Eli Tomac raced to a third-place finish Saturday during the muddy 450 Class motocross at the Spring Creek National.
Entering Millville, Minnesota, after a week off and with the coveted Redbud win under his belt, Tomac could not match the dazzling Cooper Webb, who won both motos for the overall victory. Webb also was the day’s fastest qualifier.
In both motos, Webb went to the lead early, then beat back challenges by Tomac in the first moto and by Ken Roczen in the second. He won on a wet track after rain cut short the qualifying session, canceled consolation races and shut down electrical power.
In the first moto, Isaac Teasdale won the holeshot but lost the lead to Webb, whose momentum catapulted him through the first turn. After one lap, the relatively unknown privateers Henry Miller and John Short had moved into second and third, and Teasdale faded to fourth, just ahead of Kyle Cunningham.
Tomac was sixth.
He began picking off the privateers, getting past Cunningham and Teasdale in the second lap and moving into third place. He then passed Miller in the fourth lap to move into second place, but 9.740 seconds behind Webb. He charged to the front, cutting Webb’s lead to 5.693 seconds in the fifth lap, and to 3.749 seconds in the sixth. Marvin Musquin, meanwhile, made a charge of his own, racing from eighth place to a distant third after six laps.
Tomac pressured Webb until the end, closing to within a second of him in the 10th of 15 laps and to within 1.696 seconds with a lap to go.
Webb held on for his first 450 Class moto win. Zach Osborne trailed Musquin for fourth, and privateer Miller held on for a season-best fifth place.
In the second moto, Webb again got to the lead in the first lap. After a pileup in the opening lap, Jason Anderson and Musquin dropped to the middle of the field, and Tomac fell to ninth place.
After four laps, Roczen took the lead after a back-and-forth battle with Cooper, and Osborne sat in third. Tomac was in the second tier of racers in seventh place, behind Justin Barcia, Short and Justin Bogle.
Tomac went down in the fifth lap and fell to eighth place, 36 seconds off the lead. He battled back into sixth place in the 10th lap and passed Benny Bloss for fifth place in the 13th lap. Trailing Barcia by about 19 seconds, Tomac made up some ground but would settle for fifth place.
Webb passed Roczen for the win in the 15th of 16 laps. Osborne, Barcia and Tomac rounded out the top five.
Tomac’s combined performance – second place in the first moto and fifth in the second – left him in third place for the day. He remained atop the standings, 38 points ahead of Musquin, who finished fourth overall.
Earlier, Saturday, Tomac was third after two qualifying rounds, with a best lap of 2 minutes, 11.892 seconds. Webb was first, with a lap of 2:11.131, and Barcia was second at 2:11.718. Anderson and Musquin rounded out the top five.
Next week, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to the Washougal National in Washington state for the ninth race of 12 races in the series.