Eli Tomac, overcame another slow start Saturday in the 450 class of the AMA Supercross, and bolted to the front of the pack for a convincing win in Anaheim, California.
The win gave Tomac his first podium of the season and catapulted him into third place in the season standings.
Winless at Angel Stadium since 2018, Tomac started slow and appeared to be in for another disappointing race. But the rider from Cortez, who bounced back from a dismal start in 2018, instead put on the kind of show that fans have come to expect.
After the gate dropped, Ken Roczen went to the lead ahead of Blake Baggett and defending series champion Cooper Webb.
After one lap, Tomac was in 10th, and teammate Adam Cianciarulo was in seventh. After two, Tomac was in seventh; after three, he was in fifth; and after four, he was in third.
In the fifth lap, Tomac moved into second place behind Roczen with a blistering lap of 52.078 seconds, almost two seconds faster than Roczen and the fastest lap of the race. Trailing Roczen by 3.510 seconds, Tomac ran the next three laps under 53 seconds and passed Roczen for the lead in the eighth.
He then stretched out a five-second lead by 13th lap before easing off to a comfortable two-second win.
Roczen finished second and was followed by Webb, Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson. Cianciarulo was sixth.
Tomac appeared to be in top racing form all afternoon.
He won the first heat wire to wire, overtaking holeshot winner Webb in the first lap and running away from the pack to win by 9.888 seconds. Defending champion Webb was second, and Dean Wilson, Justin Barcia and Tyler Bowers rounded out the top five.
In the second, top qualifier Cianciarulo looked to make it a Kawasaki sweep, racing to the lead in the first lap, and leading the next three. But Roczen got by in the fifth and went on to win by a thin 1.634 seconds. Anderson, Malcolm Stewart and Martin Davalos rounded out the top 5.
For the third consecutive week, Cianciarulo and Tomac finished one-two during qualifying rounds. Saturday, Cianciarulo ran his fastest lap at 51.865 seconds, and Tomac posted hist at 51.934 seconds.
Next week, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads to Glendale, Arizona, for the fourth race of the championship series.