DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Eli Tomac successfully defended his Daytona Supercross title Saturday night, leading the last 10 laps and easily holding off Jeremy Martin in the 450SX race.
The Kawasaki star from Cortez, Colorado, became the ninth rider to win two years in a row in the 46-year history of the Daytona International Speedway event.
Tomac trailed 250SX rider Jeremy Martin, who was making a one-off start with Honda, for the first 10 laps, before he got past him.
Martin, who won the 2016 Daytona SX250, led the first 10 laps before Tomac found his rhythm and elbowed past the rookie. Tomac’s finished 17.6 seconds ahead of second-place Martin.
Tomac is the ninth rider to earn back-to-back Daytona SX450 victories. It was his fifth win of the season. Daytona is Round 10 of the 18-race Monster Energy Supercross Series.
“We went at it those first 10 laps,” Tomac said, according to the Daytona New-Journal. “Jeremy was running a pretty fast pace. I had to back off and relax a minute, then make a run at it.”
Jason Anderson, racing for Husqvarna, finished third. Points leader Ryan Dungey ended up in fourth after starting slow.
Tomac has a season-high five victories in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. He’s now second in the series standings, 17 points behind KTM’s Ryan Dungey.
Honda’s Jeremy Martin was second, 17.618 seconds back. Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson was third, and Dungey fourth.