In a shocking turn of events at Thunder Valley, the 450 Class championship was dealt a huge shake-up thanks to a crash from Eli Tomac.
Just when it looked like Tomac was minutes away from cruising to his sixth straight moto win, disaster struck. As a result, Ryan Dungey won the race and took over the points lead, and Tomac may now be dealing with a serious injury.
After dominating the first two rounds of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the undefeated Eli Tomac carried a 19-point championship lead into today’s races and was considered the heavy favorite. After all, he was on fire, he was the fastest qualifier this morning, he was coming to his home state of Colorado, and he’s one of the only riders used to training in the altitude.
Things were going according to plan through the first moto and a half – Tomac won the day’s first moto, then grabbed the lead and opened up a large gap in the second moto. In a position to just cruise to the checkered flag, the unthinkable happened, and Tomac lost control and crashed hard in Moto 2. He looked to be in serious pain and made no effort to reenter the race, instead heading straight to the medical center to get checked out.
With Tomac out of the running, Ken Roczen – last year’s 450 Class champion – assumed the race lead and was in a position to earn the overall victory as well. At the time, Ryan Dungey, after inheriting second place, had moved into a tie with Tomac for the points lead.
Then fortunes shifted once more, as Roczen also crashed while out in the lead with just two laps to go – something he said was the result of a flat tire – and that allowed Dungey to catch up to him. The former teammates battled for the top spot, with Dungey making the pass and Roczen then going down for a second time.
Dungey was then able to check out with the lead en route to the checkered flag, and his 2-1 moto finishes earned him the overall victory, his first of the season.
“The track is rough. When we’re pushing the envelope that fast, I hate to see [Tomac] go down like that,” Dungey said after the race. “I hope he’s okay, I don’t know the aftermath. He’s going at a good pace right now, and the faster you go, the more that stuff sneaks up on you.”
Roczen’s crash cost him a shot at the overall win, but he still finished second overall with 3-2 moto finishes. Blake Baggett (4-3) rounded out the overall podium – his first career podium finish in the 450 Class.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will resume next Saturday, June 6th at Muddy Creek Raceway in Tennessee, and the big question will be around the status of Tomac after today’s crash. Will the GEICO Honda rider be healthy enough to return to racing and keep himself in title contention?