It took half the season but Eli Tomac displayed the speed and poise that propelled him to early domination last year in Motocross to his first win of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season.
Tomac's fourth career win was really no surprise considering the track laid out on the gassy section of the Daytona International Speedway for Round 9 resembled more of a Motocross track proving to be the roughest and longest of the year. Tomac also accomplished what only one other rider has done this year - passed defending Champion Ryan Dungey and held on for 20 laps.
Tomac, who changed teams and switched bikes this year, quickly passed Dungey, who grabbed the holeshot, and never looked back. Dungey never really mounted a serious battle to pass Tomac who enjoyed his fourth career win, his last coming in New Jersey in 2015.
"This is huge," he said. "Even though this event is so unique to itself as part of our Supercross series this is the spirit our team needed to lift us up because honestly we've been down in the dumps a little bit and expectations were high at the beginning of the season."
Eli Tomac celebrates his win at Daytona, his first of the season
Tomac, the fastest qualifier on the day, entered Daytona coming off his worst outing of the year at Atlanta finishing 11th. It was his first podium this year since a third-place at Glendale and only second of the 2016 season. He's also coming off double shoulder surgeries from a brutal crash that ended his year for Motocross in Round 3 last May after five straight dominating Moto wins.
"I was able to get out there early at the start and just lay it down," Tomac said, who jumped two spots in the standings to fourth-place. "I was having fun all day on my motorcycle and that's what counts and it paid off in that Main Event. There's still more work to do but to click off that win is huge."
Not all was lost with Dungey who tied Chad Reed for the longest podium streak in Supercross history at 25 and extended his finishes in the Top 2 to 19 straight. The only other time Dungey got beat straight up this year was Round 7 to Ken Roczen. Marvin Musquin, who rounded out the podium for his second straight trip to the box, had Dungey beat for 19 laps last week but bobbled off the track when he tried lapping James Stewart losing his hold on first.
Ryan Dungey was never able to pass Eli Tomac but grabbed second nonetheless at Daytona and extended his points lead
Roczen took fifth at Daytona after another bad start (10th) losing more valuable points in the Championship standings. Dungey now leads Roczen by 39 points with eight rounds remaining.
Stewart's future looks a bit in doubt after he looped out in the whoops on Lap 1 in his Heat race and came down hard on his left side causing a deep bruise to his lower back. He was in obvious pain in the pits and reportedly went to the hospital. His team hopes he'll be at the gate in Toronto for Round 10 on Saturday.
Stewart's return to racing after a 16 month suspension for violating the drug policy hasn't gone anywhere to plan. A collision with Dungey in Round 1 gave him a severe concussion that more or less kept him out of racing until last week at Arlington where he finished 14th.
Josh Grant might find himself a team for the rest of the season as he finished seventh in his first action of the year. Grant hasn't raced since his second-place finish in the final round of the Motocross World Championship at Glen Helen in September where he finished second overall to Champion Romain Febvre. But on Saturday, he looked in mid-season form taking fourth in his Heat race.
Reed needed the LCQ to get into the Main where he took 12th, tying his worst finish of the season from two weeks ago. The result continues the veteran's up-and-down season as he took third last week in Atlanta. He falls to sixth-place in the standings. Jason Anderson took fourth and his much-reported run-ins with Cole Seely, who vowed retaliation, didn't amount to much, at least this week as Seely finished a season worst 10th for the second straight week.
The track at Daytona suited Jeremy Martin as he got his first win of the season
Little surprise in the 250SX East class with the two-time defending Motocross Champion Jeremy Martin tailing Malcolm Stewart for 12 laps before grabbing the lead and taking his first win of the season. Martin finished fourth to open the East's season last week and his win puts him just two points behind Martin Davalos, who won in Atlanta and took third at Dayton, in the standings.
"We worked a lot on bike setup and proper technique for Supercross," said Martin who only reached the podium twice last year in Supercross. "It's a whole different animal Outdoors and I like to bulldog it and you can't quite do that in Supercross."
Stewart had said prior to the gates dropping that his brother James was on his mind and he was racing for him which appeared to be the case as he grabbed the holeshot and looked like he was going to win wire-to-wire holding off Martin and defending his lines throughout the 15 lap contest. But after Martin passed him, he faded to fourth in the final two laps.
Stewart, who took second-place last week, drops to third-place in the standings and Justin Hill, who took second at Daytona, moves into fourth-place in the standings after Aaron Plessinger, who took third to open the season, finished fifth.
Supercross returns to Canada for Round 10 at Toronto on Saturday. Buy tickets online or at the Roger Centre box office.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Daytona Results
Daytona Supercross 450SX Class Results
- Eli Tomac
- Ryan Dungey
- Marvin Musquin
- Jason Anderson
- Ken Roczen
- Trey Canard
- Josh Grant
- Christophe Pourcel
- Justin Brayton
- Cole Seely
Daytona Supercross 250SX East Class Results
- Jeremy Martin
- Justin Hill
- Martin Davalos
- Malcolm Stewart
- Aaron Plessinger
- Arnaud Tonus
- Rj Hampshire
- Jesse Wentland
- Tyler Bowers
- Shane Mcelrath
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (213)
- Ken Roczen (174)
- Jason Anderson (163)
- Eli Tomac (154)
- Cole Seely (145)
- Chad Reed (141)
- Marvin Musquin (134)
- Justin Brayton (110)
- David Millsaps (105)
- Jacob Weimer (81)
250SX East Class Season Standings
- Martin Davalos (45)
- Jeremy Martin (43)
- Malcolm Stewart (40)
- Justin Hill (38)
- Aaron Plessinger (36)
- Rj Hampshire (29)
- Tyler Bowers (25)
- Benny Bloss (18)
- Arnaud Tonus (17)
- Jimmy Albertson (16)
Written By: AndrewT