Eli Tomac, who qualified No. 1 Saturday in the 450cc Supercross in Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, dropped to the middle of the pack at the start but battled back to finish fourth.
Tomac lined up beside Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy at the gate, but dropped to 11th place after the first turn. Cooper Webb took the lead in a tight pack, with Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett on his heels.
Tomac got past Dean Wilson and Justin Barcia to move into seventh place after two laps, and Savatgy then moved into third.
In the seventh lap, Tomac benefited from crashes by Chad Reed, Aaron Plessinger and Musquin to move into fourth place, then into third as Savatgy’s Kawasaki failed.
With half the race to go, Tomac appeared ready to challenge the leaders.
But in the 13th of 23 laps, Tomac missed a triple jump, and Musquin and Baggett went by, dropping him to fifth place and more than 11 seconds off the lead.
As the KTMs of Webb, Musquin and Baggett ran out in front, Roczen and Tomac dueled for fourth. Tomac got Roczen in the 19th lap but remained six seconds behind Baggett for third.
He made a late rush in the last lap, but ran out of track and finished fourth.
Webb held off Musquin for the win, and Baggett finished third. KTM riders filled the podium.
Tomac picked up 19 points for the race, but Webb’s victory catapulted him past Tomac and Roczen for the series lead. Tomac is now in third, a point behind Roczen and three points behind Webb. Musquin and Barcia round out the standings’ Top 5 after four of the series’ 17 races.
Defending champion Jason Anderson of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is out with a broken arm.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was eighth in qualifying rounds with a lap of 53.378 seconds. Roczen was fastest, at 52.709 seconds, and he was followed by Cole Seely and Savatgy.
Tomac won his heat race going away. He was second to the first turn and passed holeshot winner Baggett after the first lap. He led the remaining seven laps, eventually beating Seely to the checkered flag by 2.854 seconds, Baggett held on for third and was followed by Musquin and Justin Brayton. Tomac’s fastest lap in the heat was 53.853 seconds.
Savatgy won the second heat, giving Monster Energy Kawasaki two wins. He also was second to the first turn, then got by holeshot winner Webb in the fourth lap. He led the rest of the way, beating Roczen by 1.254 seconds. Webb was third. Savatgy’s fastest lap was 54.618 seconds.
Savatgy teamed up this year with Tomac on Monster Energy Kawasaki, replacing Josh Grant. In four seasons at 250cc, Savatgy managed seven overall victories in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and finished third in 250MX points in 2015 and 2016. Last year, he finished in the Top 5 in six of the season’s 24 motos. He’s a native of Georgia and lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series next goes to PetCo park in San Diego on Feb. 2 for the fifth of the 17-race series.