Eli Tomac ratcheted up the drama in the third Main of the Triple Crown format in Round 8 of the Supercross season on his way to the overall win. He was forced to come from behind after riding off course briefly during Lap 1 of the final moto/
In the first two Mains, Tomac was unassailable. He charged from 11th to first with two laps remaining to win the first Main. He passed Cooper Webb for the lead in Main 2 on Lap 6 through the whoops and had a chance to sweep the 450 class by winning all three Mains in a Triple Crown for the first time in Supercross 450s history.
Like the first Main, Tomac got a terrible start in the third, however, and saw his chance for perfection fade away. He fell all the way to 14th at one point before mounting his charge. This time he was not able to get all the way to the front, but secured a sixth-place finish that was enough for the overall victory. This is Tomac’s second win of the season.
“What really got me in that moto was when I went off the track on lap two or three and almost took the tough block [out] and had to go around this double,” Tomac said on NBCSN after the final race. “It shuffled me back. I mean I was back in the beginning [of the race], but that really put me in the pressure cooker there. And I was like, ‘Am I really doing this right now?’ So I got my head back in it and made the charge back.”
Webb showed poise in securing the second-place position overall. He fell back in Main 1 to finish sixth. He lost the lead to Tomac early in Main 2, but held on to finish second overall. He won the third Main – knowing it was his only chance to win the overall. He lost by one point, but managed to hold onto the points lead.
“I tried to reinvent the wheel; change the whole bike,” Webb said afterward. “I just wasn’t riding like myself. Wasn’t focused like I should have been. Like the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ So I went back to original settings for the last [Main} and wouldn’t you know it? That was the best one.”
Chad Reed finished third, fifth and seventh to score third overall.
Ken Roczen (5-6-5) minimized his points deficiency to Webb with a fourth-place finish overall. With this result, he maintained his perfect record of top fives and held onto second in the standings.
Blake Baggett (4-11-2) rounded out the top five.
Three 250 East races have resulted in only one winner.
Austin Forkner took his third straight win in dominant fashion over Jordan Smith. For the first time since Supercross has utilized the Triple Crown format in select events, a rider swept all three Mains.
“My starts were dialed all night,” Forkner told NBCSN after winning Main 3. “The last start was the best one I had all night and I knew I had it five feet out of the gate.”
The real secret to his success? Pixy Stix. Yup, those little tubes of colored sugar that he downed between each Main. His crew credits them with boosting his energy level without putting enough sugar in his system to crash during the middle of the race.
Riding with a bone bruise in his wrist that he sustained last week in Arlington, Jordan Smith finished in the runner-up position in the first two Mains and was fourth in the third. That gave him eight points and the second-place finish.
Chase Sexton also swept the top five with results of fourth, fourth, and second to claim third overall. Sexton had a great start to the third Main and may have been able to catch Forkner if not for lapped traffic.
Justin Cooper stood on the podium in Main 1 and 3. He finished fifth in Main 2 to finish fourth overall.
Martin Davalos (5-7-5) rounded out the top five.
450 Main 1: Eli Tomac had to overcome a terrible start to chase down Justin Brayton. Tomac was 11th on Lap 1 while Brayton led the field after getting the holeshot. Tomac passed Brayton on the next-to-last lap for the Main 1 victory. … Chad Reed rounded out the top three with Blake Baggett in fourth. … The next highest finisher among the current title contenders was Ken Roczen in fifth. … Cooper Webb got the best start among the title contenders and was fourth on Lap 1, but he slipped to sixth at the checkers. … Marvin Musquin finished ninth.
450 Main 2: Eli Tomac charged through the whoops on Lap 6 and grabbed the lead from Cooper Webb. … After grabbing the holeshot, Webb stretched an advantage over the most of the field and held on for second. … The battle for third was a three-man scrum involving Joey Savatgy who nipped Marvin Musquin and Chad Reed at the checkers. … Ken Roczen got a bad start and fell to ninth on the first lap; he rebounded to finish sixth.
450 Main 3: Cooper Webb had a slow start to the evening, but he kept getting better with each Main. He took the lead on Lap 12. … Blake Baggett finished second after recovering from an off course excursion on Lap 8 when he was knocked wide by Justin Barcia – who also recovered to finish third. … Title contender Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac finished fourth through sixth.
450 Last Chance Qualifier: AJ Catanzaro grabbed the holeshot and held the lead to the checkers. … He beat Carlen Gardner by 1.810 seconds with Kyle Chisholm rounding out the top three. … The final transfer spot was decided as the clock wound down to zero; Ryan Breece elbowed Ronnie Stewart out of fourth.
250 Main 1: The only time Austin Forkner was challenged was during Lap 1. His battle with Jordon Smith soon resolved with Forkner in the lead, which he held until the checkers. … Riding with a sore wrist, Smith held on for second, but that position was hotly contested by Chase Sexton. The two riders were handlebar-to-handlebar for most of the race until Sexton rode off track on the final lap. … Justin Cooper slipped past as Sexton dropped to fourth. … Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s margin of victory in Main 1 was 10.080 seconds.
250 Main 2: One doesn’t get much TV time while running away from the field. Austin Forkner picked up at least a half second per lap after taking the lead on Lap 1 and beat Jordon Smith by 6.244 seconds. … Alex Martin took the last step of the podium. … Chase Sexton was able to stay on course through the end of this race and finished fourth. … Justin Cooper rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s average margin of victory so far was 8.162 seconds.
250 Main 3: Austin Forkner got the holeshot and led every lap on his way to a perfect evening. … He beat Chase Sexton by 2.945 seconds. … Justin Cooper stood on the bottom step of the podium to sweep the top three on the evening. … Jordon Smith and Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s average margin of victory for the night was 6.423 seconds.
250 Last Chance Qualifier: Wilson Fleming took the win in the five-minute plus one lap sprint. … He beat Chase Marquier, Lorenzo Locurcio and Justin Thompson. … Locurcio passed Samuel Redman for fourth with 30 seconds on the clock before improving by one more spot for insurance. … Marshal Welton stuffed his wheel in a jump and collected Joey Crown before one lap was in the books; both riders finished in the back of the field off the lead lap.
Cooper Webb (173) (4 wins)
Ken Roczen (167)
Marvin Musquin (161)
Eli Tomac (160) (2 wins)
Dean Wilson (122)
Adam Cianciarulo (114 points) (3 wins)
Shane McElrath (106) (1)
Colt Nichols (104) (1)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)
Austin Forkner (78 points) (3 wins)
Jordon Smith (65)
Justin Cooper (63)
Chase Sexton (60)
Alex Martin (51)
450 top 5s
Ken Roczen: 8
Marvin Musquin: 6
Eli Tomac: 6
Cooper Webb: 6
Blake Baggett: 4
Dean Wilson: 2
Joey Savatgy: 2
Chad Reed: 2
Jason Anderson: 1
Justin Barcia: 1
Justin Bogle: 1
Justin Brayton: 1
250 West top 5s
Adam Cianciarulo: 5
Shane McElrath: 5
Colt Nichols: 4
RJ Hampshire: 3
Dylan Ferrandis: 3
James Decotis: 2
Jacob Hayes: 1
Garrett Marchbanks: 1
Jess Pettis: 1
250 East top 5s
Austin Forkner: 3
Jordon Smith: 3
Justin Cooper: 3
Chase Sexton: 3
Martin Davalos: 2
Alex Martin: 1
Next race: March 2, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
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