MINNEAPOLIS — Following his worst outing of the season one week ago, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac rebounded for his third Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory of the season before 50,721 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
In the opening round of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy took the win to secure the early points lead.
As the field roared out the gate to start the 450SX class event it was Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely who edged out Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant for his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot of the season.
As riders jockeyed for position through the opening sequence of jumps behind Seely, RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Davi Millsaps emerged from the fray in second, followed closely by Tomac and Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey, the defending champion and current points leader. Seely then crashed out of the lead prior to the completion of the opening lap, handing the top spot over to Millsaps.
The veteran KTM rider held off heavy pressure from Tomac for a short time, but lost the position on lap two.
Shortly thereafter, Dungey followed into second, dropping Millsaps to third. With the hometown crowd behind him, Minnesota native Dungey kept pace with Tomac on one of the toughest track layouts of the season. The lead duo’s early pace allowed them to open a comfortable gap over the rest of the field. Tomac continued to slightly outpace Dungey and soon opened a margin of more than a second just before the leaders approached lapped riders.
Tomac’s ability to efficiently get through the tail end of the field allowed him to extend his lead over Dungey, who started to lose ground to a his hard-charging KTM teammate Marvin Musquin, who earned his first career win one week prior.
After starting sixth, Musquin methodically worked his way forward and moved into podium position past Millsaps on lap four.
As the race wore on, the KTM duo inched closer and closer together until a mistake by Dungey forced him off the track briefly and allowed Musquin to mount a challenge. The Frenchman made an aggressive pass on his teammate just prior to completing lap 18.
Tomac continued to log consistent laps through the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag 6.7 seconds ahead of Musquin for his seventh career win, lapping all the way up to seventh place in the 22-rider field. Dungey finished third.
“That was a really tough race tonight. The track had a lot of crazy lines and was really tough. I felt like we did a lot of laps,” said Tomac, who has won three of the last four races. “I’m glad to get back on our feet after last week (finishing 15th) and get back to where we were the weeks before that. This was the toughest race of the season so far.”
Dungey’s third-place finish allowed him to maintain his control of the championship standings.
“We were pushing it, Eli [Tomac] was going good,” said Dungey. “We were right there, but then I [had a slight miscue] and he took off. I made some [more] mistakes and Marvin [Musquin] was there to capitalize. It was a tough night, but we made the most of it and got on the podium.”
Dungey lost ground to Musquin and holds a 16-point lead over his teammate. Tomac moved from fourth to third, 24 points behind Dungey.