Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac took an emphatic overall victory at yesterday’s RedBud National, dominating both motos to make gains in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450MX Championship. Teammate Christian Craig had a solid ride in front of the festive crowd in Buchannan, Michigan, ending the day two points shy of a podium with a 5-6 moto score for eighth overall.
After topping the timesheets in qualifying, Tomac got off to a flying start in the first moto and grabbed the holeshot. He then threw down some fast laps early, including the fastest time of the race, and went unchallenged en route to his fifth moto victory of the season. The Coloradan got another great start in Moto 2 and was locked in a battle for second, ultimately claiming the position on Lap 2. He then set his sights on the frontrunner and took over the lead just before the halfway point. Tomac put in some strong laps aboard his Yamaha YZ450F to finish with another six-second margin of victory. As the series approaches the halfway point, the 2022 450SX Supercross Champion’s perfect score on the weekend has closed the gap to seven points.
Craig qualified fifth and found himself eighth after the start of the first moto. The Californian put his head down to break the top five at the halfway point and then built a gap to finish comfortably in fifth. In the second moto, he got another top-10 start in ninth and worked his way to sixth by Lap 6, where he would finish. His 5-6 result would ultimately score him eighth overall as just two points separated third from eighth in the stacked 450 class.
Next weekend, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads to Southwick, Massachusetts, for Round 6 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at The Wick 338 on Saturday, July 9.
Team manager, Jeremy Coker: “It was a great day! To finish 1-1, that result is hard to come by, and for Eli to do that is pretty awesome. Right now, it’s important for us to make up as many points as we can, and we did that today. Christian rode a phenomenal race. It’s a bummer that the overall doesn’t show it, but he was two points from third overall, and it was a great ride after a couple of tough rounds. So, all in all, it was an amazing day for the 450 team.”
Eli Tomac: “It was an outstanding day for us, going 1-1. It was almost a completely perfect day. I had some great starts, and in Moto 1, it was all about the start. I was a little bit buried in that second moto and had a battle with Kenny (Roczen) at the beginning of that race. I was able to make the move to the front somewhere around the halfway point, and that was it. The bike worked awesome in all the conditions today. We just have to keep chipping away at the points.”
Christian Craig: “I always love coming here to RedBud. I did pretty well here last year, so I wanted to get back up to that front group after a couple of off weeks at High Point and Colorado, and I was able to do that. I qualified well, and although my starts weren’t the best I was able to come through the pack pretty quick and went 5-6. Unfortunately, that was only good enough for eighth overall somehow, but that’s how it rolls sometimes. It’s all about the points at the end of the day, and I’m close to fifth in the standings – just two points behind Dungey. So, I’ve just got to keep going. I’d say Eli was on another level today, but other than that, we were right there with that top group; we’ve just got to keep building.”