OAKLAND, Calif. — Eli Tomac charged through the field to earn his second consecutive Monster Energy Supercross victory before 47,061 fans Saturday night at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum.
In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill kept his recent wave of momentum going by capturing his third consecutive victory, which gave him the point lead for the first time this season.
Smartop/MotoConcepts Racing Honda’s Vince Friese powered his way to his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award to start the 450SX class event, narrowly edging out Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey.
Dungey, the reigning series champion and current points leader, instantly began his attack and moved into the race lead on the opening lap, just ahead of Anderson and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha Factory Racing rookie Cooper Webb.
With a clear track ahead, Dungey began navigating the tricky track conditions due to a rain-scattered afternoon and found himself multiple seconds ahead within the first couple of laps.
Webb carried the confidence from a strong qualifying performance and the first heat race win of his career to make the pass on Anderson for second on lap two.
After a near mid-pack start, Tomac was able to muscle his way into the top five as well on lap two, setting the stage for his march to the front. Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely was on a mission early in the race as well and began inching his way onto the rear wheel of Anderson before eventually making the pass stick for third on lap five.
On lap six, Tomac made an aggressive move to bump his way past Anderson for fourth and continued the charge by reeling in Seely and finding a way past him for third on lap seven. With Tomac ahead of them, the battle for fourth quickly became the race to watch as Anderson remounted a charge and struck back on Seely to regain control of the position on lap 10.
With his sights set on the leaders, Tomac went on a tear, using every inch of the track as he closed in and battled bar-to-bar with Webb for second. On lap 12, Tomac found his way by the rookie and quickly started reeling in race leader Dungey, who had gone unchallenged up to that point.
The crowd rose to its feet as Tomac blitzed his way around the rough and rutted circuit. A poised Dungey remained calm, cool, and collected at the front of the 22-rider field while Tomac closed in on his rear fender and began looking for a way around.
As the duo distanced themselves from the field Tomac found new race lines and overtook the champ on lap 16, to the delight of the crowd.
Once out front Tomac quickly stretched out a comfortable margin and took the checkered flag more than 10 seconds ahead of his competition. The win marked his second of the season and sixth of his career. He also became the first rider in history to earn both 450SX Class and 250SX class win in Oakland.
“I had to work for that win tonight and it feels good to grab my second straight win,” said Tomac. “The track was real technical and I had a good flow going in the middle of the race. I snuck to the inside of [Dungey] and kept pushing until the checkered flag.”
Dungey rode consistent to finish second, while Webb grabbed his first 450SX class podium finish in third.
“The track was tricky, it could jump up and bite you at any moment,” said Dungey. “I was able to get out front early and open a nice lead, but [Tomac] was riding really good and a little better than me. It’s nice to leave the west coast with the points lead and I am looking forward to heading east.”
Dungey’s runner-up finish was his fifth podium finish of the season, ultimately allowing him to gain valuable points as he maintains a 17-point lead over Tomac, who moved into second.
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