webb. If Tomac was able to make a pass for the lead and go on to win, the championship would have been sealed.
“When it was Zach [Osborne], Cooper and Kenny [Roczen], once I caught that group I’m like, ‘man, I’m right in this’,” he recalled. “To be honest, I thought it was going to turn into last Sunday when the two broke away and I was kind of out of it, but I was able to get there.
“I tried to push to the front, right, but at the same time I was kinda in a conservative mode there. That was it, I was happy with second at that point.”