Tomac was considered the favorite going into the main event in the Monster Energy Supercross at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, a track that has given him trouble in previous seasons.
Marvin Musquin of KTM won the race, followed by Jason Anderson of Husqvarna, Justin Barcia of Yamaha and Ken Roczen of Honda, who was making a comeback bid after an injury ended his season last year.
At the start, the race looked like it was going Tomac’s way.
Tomac grabbed the holeshot and quickly began to extend his lead, followed after the first turn by Justin Barcia, Jeremy Martin, Weston Peick, Marvin Musqin and Jason Anderson. Although Barcia stayed with him in the first few laps, Tomac began to stretch out his lead, and held a three-second advantage of over Barcia in the eighth lap, when he crashed. Tomac got back on his Kawasaki, but pulled over to adjust his pants, which apparently had been damaged during the crash and were falling down. Racing with bent handlebars, he fell to the back of the field in the 10th lap, and withdrew from the 24-lap race.
With Tomac out, the main event began to look like the Monster Energy Cup in October. Musquin pushed to the lead in the 11th lap and led the rest of the way, followed by Anderson. Barcia finished third, and Roczen finished fourth.
According to RacerX, Tomac’s team reported that he suffered a bruised shoulder in the crash.
Tomac entered Saturday’s race as a favorite and in qualifying rounds and the first heat, he raced in top form.
In the day’s first heat, Tomac finished second to Anderson by 1.64 seconds, and 4.99 seconds ahead of Blake Baggett of KTM and 8.59 seconds ahead of Cole Seely of Honda. Tomac started slow and was in ninth place after the first lap. He moved up three places in the second lap, three more in the third lap, and one more in the seventh lap to finish second in the nine-lap heat.
Tomac ran the heat’s fastest lap, at 52.721 seconds to Anderson’s 53.174 seconds.
Barcia won the second heat, 4.88 seconds ahead of Justin Brayton of Honda, 6.35 seconds ahead of Roczen and 7.18 seconds ahead of Musquin.
Jeremy McGrath, who has won eight times at Anaheim and works for the Kawasaki team, told the Los Angeles Times that although Tomac hasn’t done well on the track, he thought he would have more confidence this year. “I think this year he’s going to have a lot more confidence coming into this race, and I certainly think he has a lot to prove because he didn’t win the title last year.”
Tomac, 25, said he would be up to the challenge. “It’s the most hyped-up race, and it’s our season-opener so everyone is super excited and feeling fresh and ready to go,” he said. “I’d like to get a win here. It’s something I need. I think we have a good shot at the championship and we’re ready to rip.”
In October, Tomac crashed out in the first of three races for the Monster Energy Cup title at Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, and did not return to race the rest of the night. Musquin won all three races and became only the second racer to win the $1 million prize, joining Ryan Villopoto, who won it in 2011. Anderson placed second, followed by Dean Wilson.
The 17-race 450SX series will continue over next four months, before a finale at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on May 5. The Supercross series next goes to Houston on Jan. 13, returns to Anaheim on Jan. 20 and goes to Phoenix on Jan. 27.