Defending AMA Motocross champion Eli Tomac of Cortez won the Thunder Valley National Saturday in Lakewood, moving into a close race for third place in the season standings.
Tomac entered the 450cc class event in fourth place overall, 22 points behind Marvin Musquin. The win Saturday, combined with Musquin’s sixth-place finish, gave him 278 points on the season, just five behind Musquin.
With one race to go, Zachary Osborne leads the championship series with 325 points. Tomac’s teammate on Kawasaki, Adam Cianciarulo, is second with 301.
Before a crowd in his home state, Tomac opened the day of racing as the No. 6 qualifier. He placed third in the first moto and first in the second, to win the combined overall in a tiebreaker. Cianciarulo also posted first- and third-place finishes, but Tomac got the overall win because, according to AMA rules, he won the second race.
In the first of two motos, Tomac was in sixth place after one lap. He passed Blake Baggett and Justin Barcia to tuck into fourth place behind Osborne in the fifth lap. He then passed Osborne in the 11th lap for third place behind Chase Sexton and Cianciarulo, who led the race wire to wire.
In the second moto, Tomac was fifth after one lap but passed Musquin and leader Cianciarulo to grab the lead by the start of the seventh lap. He would go on to win by a convincing 8.98 seconds.
It was his second win of the season.
“I’ve been kind of searching these last few races here and just not been able to move forward,” Tomac told racerxonline. “Today, I was able to go forward. Obviously, I got a better start in moto two. ... Everything just felt right. When things get going, they go right. So that’s what it was for me.”
With one race to go, Tomac acknowledged that it’s been a rough season.
“I need something. That’s what I’ve got in my head right now, is just try to get a win or two here to finish off the season,” he said. “It’s been a weird year. So that was my motivation today. ‘Let’s get another win before this thing is over.’”
The coronavirus-shortened season wraps up next week at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.