Eli Tomac led wire to wire in the AMA Monster Energy 450SX Supercross on Saturday, winning his second straight race after a seemingly disastrous start in the long campaign for the title.
The Kawasaki rider from Cortez, Colorado, was followed by Justin Barcia in second and Ken Roczen in third. Jason Anderson and Marvin Musquin filled out the Top 5 in the 23-lap race at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Starting in the No. 5 position, Tomac grabbed the holeshot – followed by Weston Peick, Barcia, Anderson, Roczen and Musquin – and widened his lead as the pack battled for second.
Barcia moved into second in the third lap, but trailed Tomac by about 6 seconds by the halfway point. Barcia eventually would close that gap to 2.127 seconds at the finish line.
Tomac averaged 57.125 seconds per lap, followed by Barcia at 57.135 seconds, Roczen at 57.151, Anderson at 57.722 and Musquin at 57.786.
After four races, Anderson leads all racers with 89 points, followed by Barcia with 80 and Roczen with 77.
Crashing out of the first race in Anaheim and missing the second in Houston because of an injury, Tomac stood in last place with one point after two races. He won the third race in Anaheim, a grueling triple crown, to jump from 26th place to 13th overall.
After winning in Arizona, Tomac now stands in 10th place, with 53 points.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac finished third in the first 450SX heat, 4.269 seconds behind winner Justin Brayton of Honda and 1.778 seconds behind Brayton’s teammate, Roczen. He was followed by Barcia of Yamaha. Anderson of Husqvarna won the second heat, 5.035 seconds ahead of Malcolm Stewart of Suzuki and 6.896 seconds ahead of Peick of Suzuki.
After Saturday’s qualifying rounds, Tomac was 10th.
The 17-event series goes to Oakland on Feb. 3 and San Diego on Feb. 10.