Eli Tomac of Cortez swept the Budds Creek National Saturday and won his third consecutive American Motocross title a week before the final race in the series.
His dominating performance in the 450 Class in Mechanicsville, Maryland, followed a lackluster day last week at the Unadilla National in New York, where he finished fourth overall, his first day off the podium in the 2019 series. Saturday, he removed all doubts about his focus.
“I don’t want to back it off or play it safe at all,” Tomac said after the first moto.
By the end of the day, his comment was an understatement.
In Moto 1, Tomac broke fast out of the gate and took an inside line to the first turn, but Justin Bogle went by on the outside to win the holeshot. Tomac passed Bogle for the lead in the first lap, and Roczen moved into second, just 1.2 seconds back.
Zach Osborne, top qualifier Ken Roczen, privateer John Short, and Marvin Musquin filled out the front-running pack. Musquin passed Bogle in the fifth lap to join Tomac and Roczen in the race for the podium, and Anderson, who started in fifth place, join the front-runners in the 10th lap.
But the first moto belonged to Tomac. At the midpoint of the race, Tomac extended his lead over Roczen to 5.398 seconds, and in the 17th lap, he reached the checkered flag almost 14 seconds ahead of Roczen. Musquin, Anderson and Osborne filled out the top five.
Roczen acknowledged that Tomac was unbeatable in the first moto, and all he could do was get ready for the next race.
“Eli was riding really good, and I didn’t go ballistic at the beginning,” he said on the podium. “I’m gonna go take an ice bath, eat something, and put my feet up.”
In Moto 2, Tomac again raced to the front, but lost the holeshot to Osborne.
It wouldn’t matter.
Tomac catapulted off an inside line went to the lead in the first lap. He stretched out a 2.478-second lead in the first lap and finished almost 15 seconds ahead of Anderson. Again, as in the first moto, he led all 17 laps.
Anderson, racing from a fourth-place start, finished second after passing Osborne and Roczen. Musquin also passed Roczen, and by failing to finish second, gave Tomac the edge in points that he needed for the series championship. Osborne and Justin Barcia rounded out the top five.
Tomac totaled 50 points by winning both 25-point motos and extended his series lead over Musquin to 50 points. Tomac’s 50-point lead and series-leading 10 moto wins assured him of winning the tiebreaker for the title in the event that Musquin won both motos next week in Indiana and Tomac posted no points.
Musquin finished third in both motos for third overall. Musquin, currently in second place overall with 426 points, will race Roczen, with 421 points, for second place in the championship series. Anderson is a distant fourth, at 376 points.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was the third-fastest qualifier, with a best lap of 2 minutes, 2.306 seconds. Roczen set the pace at 2:00.432, and Musquin was second at 2:01.353. Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.
The final race of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series is Aug. 24 at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where Tomac clinched his two previous titles.