Eli Tomac scored his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross victory of 2021 in Round 10 at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Ind., with a second-place finish in Moto 1 and his first 2021 moto win in the Race 2. But for the second straight weekend, no one could make up points on Dylan Ferrandis, who finished 1-2 and lost the overall on the tiebreaker.
One of the fittest riders in the field, the conditions were ideal for Tomac. Ironman is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit, made worse on Saturday by heat and excessive humidity. Tomac also benefitted from getting fast starts in both motos, while he has been forced to come from deeper in the field in the first nine rounds.
This was Tomac’s third consecutive Ironman victory.
Tomac has come close to winning on a few occasions with three previous moto wins and three second-place finishes in the overall standings.
“All I can say is it’s better late than never,” Tomac about his first win of the season. “I finally had the day I’ve been wanting to have. I kind of felt like there’s been two sides to me from one moto to the next all season. Today, I finally felt good in both. I got good starts, was able to make the pass (for the lead) happen in the second moto, and ride the race I wanted.”
Unaccustomed strong starts among riders who typically struggle early was the storyline of Ironman.
Ferrandis also typically struggles early in motos before mounting successful charges late in the race. In Moto 1, he had the leaders in sight through the early laps and was embroiled in a thrilling three-wide battle with Ken Roczen and Joey Savatgy.
When Roczen finally stumbled, Ferrandis pounced and built a lead on most of the field – but he could not shake Tomac, until the two lost contact in traffic in the final five minutes.
In Moto 2, a three-man battle developed early between Tomac, Ferrandis and Cooper Webb.
Ferrandis earned the holeshot in Moto 2, but Webb caught him on Lap 1 and pulled out a slight advantage. Tomac settled into second, pushing Ferrandis back to third. Through the first half of the moto, the trio stayed in contact.
“(My success) has been from hard work that I’ve put in for years. It’s finally paying off,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard. “I do everything for my sport and to be on top. Today was just one of those days where I suffered on the bike. I don’t know why. I just didn’t have the strength. Eli was riding awesome, so credit to him. We had another good day in the championship, so I’m happy with the result.”
Ferrandis now has a 50-point lead over Roczen, which is the maximum number of points a rider can score in a round. If Ferrandis leaves Fox Raceway next week with the same advantage, he will wrap up the Motocross championship with one round remaining.
Tomac passed Webb at about the 10-minute mark with Ferrandis following him through four minutes later.
Webb was able to settle into third and scored his both his first moto and overall podium of the season.
Roczen finished 3-5 for fourth-place overall.
“The weather today was definitely on the warmer side,” Roczen said. “I just felt a little more fatigued than last weekend, but I gave it my best. Tried to maintain the second moto and make it through.”
Roczen’s teammate Chase Sexton rounding out the top five.
450 results (moto finish)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-1)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-2)
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (4-3)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (3-5)
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (5-4)
Coty Schock, Dover, Del. (8-6)
Joey Savatgy, Thoasville, Ga., KTM (7-8)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM (10-7)
Brandon Hartranft, Brick, NJ, Suzuki (9-9)
Kyle Chisholm, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha (11-10)
450 points standings
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 439
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 389
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 368
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 342
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 278
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 240
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 239
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 232
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 224
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM – 216
In 250s, Jett Lawrence swept the weekend and wrested the red plate away from Just Cooper with two rounds remaining.
Like Tomac and Ferrandis in the 450 class, Lawrence is another rider who typically finds himself coming from the middle of field in early laps.
Since Lawrence has come from deeper in the field, head to head battles with Cooper have been rare. In Moto 1, both riders had strong starts and an opportunity to test one another. Lawrence came out on top, rode to the front, and won convincingly while Cooper faded to fourth.
“The intensity is pretty gnarly. It’s a hot day, so I’m definitely going to have to get back and recover, but it’s good to start off with a moto win. Hopefully I can do the same in the second one and get some more points.”
Moto 2 featured a battle between Lawrence and Jo Shimoda.
Coming off a second-place finish in Moto 1, Shimoda got the holeshot, led early in Moto 2 and held the position for about five minutes until Lawrence rode past.
With his 1-1, Lawrence earned his third overall win of the season and his seventh moto victory.
With a 2-3, Shimoda swept the podium for the first time in 2021 and finished second overall – the best result of his 450 Motocross career.
— Pro Motocross (@ProMotocross) August 28, 2021
Consistency paid off for Cooper, he finished third overall with a 4-4, but took a major hit in the points. Entering Ironman with a three-point lead, Cooper now trails by 11 with two rounds remaining.
“Just got to keep fighting,” Cooper said after scoring his 10th overall podium in 10 rounds. “It’s not going to be easy. Jett was riding really good today. I really didn’t have anything for him. I’m giving my all every moto and that’s all I can do at the end of the day.”
Jeremy Martin tried to deny Lawrence the Moto 1 win so he could help teammate Cooper. Martin and Lawrence battled handlebar to handlebar through the first half of the moto until Martin crashed.
By motocross standards, the crash was not particularly brutal, but already riding with a fractured wrist, it was enough to complete the break. Martin did not remount his Yamaha for Moto 2 and is done for the season.
Michael Mosiman returned to the track after missing several races. It didn’t take long to knock off any rust. He finished third in Moto 1 and climbed right back on the podium. A sixth in Moto 2 placed him fourth overall.
One week after earning his first overall top-five of the season, Austin Forkner finished fifth with a 5-5.
250 results (moto finish)
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (2-3)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (4-4)
Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GasGas (3-6)
Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (5-5)
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (13-2)
Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, GasGas (6-7)
Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda (8-8)
Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (12-9)
Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki (9-13)
250 points standings
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 414
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 403
Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 319
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 307
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 300
Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 262
Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki, – 218
Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 195
Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GasGas – 189
Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 182
2021 SEASON SO FAR
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Eli Tomac scores first season win in Motocross Round 10 at Ironman Raceway originally appeared on NBCSports.com