AMA Supercross

Eli Tomac and Cody Webb Break Through For Maiden Wins At Phoenix


The journey to determine #WhosNext in the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, took another turn in the second race of the season from Chase Field on Saturday.

A thrilling battle between two of the sport's rising stars led to the first ever 450SX Class Main Event win for GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac in front of a crowd of 49,672 fans, while in the Western Regional 250SX Class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb made it a night of firsts with his maiden victory, giving that division back-to-back first-time winners to start the season.

The key to Tomac's triumphant effort was his start, grabbing the Holeshot Award just ahead of Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's Factory Suzuki's Ken Roczen, last week's opening race winner and 450SX Class points leader. Roczen seized the opportunity to take over the lead early on the opening lap and established a multiple bike-length lead over Tomac.

After biding his time searching for faster lines, Tomac began to close in and pressure Roczen, making his first pass for the lead on Lap 6 and setting off an exchange at the front of the field that brought the Chase Field crowd to its feet. Both second-year riders traded the lead several times over the course of two laps before Tomac made it stick on Lap 8.

Once he assumed control of the position, Tomac was able to extend his advantage and win comfortably in his 15th start in the 450SX Class. Tomac also became the 58th different 450SX Class winner in Monster Energy Supercross history.

"That was one of the [most fun] races of my life and to come away with a win is a cherry on top," exclaimed Tomac, who crashed twice in last weekend's Main Event en route to a 20th-place finish.

"To beat a guy like Ken [Roczen]; we respect each other and race each other hard. It's just great. We definitely put our biggest effort into this [after last weekend's misfortunes], and this is what he came out here to do."

Roczen easily brought home the runner-up finish, giving him 1-2 results to start the season.

"I got off to a fast start but overall I didn't feel the greatest tonight," said Roczen. "I put it down the first 10 laps [or so], but then Eli got me. He rode better than me tonight, but I'm very happy to finish on the podium. We'll do some work this week and come out next weekend looking to get a good start, ride smart and come away with another good result."

The battle for third lasted nearly the entirety of the Main Event between Dungey and's Weston Peick. Despite starting up front with Roczen and Tomac, Dungey lost the position to Peick early and was unable to make up any significant ground until the closing laps, when he made the pass to finish on the podium on Lap 17 of 20. It was Dungey's first podium result of the season, while Peick's fourth place finish was the best of his career.

Other notable finishers were Monster Energy Kawasaki's Davi Millsaps in fifth, following a 19th-place finish last weekend, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Jason Anderson in sixth, Team Honda's Trey Canard in eighth.

Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports' Austrlaian racer Chad Reed rouned the first lap in 11th position and changed positions many times as he battled with various riders throughout the main event to finish 10th. Fellow Aussie's Brett Metcalfe finished in 16th position after making his way to the main event via the LCQ, while Matt Moss did not qualify for the main event finishing 9th in the LCQ.

Roczen maintains control of the 450SX Class championship standings, holding a nine-point lead over Dungey, who moved into second. Anderson sits third, 10 points behind. Tomac's victory vaulted him from 20th to seventh, 21 points out of the lead.
Once out front, Webb was dominant racing to his first Supercross win - Credit: Simon Cudby
In the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne captured the Holeshot Award in front of Webb and GEICO Honda's Malcolm Stewart.

As the three riders jockeyed for position, Stewart was able to take over the lead and open a gap while Webb battled with Osborne for second. With Stewart well out front, Webb made his way by Osborne by Lap 2 and methodically closed down the deficit to the leader. On Lap 4, Webb made his move on Stewart and checked out on the field, leading the final 11 laps to become the 98th different 250SX Class winner in the history of the sport.

"I got an awesome start and that helped a lot," said Webb, who won in his 11th career start. "Phoenix was one of my favorite races last year, so to get it done here feels awesome. It feels good to [move into] second in points, but I'll feel better to get that red plate [as the championship leader]."

Stewart maintained the runner-up spot to earn the best finish of his career, while opening race winner and current points leader Jessy Nelson put his Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM on the podium for the second consecutive week in third.

"It was great tonight getting my second [career] supercross podium and two [podiums] in a row to start the season," said Nelson. "I feel great, I just had to battle there for six or seven laps. I'll just need to work on some things for next week. We have a six-point lead and still have the red plate [as the points leader], so all in all it's a good night."

Australian Jackson Richardson bounced back from not making the main event last weekend, by qualifying directly through to the 250 West final in Phoenix from his heat race with a 5th place finish after sitting in second place for the first half of the race. A crash while sitting mid pack in the main event left the Queenslander in 22nd position though he was able to fight back to 18th by the time the race finished.

