Eli Tomac of Cortez came from behind in two motos Saturday to sweep the Washougal National and widen his lead over rival Marvin Musquin in the AMA motocross championship series.
Entering the 450 Class motocross in Washoughal, Washington, with a 38-point lead over the rising Musquin, Tomac picked up 50 points for winning both motos. He now leads the Frenchman by 50 points.
He overcame two poor starts to do it.
In the first moto, Tomac finished the first lap in seventh place, as Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy raced in the lead and was pursued by Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb, Musquin, Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson.
As Roczen moved to the lead in the second lap, Tomac began his climb toward the front, passing Wilson for sixth. In the next six laps, he would pass Anderson, Webb, Musquin and Savatgy to mount a challenge for Roczen’s lead.
With just three laps to go, Tomac and Roczen raced side by side, but Tomac tipped over, giving the lead and apparent victory to Roczen. Tomac got back up and ran down Roczen, passing him on the inside of the track for the win.
Webb, Anderson and Musquin rounded out the top five.
In the second moto, Tomac again started slow and was in 12th place after one lap. Musquin overtook holeshot winner Savatgy for the lead and was followed by Savatgy, Zach Osborne, Roczen and Wilson after one lap.
Tomac picked up four spots in the second lap to move into eighth place, then picked up two more in the third lap. Stuck in sixth place for three laps, he charged into fourth place in Lap 6 and into third in Lap 7.
Tomac began his final push for the lead in Lap 10 when he drove past Roczen for second place, about 1.540 seconds behind Musquin.
Musquin fought off Tomac turn after turn but eventually succumbed to Tomac’s intense pursuit in Lap 12 when he moved outside Musquin, then beat him to the inside of the next turn to seize the lead. Once out in front, Tomac continued to go to his throttle, and by the time he reached the checkered flag in Lap 16, he had stretched out a nearly 12-second lead. Roczen, Osborne and Webb trailed Musquin to round out the top five.
After the race, Tomac gave some credit to his Kawasaki crew.
“On the bike it was like perfection, except for the start,” Tomac told NBC. “I felt so good on the bike. Everything was in the right spot in the right place. It was so cool.”
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was also fastest after two qualifying rounds, posting a best time of 2 minutes, 15.420 seconds. Musquin was second at 2:17.068, and Savatgy was third at 2:17.414.
On Aug. 10, Tomac goes to the Unadilla National in New Berlin, New York, for the 10th of 12 races in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series.