Eli Tomac scored his first pole position of the season in Atlanta, Georgia by setting a blistering time of 50.294 seconds marking the eighth time in nine races a Kawasaki rider has earned the pole position in the 450SX class. But a tough Main Event would leave the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider sharing the red plate with Ken Roczen.
Unlike Tomac’s Heat Race, where he raced to a gate-to-flag win, the Main Event start left the 27-year-old buried within the 450SX pack and he had to set about charging through the field. That progress was halted when he came together with #4 Blake Baggett, leaving both on the deck.
Tomac had to once again ride from behind and his gruelling charge would leave him narrowly missing the podium with a fourth-place finish.
“The main event didn’t go as planned, but the good news is we live to fight another day and line back up next weekend at one of my favourite tracks, Daytona,” Tomac said in a press release.
“There are still positives to take away from today – we were fastest qualifier, won our Heat Race, and we never gave up in the Main Event, and battled hard all the way to the very end to salvage as many points as possible. We are going to put this race behind us and be ready to rock next week in Daytona!”
Writing on his Instagram account, Tomac added: “Mixed emotions on the night! The contact with BB4 [Blake Baggett] was a mistake on my part, the last thing I want to do is take us both down and out. Those 20 minutes felt like 40 minutes clawing back to fourth. Can’t wait to be ripping around Daytona!”
Tomac will head to Round 10 this weekend at Daytona tied at the top of the points with Roczen.