Justin Barcia scored his best finish since the second week of the season. Eli Tomac passed more bikes at Atlanta than anyone.
But neither rider was happy at the end of Round 9 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season. And a feud that started on the track with 17 minutes remaining in the main event boiled over in a confrontation at the foot of the podium (watch video of the argument above).
They parked their bikes beside each other and immediately began exchanging accusations and expletives.
“It was dirty,” Barcia, who finished second to Ken Roczen, said to Tomac while wagging his bloodied knuckles at the rival. “You can be aggressive, but it was dirty.”
“Have you ever passed anyone clean?” Tomac shot back. “Without touching someone? Clean? This year?”
Laughing at Barcia’s affirmative response, Tomac (who finished fourth) then said, “Hey, guess what, you’ve still got something to lose, too.”
With his fourth at Atlanta, Barcia is in third place in the points standings, 23 behind Roczen and Tomac, who are tied for first in the championship standings with 200 points.
Walking to the pits after the race, Barcia continued to steam while smiling when asked about his bloody hand: “Yeah, my friend Eli got me. He said earlier it was hard aggressive racing, but I beg to differ. I know dirty racing because I used to be a bit of an idiot.”
Known as ‘Bam Bam’ for his aggressive nature, Barcia went to Atlanta prepared to attack the race course if needed and competition if he got off to a bad start. He was mired in the field in the opening laps.
Tomac has struggled with his starts all season as well, and the two came together while battling just inside the top 10 for the eighth position. Barcia made a bold move past Tomac in the middle of a bowl berm, banging bars with the points leader. At the end of the next straight, Tomac retaliated and regained the position.
One lap after making the pass for eighth, Tomac set his sights on Blake Baggett and seventh. Barcia was hot on their tails. Tomac pushed into Baggett, and both hit the ground. Barcia clipped Baggett’s legs but remained upright and took the position.
Tomac stood his bike up and climbed back on. He dropped to 14th but charged back to fourth at the checkers. Barcia finished second to earn his third podium of the season and best finish since Anaheim 2.
“I made a good clean pass on (Tomac), and then he pounded into me,” Barcia said on NBCSN after the race. “Got me pretty good. I was not happy with that racing. But I put that aside. What a great race; charged through the pack.”