Eli Tomac of Cortez, struggling to make a comeback Monday, raced into fifth place overall after crashing and falling to the back of the field in the second 450cc motocross at the Redbud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
It was Tomac’s second race at Redbud in three days in the 2020 AMA Pro Motocross series, which was shortened to nine races from the usual 12. Friday, Tomac finished sixth overall after fourth- and fifth-place finishes.
Monday, Tomac followed up a second place in the first of two motocrosses with a seventh place in the second moto, for fifth place overall.
With four races to go, Tomac is fourth in the series standings, five points behind his rising Kawasaki teammate, Adam Cianciarulo, who won his first 450 moto Monday, then topped it off with a third-place finish in the second moto and Redbud 2’s overall win.
Zach Osborne remained atop the standings over Marvin Musquin with a third-place finish Monday.
Moto 1Cianciarulo went to the lead, with Osborne and Kawasaki ace Tomac close behind.
After one lap, it was Cianciarulo, Osborne and Tomac, Musquin and Justin Barcia in a tight bunch out in front.
Tomac and Cianciarulo went to the throttle early, posting their fastest laps in Laps 4 and 5, respectively. Musquin, then running in fifth place, put up the fastest lap of the race in Lap 6 as he chased Barcia.
As the 17-lap race wound down, Osborne focused on his pursuit of Cianciarulo. But Tomac closed the gap to Osborne during Lap 13 and passed him in Lap 14. Musquin moved into third by passing Barcia in Lap 15 and Osborne in Lap 16.
As the Kawasaki teammates raced to the finish line, almost 8 seconds ahead of Musquin, Tomac continued to challenge, but Cianciarulo held on for the wire-to-wire win, his first victory in the 450cc class. Musquin was third, about 8 seconds off the pace. Osborne and Barcia rounded out the top five.
Moto 2Cianciarulo took the lead after Tomac got the worst of a crash at the start that also involved Joseph Savatgy and Osborne.
After one lap, Cianciarulo remained on top, with Osborne, Savatgy, Musquin and Blake Baggett in tow. Tomac dropped to 37th place initially, but in the second lap, rode a rail into 20th place. He moved into 14th place a lap later, into 12th place in Lap 4, 11th in Lap 5, and 10th in Lap 6. By Lap 7, he was in eighth place, about 45 seconds off the lead.
Only the race leaders – Cianciarulo, Osborne, Baggett and Musquin – who rode a clear track out front, were posting faster laps.
As Christian Craig, Chase Sexton, Savatgy and Tomac engaged in a fierce battle in places 6-9, Savatgy nipped Tomac for eighth place. But Tomac responded by passing Savatgy and Sexton. He would finish seventh.
Meanwhile, in the race at the front, Cianciarulo gave way to Osborne and Baggett in Lap 9, and the persevering Baggett drove past Osborne in Lap 12 to clinch the win. Musquin was fourth.
Earlier Monday, Tomac qualified in seventh place with a fastest lap of 2 minutes, 5.907 seconds. Top qualifier Musquin was more than 2 seconds faster, at 2:03.783. Savatgy, Cianciarulo, Baggett and Sexton filled out the top five.
Friday at Redbud 1Tomac got off to a slow start in both motos Friday at Redbud 1 and finished sixth place overall after completing Moto 1 in fourth and Moto 2 in fifth.
Osborne won both motocross races wire to wire and widened his series lead over Musquin, who finished fourth.
Tomac entered Redbud 1 less than a week after winning the Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
The nine-race Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series now goes to Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, on Sept. 19; WW Ranch in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 26; and Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado, on Oct. 3. The series ends at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, on Oct. 10.