In the championship standigs Nelson sits six points ahead of Webb, who moved from seventh to second with his victory, in the Western Regional 250SX Class championship standings. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers is third, seven points back following his fourth-place finish on Saturday.

Monster Energy Supercross continues next weekend with its third stop of the 17-race season from Anaheim, California. Round three is set to air live in Australia on ESPN on the Foxtel network, check local guides for listings.

Supercross Main Event
1. Eli Tomac, Honda - 25 Pts
2. Ken Roczen, Suzuki - 22 Pts
3. Ryan Dungey, KTM - 20 Pts
4. Weston Peick, Yamaha - 18 Pts
5. Davi Millsaps, Kawasaki - 16 Pts
6. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna - 15 Pts
7. Andrew Short, KTM - 14 Pts
8. Trey Canard, Honda - 13 Pts
9. Jacob Weimer, Kawasaki - 12 Pts
10. Chad Reed, Kawasaki - 11 Pts
11. Justin Barcia, Yamaha - 10 Pts
12. Broc Tickle, Suzuki - 9 Pts
13. Blake Baggett, Suzuki - 8 Pts
14. Cole Seely, Honda - 7 Pts
15. Justin Brayton, KTM - 6 Pts
16. Brett Metcalfe, Suzuki - 5 Pts
17. Dean Wilson, KTM - 4 Pts
18. Mike Alessi, Suzuki - 3 Pts
19. Josh Grant, Kawasaki - 2 Pts
20. Jimmy Albertson, Yamaha - 1 Pts
21. Kyle Partridge, Honda - 1 Pts
22. AJ Catanzaro, Suzuki - 1 Pts

Championship Standings After Round 1 of 17
1. Ken Roczen - 47 Pts
2. Ryan Dungey - 38 Pts
3. Jason Anderson - 37 Pts
4. Trey Canard - 33 Pts
5. Weston Peick - 32 Pts
6. Andrew Short - 30 Pts
7. Eli Tomac - 26 Pts
8. Justin Barcia - 25 Pts
9. Broc Tickle - 22 Pts
10. Jacob Weimer - 22 Pts
11. Chad Reed - 22 Pts
12. Davi Millsaps - 18 Pts
13. Blake Baggett - 17 Pts
14. Mike Alessi - 15 Pts
15. Justin Brayton - 14 Pts
16. Cole Seely - 14 Pts
17. Dean Wilson - 10 Pts
18. Brett Metcalfe - 9 Pts
19. Josh Hill - 5 Pts
20. Josh Grant - 5 Pts

250 West Main Event
1. Cooper Webb, Yamaha - 25 Pts
2. Malcolm Stewart, Honda - 22 Pts
3. Jessy Nelson, KTM - 20 Pts
4. Tyler Bowers, Kawasaki - 18 Pts
5. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha - 16 Pts
6. Justin Hill, KTM - 15 Pts
7. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna - 14 Pts
8. Shane McElrath, KTM - 13 Pts
9. Zach Bell, Husqvarna - 12 Pts
10. Tommy Hahn, Honda - 11 Pts
11. Matt Bisceglia, Honda - 10 Pts
12. Michael Leib, Honda - 9 Pts
13. Josh Hansen, Kawasaki - 8 Pts
14. Cole Martinez, Yamaha - 7 Pts
15. Chris Alldredge, Kawasaki - 6 Pts
16. Scott Champion, Yamaha - 5 Pts
17. Zack Freeberg, Yamaha - 4 Pts
18. Jackson Richardson, Honda -3 Pts
19. Landen Powell, KTM -2 Pts
20. Alex Martin, Yamaha - 1 Pts
21. Nico Izzi, Yamaha - 1 Pts
22. Austin Politelli, Yamaha - 1 Pts

250 West Championship Standings After Round 1 of 9
1. Jessy Nelson - 45 Pts
2. Cooper Webb - 39 Pts
3. Tyler Bowers - 38 Pts
4. Zach Osborne - 36 Pts
5. Justin Hill - 33 Pts
6. Aaron Plessinger - 32 Pts
7. Shane McElrath - 28 Pts
8. Malcolm Stewart - 23 Pts
9. Zach Bell - 22 Pts
10. Josh Hansen - 20 Pts
11. Michael Leib - 20 Pts
12. Tommy Hahn - 18 Pts
13. Matt Bisceglia - 18 Pts
14. Alex Martin - 14 Pts
15. Scott Champion - 14 Pts
16. Cole Martinez - 8 Pts
17. Trevor Reis - 6 Pts
18. Chris Alldredge - 6 Pts
19. Nico Izzi - 6 Pts
20. Zack Freeberg - 6 Pts

Top Image: It was Tomac's night to shine in the 450SX Class.

Credit: Simon Cudby

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