With Round 9 in the books, Eli Tomac continues to pad his points lead. Finishing perfectly with a 1-1, he took the overall win. More importantly he gained points on second-place Marvin Musquin at Washougal MX Park.
As has often been the case this season, Tomac had to overcome a poor start. In Moto 2, he ended the first lap well outside the top 10, but mounted a charge to pass Ken Roczen with seven minutes remaining. He got around Musquin quickly after.
In Moto 1, Tomac battled back from outside the top five and moved up steadily throughout the race. He was eight seconds back when he moved into the runner-up position and set his sights on then-leader Roczen.
Tomac showed just how dangerous he is with three laps to go in Moto 1. The rider of the No. 1 was right beside Roczen and about the make the pass when he tipped over – seemingly handing the win back to Roczen. Tomac stood his bike back up and caught Roczen within a single lap. An aggressive inside move on the last lap that gave him the Moto 1 win.
“On the bike it was perfection,” Tomac said on NBC Gold after the race. “Except for the starts. The second moto there, it was pretty much mistake free.”
Finishing second overall, Roczen seemed to have a comfortable advantage until Tomac put him in his sights during Moto 1. With very little chance of winning the championship, Roczen nevertheless needs consistently strong runs. Finishing 2-3 and second overall was not the result Roczen wanted, but it was a moral victory.
“For me it’s important not to leave anything on the table…I’m going to gather myself for the second one and try my best again,” Ken Roczen said after losing the lead in Moto 1 on the final lap.
Marvin Musquin, who has finished second to Tomac in the last two seasons championship battles, needed to make up 9.5 points per race in the final four rounds; he lost 12 instead. Musquin finished third overall with his 5-2.
“I feel sorry for the team for that first moto,” Musquin said. “I couldn’t get around for third-place and then got frustrated and lost some positions…I came back the second moto with a better start, better riding and a better feeling on the bike.”
Cooper Webb (3-6) and Jason Anderson (4-5) rounded out the top five – pending a final judgment. A pass by Anderson on Joey Savatgy is under review.
In 250s, the battle for the championship took center stage.
In the Moto 2, Dylan Ferrandis and Adam Cianciarulo were never more than two seconds apart from one other from start to finish, but in the end it was Ferrandis who took the moto win. Every point matters at this stage of the season and with a 1-1, Ferrandis scored the overall win and earned the maximum number of points.
While Cianciarulo had Ferrandis in sight the entire race, the battle really heated up with seven minutes remaining on the clock. That’s when Cianciarulo got on Ferrandis’ back tire and started seriously challenging for the lead change. As soon as he caught him, however, Cianciarulo landed slightly off center and lost just a little momentum. That allowed Ferrandis to get some breathing room and gird himself for the final three laps.
Cianicarulo entered the round with a 36-point advantage and four rounds remaining. Ferrandis needed to make up nine points per race. At Washougal, he made up eight, but served notice that he is not going to go gently into the good night.
“It was crazy,” Ferrandis said on NBC Sports Gold after the race. “We got a really good start and I’m really happy to get two good starts – I gave everything on the second corner to take the lead. (Cianciarulo) was there already and I was like, ‘now we’re going to see who’s the best.’
“I gave everything I had. I wasn’t at my limit, but I was really close and I think him too.”
The difference actually came in the first moto. At the 14-minute mark, Cianciarulo laid his bike down, but quickly got back on the seat. It was enough to keep him from challenging for second in the moto. Finishing third in that race allowed Ferrandis to gain a couple of extra points that could become critical in the final round.
Cianciarulo finished second overall with a 3-2.
Last week Cianciarulo earned points on Ferrandis in both motos; this week Ferrandis returned the favor.
“You’re conscious of points, obviously, but at the end we’re all just racers,” Cianciarulo said. “Especially after winning a lot this year. It’s what I think about when I go to sleep. It’s what I think about when I wake up. I crave it. I want it so bad.”
Cianciarulo was right on top of Ferrandis with seven minutes remaining on the clock. On that lap, he landed just a little sideways and lost some momentum.
Justin Cooper took the final spot on the podium with a 2-4.
Michael Mosiman (7-3) and Chase Sexton (4-6) rounded out the top five.
 Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & Pala II, Thunder Valley II, WW Ranch II, RedBud I, Washougal I & II)
 Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
 Marvin Musquin (WW Ranch I, The Wick I, RedBud II)
 Cooper Webb (Spring Creek I & II)
 Blake Baggett (High Point I)
 Zach Osborne (The Wick II)
 Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley I, High Point II, The Wick I, Spring Creek II)
 Dylan Ferrandis (WW Ranch II, The Wick II, RedBud I & II, Washougal I & II)
 Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
 Hunter Lawrence (High Point I, Spring Creek I)
 Chase Sexton (WW Ranch I)
Next race: Unadilla MX, New Berlin, NY., August 10
Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.