Eli Tomac raced from sixth to first Saturday to win the 450 AMA Supercross in Daytona for the fourth time in six years and regain the series lead over Ken Roczen.
Tomac got off to a slow start and was in sixth place behind Cooper Webb after one lap. Webb and Tomac benefited from mishaps by Vince Friese and Aaron Plessinger early in the race, and were in third and four place, respectively, after four laps.
As Webb tucked into second behind Roczen in Lap 6, Tomac dueled Jason Anderson for third as both ran their then-fastest laps in Lap 7. Tomac got by him two laps later and set his sights on Webb.
Charging forward, Tomac passed Webb for second in Lap 12, then ran a blazing lap at 1 minute, 10 seconds to draw to within a second of Roczen in Lap 13.
For Roczen and Tomac, tied for the series lead, Daytona became a two-bike race.
Tomac took over in Lap 15, and with three laps to go, Roczen began to fade. Tomac won going away and crossed the finish line almost two seconds ahead.
Webb finished third, and Anderson and Justin Barcia filled out the top five.
After 10 races, Tomac now leads the series 226-223.
On Friday, Tomac talked about his team’s strategy at Daytona.
“It’s new for us to have the red plate here, in the past I’m always chasing here,” Tomac said.. “I’ve had three wins here, love to win again, but I’m thinking long game.”
He has won Daytona four times in the past six years – 2020, 2019, 2017 and 2016. He placed second in 2018 and 2015.
“Yeah, I like this place quite a bit – we like it a lot,” Tomac said. “Good to us in the past. ... Just that combo between motocross and Supercross. You get bumps with jumps. You have the rough stuff, the chop, and the Supercross rhythm sections.”
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was the fastest rider after two qualifying rounds, with a best lap time of 1 minute, 9.357 seconds. Roczen was second-fastest, at 1:10.003, and Webb, Malcolm Stewart and Anderson rounded out the top five.
Roczen won the first qualifying heat race after overtaking Plessinger on the second lap. Plessinger was second, and Barcia, Justin Brayton and Malcolm Stewart rounded out the top five.
In the second of the two heats, Tomac raced in third the whole trip, behind Webb and Anderson. Friese and Chad Reed filled out the top five.
Next Saturday, Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium for the 11th round of the 17-round series.