Eli Tomac of Cortez won the overall title in the 450 Supercross in Minneapolis on Saturday night by placing first, fourth and third in the grueling triple crown event.
Jason Anderson was second with a second, sixth and first, and Marvin Musquin was third with a seventh, first and second. Justin Brayton finished fourth overall. Justin Barcia finished fifth in what was his first race since injuring his hand in Arlington, Texas, on Feb. 17.
Tomac was the leader entering the final of three races, with a one-point advantage over Brayton, 5 points to 6. Musquin was in third with 8 points.
In the final race, Tomac and Brayton raced to the first turn, but Tomac rode into the unusually slow left lane of the rhythm section, and was passed by Weston Peick and Anderson. He dropped to fourth and risked losing his overall point advantage to Brayton.
“I shouldn’t have gone there, but I was just looking for an option,” Tomac said. “I was just a little bit too impatient to make a move on Brayton in that area, and it cost me.”
While Anderson and Brayton traded leads, Tomac moved up to third after Peick went down in the whoops.
By the fifth lap, Tomac had closed the gap behind Brayton, but was passed by Musquin and dropped to fourth.
Then Musquin and Tomac both passed Brayton in the eighth lap, putting Tomac into third and in position to win the overall title, based on his point advantage. With Anderson pulling far ahead, Tomac challenged Musquin, then eased off the throttle in the final two laps when his victory was assured.
“I knew when Brayton was in front of me, it wasn’t a position I wanted to be in,” Tomac said. “And then, once I got to third, I was like, Yeah, it’s good enough (for the win). But not until the last two laps was when I really went into full conservation mode.”
With the win, Tomac strengthened his No. 3 position in the series’ overall standings. He now trails Anderson by 65 points, and Musquin by 26. He leads No. 4 Brayton by 14 points, with three races to go in the season.
The Minneapolis Supercross was the third and final triple crown of the season, and in the postrace interview, Tomac, Anderson and Musquin all expressed frustration with the demanding format.
“For me, the triple crown definitely is a lot more action,” Anderson said. “There’s battling all night, but for us, it’s a lot more stressful ... and I think it’s a little more risky. The fans definitely had some good racing to watch all night, but for us it is stressful.”
“Really intense,” Musquin said. “I’m always glad when it’s over and when I’m safe and I’m on the podium like today.”
“Having three starts with all the guys, it’s good for everyone,” Tomac said, “But definitely, I wouldn’t vote to add any more races. If people like it, we could do those three, but definitely no more.”
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was the fastest qualifier at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, followed by Malcolm Stewart and Musquin.
He carried that momentum into the first main event, and quickly got in front of Anderson. He stayed there for all 14 laps.
Anderson finished about 4 seconds behind Tomac. Barcia was third, and Brayton and Peick completed the Top 5.
In the second main event, Tomac started in the No. 1 spot at the gate, started slow, and was seventh after the first lap. He moved into sixth by passing Christian Craig in the fourth lap, then into fifth when Anderson, racing in second, went off the track in the ninth lap.
Tomac passed Blake Baggett in the 10th lap and finished fourth in the 16-lap race. Musquin passed Brayton in the 14th lap to win the race and was followed by Brayton and Peick. Baggett finished fifth, and Anderson, penalized a lap for being on the throttle while he was off the track, finished sixth.
Since the season’s first two races in Anaheim and Houston, Tomac has raced from last place to third in an Supercross series in which he has seemed to either crash or win. Although in third place in the standings, he has won seven races, compared with Anderson’s four. Musquin, who is in second place, has two wins on the season.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series next goes to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for the 15th of 17 races on April 21.
This article was updated on Sunday, April 15, to include information from the postrace interview.
StandingsOverall standings in the 450 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, April 14.
1. Jason Anderson (Husqvarna): 311
2. Marvin Musquin (KTM): 272
3. Eli Tomac (Kawasaki): 246
4. Justin Brayton (Honda): 232
5. Blake Baggett (KTM): 224
6. Weston Peick (Suzuki): 202
7. Broc Tickle (KTM): 184
8. Cooper Webb (Yamaha): 181
9. Dean Wilson (Husqvarna) 165
10. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki): 134