Eli Tomac wins Oakland Supercross, ties Ricky Carmichael for third on wins list


Eli Tomac took advantage of a mistake by Chase Sexton to win his fourth Monster Energy Supercross race of the season at Oakland and recover from a disappointing round in Tampa. With this win, Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time wins list with 48. He now sets his sights on James Stewart’s 50 wins.

It almost didn’t happen, however; Tomac rode flawlessly until the white flag waved. On the final lap, he pushed off a corner and lost his momentum as second-place Cooper Webb rapidly closed the gap. Another bobble in the whoops created a lot more drama than Tomac wanted.

“That racetrack was very, very tough,” Tomac told Carmichael, who performed the winner’s interview from the booth. “I expected everyone to make a mistake. Obviously I was lucky with Chase going down. He was running a great pace up until around halfway there. I was solid for a while there and then right at the very end I made a big mistake going for a roll after that first straightaway.”

Tomac had questions that needed answering. He started answering them early with a heat win before closing out a perfect night. Tomac’s win allowed him to make up the ground he lost in Tampa, and he left Oakland with a seven-point lead over Sexton and Webb, who are tied for second.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Oakland

Webb followed up his Tampa win last week with a second-place finish but still lost three points to Tomac. Webb’s late race strength was a factor in both podium finishes.

“At the beginning, I just lacked some pace,” Webb told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “I just stuck to my laps. I couldn’t really catch them until about five, six laps and then I was able to start matching, but the gap was too big.”

Webb remains perfect in regard to top-five finishes.

For the second week, Chase Sexton crashed while leading. In the first 14 minutes of the race, Sexton built a five-second lead over Tomac, but he jumped into a turn and felt the bike skid out from under him. As Sexton stood his bike up, Tomac blazed past.

“I landed that triple just like every lap and the front and rear came around and I was on the ground. Honestly that was some of the best riding I’ve done in a main event, especially how gnarly the track was.”

Sexton also crashed in practice, but he overcame and earned the holeshot as the three points’ contenders rode nose-to-tail.

Sexton is also perfect in regard to top-five finishes.

Jett Lawrence was patient during the first half of the 250 West Main and pounced when RJ Hampshire made a mistake to win his third race of the season in four rounds.

“At the start when I fell to third I thought, we have two of the main boys I’m competing with who are the main ones with me,” Lawrence told NBC Sports’ Jason Thomas. “It was kind of like a chess game to see who was sending it and to try and pick the lines, so I just stayed back there. The whoops section was kind of sketchy; the rhythms sent you a little bit awkward, so I was just waiting on a mistake.”

Lawrence slotted in behind Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo in the opening laps, but after winning Heat 2, he knew he had the speed to make his move when he was ready. At the halfway point, Hampshire leaned too far in a corner and hit the ground, but simply making the show was a victory of sorts. Following a hard crash in Anaheim 2, Hampshire sustained internal injuries and a dislocated shoulder.

After winning his heat, Hampshire said, “I’m stoked to be here; it was kind of questionable.”

Hampshire finished 16 seconds behind Lawrence.

“That was a really tough one,” Hampshire said. “I executed my start perfectly. I wish we were at 100 percent tonight because I felt good and I just ran out of steam. I had nothing left and it was just survival.”

Click here for full 250 Main Results

McAdoo had to survive a battle with Pierce Brown. Second in the points, McAdoo could not afford to lose very many points to Lawrence. Trailing by 16 entering Oakland, he lost third to Brown midway through the race after a block pass. In the next turn, he repaid the favor, sending Brown to the ground.

“I’m slightly frustrated,” McAdoo said. “There were some areas where I felt like I could have been better, but from what I was dealt over the last few weeks, (most everyone saw what happened to me in A2), it was very trying.”

In his most recent race, McAdoo crashed in one of the Triple Crown mains and injured his arm, but avoided any broken bones.

Brown dropped to fourth, recovered momentarily, and then hit the ground once again as time was running off the clock.

The overall winner of the Triple Crown at Anaheim 2, Levi Kitchen took advantage of Brown’s mistake to settle into fourth while Brown rounded out the top five.

Phil Nicoletti dislocated wrist in practice; Stylez Robertson also failed to mount after crashing in prelims.

2023 Race Recaps

Tampa: Cooper Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Eli Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Oakland Supercross coverage

Oakland by the numbers
Team Solitaire races with NASCAR connection
Jason Anderson on probation for rough riding
Eli Tomac protects points’ lead with risk-free ride
SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Tampa
Results and points after Tampa

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.