Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac clinched his first AMA 250cc Motocross Championship with one round left in the series at Miller Motorsports Park. Number 17 went 1-1 for the overall, but it was the action behind him that helped him to take home his first number one plate.
When the gate dropped for the first moto, Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos grabbed the Motorcycle Superstore
Holeshot with Zach Osborne hot on his heels. Just a couple of corners later Osborne moved past the Pro Circuit Rider with Honda’s Justin Bogle, rookie Adam Cianciarulo and points leader Eli Tomac just behind.
While Cianciarulo, Bogle and Davalos jockeyed for position, Tomac dispatched each rider in short order to move to second. A quarter of a lap later he moved past Osborne for the lead. From that point on he kept a comfortable gap to take the first 250-class win at Miller Motorsports Park.
Osborne was also hunted down by Cianciarulo for second and then seemed to drop off the pace, ending up sixth overall by the end of the 30 minutes plus two-lap moto. Davalos also threw out the anchor and dropped all the way back to 11th. Just past the halfway mark, Bogle had troubles and crashed out of the top five. He would eventually recover to ninth.
Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett provided some excitement as the moto wore down, catching and passing Cianciarulo for second with just over four minutes left on the clock. The Chupacapra looked like he might have a crack at Tomac as he is always a strong finisher, but the Honda rider was able to wick it up and hold onto his gap ahead of Baggett. Cianciarulo would get a career best third.
Moto 2 saw Bogle grab the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot just ahead of Osborne, Davalos, Darryn Durham, Jeremy Martin and Marvin Musquin. Tomac and Baggett found themselves just outside the top ten.
A myriad of position changes went on between all of the riders in the top ten during the first three laps while Bogle pulled away from the pack. One rider not in the group was Cianciarulo, who found himself outside the top ten with a poor start. As the front pack battled, Tomac and Baggett stalked the group and then moved though the pace without resistance.
Tomac continued his charge as Roczen chased down Bogle and made the pass for the lead. Soon after Number 34 gave away another position to his teammate Tomac. Then the points leader caught up to Roczen and the two went to battle for a solid 15 minutes with Tomac finally getting the best of the KTM
Baggett also continued his charge forward and moved into third place with two laps left. With just two corners to go the Chupacabra squirted past Roczen and held onto second all the way to the finish line. In the process the Kawasaki rider took do-or-die points away from the KTM racer, giving Tomac the championship in the process.
Tomac knew he needed to win for a chance to take the Number 1 plate, but he didn’t know that he got it until he rolled into the winner’s circle. He just did what he needed to do and the rest sorted itself out.
The AMA Motocross series moves to Lake Elsinore, California for the final round of the year. Although both championships have been decided, the racing will be just as fierce. Stay tuned for results from the season finale next weekend.
Miller 250 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Eli Tomac (Honda) 1-1
2. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 2-2
3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 4-3
4. Adam Cianciarulo (Kawasaki) 3-9
5. Justin Bogle (Honda) 9-4
6. Darryn Durham (Kawasaki) 8-5
7. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 5-8
8. Cooper Webb (Yamaha) 7-7
9. Zach Osborne (Honda) 6-10
10. Justin Hill (Kawasaki) 10-14
11. Will Hahn (Honda) 12-13
12. Jeremy Martin (Yamaha) 37-6
13. Jessy Nelson (Honda) 14-15
14. Cole Seely (Honda) 19-12
15. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 36-11
250 Motocross Points 2013:
1. Eli Tomac, 505
2. Ken Roczen, 454
3. Marvin Musquin, 388
4. Blake Baggett, 373
5. Zach Osborne, 322
6. Justin Bogle, 268
7. Jeremy Martin, 264
8. Jason Anderson, 256
9. Cooper Webb, 217
10. Kyle Cunningham, 214