Eli Tomac of Cortez dominated the 450 Class meet at the Redbud National on Saturday, winning the first moto and challenging Marvin Musquin for the sweep in the second.
As the motocross series enters the second half of the season, the overall win in Buchanan, Michigan, widened defending champion Tomac’s lead over current runner-up Musquin to 35 points, up from 26 points after last week’s race at Southwick. Former runner-up Ken Roczen dropped to third place in the series standings, at 264 points, 40 points off the lead.
Tomac got off to a good start in the first moto and was third after one lap, behind holeshot winner Cooper Webb and his trailer, Justin Bogle.
He didn’t have to wait long for the lead.
Tomac passed Webb for second place in the fourth lap, then overtook Bogle for the lead in the fifth. He quickly stretched out a big lead, from 2.440 seconds in the fifth lap to 10.656 seconds in the 10th and 15.940 seconds in the 13th.
He eased off the throttle for the final four laps, but still beat the surging Jason Anderson by 6.364 seconds. Webb, Bogle and Blake Baggett rounded out the top five.
Musquin, meanwhile, staged a spectacular comeback for seventh place. After crashing in the first lap, Musquin became pinned under his KTM and required assistance to break free. He reentered the race dead last in 40th place but battled back into the top 10 in the ninth lap and gained two more spots by the final lap.
In the second moto, Tomac started slowly and was seventh after one lap. He trailed Webb for three laps before passing him for fifth place in Lap 4, and quickly passed Baggett for fourth. He then ran down Anderson in the 12th lap for third place and caught Roczen in the 15th of 16 laps for a second-place finish.
Tomac’s one-two punch at Rebud gave him 47 points for the overall win. Anderson was second with second- and fourth-place finishes, and Musquin was a triumphant third, with seventh- and first place finishes. Webb and Roczen rounded out the top five overall.
Tomac was pleased with his victory, which was more difficult than it looked.
“The track just got beat up there (in the second moto),” he told NBC after the race. “I wasn’t able to do all my sweet outside railer-berms that time. I was following guys a little bit deeper in the pack.
“Overall, it was just a little rougher track, and I was behind the fast guys. That was a lot of work.”
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was fourth-fastest after two qualifying rounds, with a best lap of 2 minutes, 6.450 seconds. Webb led the way with a lap of 2:05.121 and was followed by Musquin and Roczen. Tomac’s teammate on Monster Energy Kawasaki, Joey Savatgy, was fifth.
The 12-race series continues next Saturday for the Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota.