Mountains

Eli Tomac closes in on title

Photo by Simon Cudby

Eli Tomac jumps his Honda CR250 motorcycle in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross main event in Rice-Eccles Stadium at Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday. Tomac took sixth in the race and finished second in the 250SX West season standings.

By Rob Geiger

SALT LAKE CITY — Heading into Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross event at Rice-Eccles Stadium, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac needed a huge break to get back in to the 250SX West championship hunt.

That break came early when points leader Ken Roczen failed to qualify for the main event, with Tomac ultimately picking up 15 points after a sixth-place finish.

The potential was there for Tomac to possibly leave Utah with the points lead, but one section of the track bedeviled the Coloradan all day long.

“I started the race second, but just blew the race in the whoops,” said Tomac, who leads the category with four victories this year. “It was a section that just got me almost every time around. There were a couple of passes where I got through them OK, but there were others where I got wild and out of control.”

He said that in order to avoid catastrophe, he dialed back the aggression until he felt more in control.

“I was like, ‘I can’t completely throw this thing away,’” he said. “I just started doubling and hopping and skipping.”

Tomac fell back as far as 10th, but collected himself and rallied to cross the line in sixth.

The championship will now be decided next weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

Tomac’s teammate Zach Osborne also had a roller-coaster ride in the main event. Osborne was a solid second in his heat and earned the holeshot to start the main event. But he would give up the lead to a hard-charging (and eventual winner) Jason Anderson and settled into a spot where he was still competing for the podium.

However, late in the race, the whoops section did its damage to Osborne, as he fell into the Tough Blocks and eventually finished 12th.

“I had a great day, actually,” Osborne said. “Up until I fell in the main, everything was going really well. That kind of turned the whole deal. I just need to soldier-up and fight for a great finish in Vegas. I have nothing to lose, and I plan to just go for it and try to get up on the podium.”

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season finale will be Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. GEICO Honda riders have the possibility of winning both the 250SX East and 250SX West titles.

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