Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac started the second half of the supercross season as he finished the first, with a victory to extend his series lead with six rounds remaining. He started the day three points in front of Ken Roczen but left Utah eight in front as Roczen could only manage third behind defending champ Cooper Webb.
Blake Baggett took the holeshot from Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Brayton, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb with Roczen in eighth. Cianciarulo went down hard on the first lap and Cooper Webb ran over him and was lucky to not go down in the carnage. Roczen seized the opportunity and quickly moved up to right behind Webb.
As Brayton chased Baggett for the lead, there was a glorious fight for third as title rivals Tomac, Webb and Roczen scrapped. In the space of two corners, Webb then Roczen nipped by Tomac as they caught up to Brayton.
With the three riders charging hard, Roczen made a slight mistake, allowing Tomac by as Baggett took his chance to pull a three second lead.
Webb found his way past Brayton for second, with Tomac following through in the next corner. Brayton, who is sharing a house with his team-mate Roczen in Utah, put up no fight and allowed the German ace by.
Tomac quickly got by Webb then put pressure on KTM man Baggett, easily getting past with almost 12 minutes left of the moto. The Kawasaki man, used to riding in the high altitude such as those found in Utah, was clearly comfortable as he started to pull away as Webb and Roczen tried to reel in KTM man Baggett.
A backmarker got in Baggett’s way, allowing both Webb and Roczen past in one move. Webb then started to work on Tomac’s four-second lead, with Roczen losing touch slightly.
Baggett was next on the hit list for former British champ Zach Osborne, coming back from horrendous injuries where he broke five verterbrae and a wrist in a pre-season test. Osborne battled past his Husky team-mate, former champ Jason Anderson, and was in fine form as he reeled in Baggett.
Baggett started to drop back, struggling in the heat and altitude as Osborne moved into fourth with Anderson on his heels, followed by Martin Davalos. Anderson squeezed by Osborne with two laps to go.
On that same lap, Roczen got crossed up and landed on a tough block. He was lucky to stay on board but it ended any challenge for the win. He stayed third as Tomac took the win from Webb.
Tomac said: “It was huge to win. It’s so cool to be back racing here and doing what we know. What an awesome day. The track was slick with lots of dust. I was hunting for traction, But overall a good day for points.”
Webb said: “I was battling uop there and was able to get by Eli but he got around me and made some good laps. In the middle of the race I lost speed a bit and lost my rhythm a bit. I hope Cianciarulo is OK as he went down hard and I had nowhere to go.”
Roczen said: “I’m all right. I got a good start but got bumped around a bit and lost some spots. The track is really blown out and going into the last lap I had a big moment and almost lost it. Now it’s time to regroup.”
The action starts again, on the same track, on Wednesday!