After last week’s disaster, Eli Tomac had to come back swinging – and boy did he! But for a last race disaster (off the start) it was simply a case of ‘which way did he go?’ Meanwhile in the 250s the green machines were again out front, in fact in taking three wins from three Austin Forkner managed to close the deal exactly where Tomac had faltered – becoming the first rider to win all three triple crown races in one night.
Eli Tomac. 1-1-6. Tomac was the fastest man all night. He wasn’t the quickest out of the gate though – yeah, he still hasn’t got his starts dialed. In main 1 Justin Brayton took off, while Tomac started in 11th. That made for some kind of a race as Tomac just rocketed past everyone. His launch out of the corners was superior to all and this allowed him the speed in the straights (be that flat, whoop or rhythm) to make his passes pretty easy. Tomac was still miles off a holeshot in main 2, but was quickly up into third position and from there it was easy for him to pick off Joey Savatgy and Cooper Webb for his second win of the night. In the last race he started even worse, then ran off the track and had to do a serious bout of mental regrouping to get back into his groove and start pushing forward. He did just enough, no more no less, to take sixth and win the night by one point over Webb. So Tomac showed that he is, on his night, the fastest rider, but he needs those starts sorting so desperately…
Cooper Webb. 8-2-1. Webb had a down then up night – that’s the right way to do it. Qualified a lowly eighth, then faded in the first moto for eighth again, but then hit his stride going second in the second main before winning the last. And not once did he look like he was over-extending himself. He’s looking solid.
Chad Reed. 3-5-7. Grandpa had a great night out. He qualified 14th but a great start in the first moto set him up for the night. From third he nipped past Blake Baggett to be running second for a while there, behind Justin Brayton, and made a point of not fading. Reed stuck to his job, only submitting to one man – the blazing Tomac. Hard work done, Reed then placed 5-7 to secure his first podium since 2017 (Glendale). First podium for Suzuki in a while, too. Good to see.
Ken Roczen. 5-6-5. Gentle Ken had a quiet night. Not really – but 5-6-5 is a consistent scorecard not a dazzling one. It keeps him in the fight, for sure, but he’s either holding back still, or just we got to get used to new Ken’s steady-away ethic.
Blake Baggett. 4-11-2. Baggett’s results look strong on reflection – but on the night he was a stealth rider, kind of overlooked. He’s certainly on form this year, he had that win at Glendale, but he’s shown top-three speed many a time since, and but for his disaster at Minneapolis he’d be rounding out the top-five in the championship right now. As it is, if he carries on like this he’ll be there soon enough.
Marvin Musquin 9-4-4 had an odd night, at times super-fast, at times not. He could have been second in the second main but following Joey Savatgy too close cost him dear when the Kawasaki rider slipped and Musquin ran into the back of him – and fell down. Musquin is fast, but he’s failing to assert himself so far this season. Justin Barcia 10-7-3 got stronger as the night went on, and revived his Bam Bam persona when he heavily block-passed Baggett in the final moto. Barcia was fast and loose, how he should be.