Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday crashed out of the Monster Energy AMA 450SX Supercross in San Diego, spoiling what appeared to a strong recovery from last week’s frustrating race in Oakland.
Tomac had the fastest qualifying lap at Petco Park on Saturday afternoon, and placed third in his heat in the evening.
But during the main event on Saturday night, Tomac and Ken Roczen collided in a chaotic and crowded first turn that also saw Josh Grant, Weston Peick and Cooper Webb go down. Tomac dropped to last place, then pulled off the track into a tunnel. He would not return.
Minutes later, Roczen crashed into Webb while attempting a pass. His arm got caught up in Webb’s spinning tire, shredding his jersey. Neither would finish the race, and Roczen reportedly injured his wrist. Grant, Tomac’s teammate on Kawasaki, would finish 11th.
Cole Seely, Marvin Musquin and series-leading Jason Anderson escaped the carnage, and the main event shaped into a three-man race.
Anderson got by Seely in the 13th lap and led the final 12 laps to victory. Husqvarna rider Anderson was followed by Musquin and Blake Baggett of KTM for second and third, respectively. Seeley finished fourth for Honda after being passed by Musquin in the 20th lap, and by Baggett in the 23rd. The win was Anderson’s second straight.
Tomac began the day strongly.
After two qualifying runs, he was the fastest in the 450SX class, posting a 50.632-second lap. Anderson was 0.414 behind him at 51.046, and Roczen was 0.477 back at 51.109.
In the evening, Anderson won the first heat with a 4.788-second lead over Justin Barcia of Yamaha. Peick of Susuki was third, followed by Grant.
In the second heat, Tomac was fourth after the start, behind Webb of Yamaha, Baggett of KTM and Roczen of Honda. The heat was red-flagged after Ben Lamay and Justin Bogle crashed, and Bogle was carried off the course. In the restart, Musquin took the lead, followed by Seeley, Webb, Tomac and Chad Reed of Husqvarna. As Musquin faded, Tomac moved into third behind Webb and Seely. Baggett and Roczen filled out the top five.
Tomac went to San Diego with greater confidence about the condition of his shoulder, which he’d injured in the series’ first race. He told MotoXAddicts.com that he was at 85-90 percent.
He had recovered from a frustrating race last week in Oakland, in which he crashed after tangling with Barcia in a turn and finishing 13th. Tomac said that his mindset was unchanged: “Go out and win.”
Tomac entered the San Diego Supercross 52 points behind Anderson. In his up-and-down start to the season, Tomac crashed out of his first race, did not start the second, won the next two, crashed and finished 13th in Oakland and crashed out of the sixth race, in San Diego.
Tomac stands in 12th place in the standings, with 64 points. He trails frontrunner Anderson by 77 points, with 11 races to go.
The series next goes to Arlington, Texas, on Feb. 17.