Eli Tomac of Cortez got off to a slow start against a fast crowd Saturday in the AMA Supercross in Orlando but recovered to finish fifth.
Starting the main event in 11th place ofter one lap, Tomac recovered quickly and raced into eighth in Lap 4.
Like last week in Indianapolis, Tomac again got stuck in traffic behind Justin Barcia as Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen ran away from the pack.
Nearly midway through the race, Tomac moved into fifth place, about 6 seconds behind Barcia and 14 seconds off the pace set by Webb. Zach Osborne, in third place, held off Barcia during a back-and-forth battle late in the race that saw Barcia nearly go down twice in the whoops.
Tomac finished 10 seconds back, in fifth.
The defending champion entered Orlando’s Camping World Stadium in third place in the series after crashing late and finishing seventh last week in Indianapolis 3.
He remains in third overall, but now trails series-leading Roczen by 29 points and runner-up Webb by 16 nearly halfway through the season.
Tomac’s teammate on the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Adam Cianciarulo, is in fourth place overall after finishing 10th Saturday.
Qualifying roundsTomac was fourth-fastest Saturday during timed qualifying laps behind Kawasaki teammate Cianciarulo, 2019 champion Webb, and Malcolm Stewart. Series-leading Roczen was fifth. Tomac finished his best lap in best lap in 51.060 seconds, 0.349 second off Cianciarulo’s pace.
Tomac won Heat 1 after getting off to a quick start and tucking in behind Shane Mcelrath in second place. He passed him in the sixth of nine laps to win the heat, 2.262 seconds ahead. Marvin Musquin, in third, was followed by Joey Savatgy and Martin Davalos.
Roczen won Heat 2, leading start to finish. Jason Anderson passed Cianciarulo in the seventh lap to claim second place. Cianciarulo, Barcia and Stewart rounded out the top five.
Coming up next: The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series stays in Orlando, Florida, for a race on Feb. 20, then goes to Daytona Beach on March 6 for the ninth of 17 rounds.