When Eli Tomac is able to stay on his motorcycle, he’s almost unbeatable.
He showed that again Saturday night in the Monster Energy Supercross stop at AT&T Stadium, as he crushed the field for his third victory of the season.
The three wins for Tomac matches point leader Jason Anderson for the most in the series, but Tomac is just 10th in points because he’s crashed twice and missed another race because of the bruised shoulder he suffered in the series opener.
Tomac beat defending race champ Marvin Musquin by 5.695 seconds as he led all 25 laps. Anderson challenged Tomac early, but lost control of his bike and fell back to seventh place. He rallied to finish fourth but was more than 14 seconds behind Tomac.
“That’s all we can do now is try to get the race wins,” said Tomac, who rides for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team. “That was a fun race track tonight. It was a good night for us. We’ve never had a good night here. It was good to be able to check this one off the box.”
It was still a big points day for Anderson. He came into the event with a 28-point lead over Justin Barcia. But Barcia didn’t make the main after he crashed in the first heat race of the night before even completing a lap. Barcia hurt his right arm midway through the first lap of the race won by Weston Peick and left the track.
Barcia eventually left the stadium with his arm heavily wrapped. Anderson now leads Cole Seely by 36 points. Barcia fell to sixth, 47 back of Anderson.
Tomac was the seventh-fastest qualifier in the afternoon but set the tone by winning his heat race.
“It’s just being consistent,” Tomac said. “It’s working right now. There wasn’t any change at all. It was being able to get a clean lap and riding well.”
While Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross stop at AT&T Stadium was the seventh stop of the season for the 450SX riders, it was the season opener for the 250SX east division.
It couldn’t have started any better for defending series champion Zach Osborne.
Osborne avoided a first-turn crash that took out one of the favorites in Martin Davalos, took the lead after 13 laps and beat Colt Nichols by 3.312 seconds for the victory.
“That was a great ride,” said Osborne, who won four races in the series last year. “I felt mediocre all day so to win was really awesome. It’s a nice feeling to come to the race and feel like you’re moving forward all the time.”
Osborne wasn’t really moving forward all the time Saturday night, though. After R.J. Hampshire survived the first-lap crash and took the lead, Osborne had to play catch up. He was running third but nearly crashed, slipping back to fifth. But he was able to keep his engine running and then started to make up ground on Hampshire before finally getting by him as they completed Lap 13.
“I was able to keep the bike running, that was the main thing,” Osborne said. “I only lost one or two positions. I started to plug away and at the halfway mark I started to turn it up a bit.”