Eli Tomac wins Oakland Supercross, ties Ricky Carmichael for third on wins list
Eli Tomac took advantage of a mistake by Chase Sexton to win his fourth Monster Energy Supercross race of the season at Oakland and recover from a disappointing round in Tampa. With this win, Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time wins list with 48. He now sets his sights on James Stewart’s 50 wins.
It almost didn’t happen, however; Tomac rode flawlessly until the white flag waved. On the final lap, he pushed off a corner and lost his momentum as second-place Cooper Webb rapidly closed the gap. Another bobble in the whoops created a lot more drama than Tomac wanted.
“That racetrack was very, very tough,” Tomac told Carmichael, who performed the winner’s interview from the booth. “I expected everyone to make a mistake. Obviously I was lucky with Chase going down. He was running a great pace up until around halfway there. I was solid for a while there and then right at the very end I made a big mistake going for a roll after that first straightaway.”
Tomac had questions that needed answering. He started answering them early with a heat win before closing out a perfect night. Tomac’s win allowed him to make up the ground he lost in Tampa, and he left Oakland with a seven-point lead over Sexton and Webb, who are tied for second.
Webb followed up his Tampa win last week with a second-place finish but still lost three points to Tomac. Webb’s late race strength was a factor in both podium finishes.
“At the beginning, I just lacked some pace,” Webb told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “I just stuck to my laps. I couldn’t really catch them until about five, six laps and then I was able to start matching, but the gap was too big.”
Webb remains perfect in regard to top-five finishes.
For the second week, Chase Sexton crashed while leading. In the first 14 minutes of the race, Sexton built a five-second lead over Tomac, but he jumped into a turn and felt the bike skid out from under him. As Sexton stood his bike up, Tomac blazed past.
“I landed that triple just like every lap and the front and rear came around and I was on the ground. Honestly that was some of the best riding I’ve done in a main event, especially how gnarly the track was.”
Sexton also crashed in practice, but he overcame and earned the holeshot as the three points’ contenders rode nose-to-tail.
Sexton is also perfect in regard to top-five finishes.
Jett Lawrence was patient during the first half of the 250 West Main and pounced when RJ Hampshire made a mistake to win his third race of the season in four rounds.
“At the start when I fell to third I thought, we have two of the main boys I’m competing with who are the main ones with me,” Lawrence told NBC Sports’ Jason Thomas. “It was kind of like a chess game to see who was sending it and to try and pick the lines, so I just stayed back there. The whoops section was kind of sketchy; the rhythms sent you a little bit awkward, so I was just waiting on a mistake.”
Lawrence slotted in behind Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo in the opening laps, but after winning Heat 2, he knew he had the speed to make his move when he was ready. At the halfway point, Hampshire leaned too far in a corner and hit the ground, but simply making the show was a victory of sorts. Following a hard crash in Anaheim 2, Hampshire sustained internal injuries and a dislocated shoulder.
After winning his heat, Hampshire said, “I’m stoked to be here; it was kind of questionable.”
Hampshire finished 16 seconds behind Lawrence.
“That was a really tough one,” Hampshire said. “I executed my start perfectly. I wish we were at 100 percent tonight because I felt good and I just ran out of steam. I had nothing left and it was just survival.”
McAdoo had to survive a battle with Pierce Brown. Second in the points, McAdoo could not afford to lose very many points to Lawrence. Trailing by 16 entering Oakland, he lost third to Brown midway through the race after a block pass. In the next turn, he repaid the favor, sending Brown to the ground.
“I’m slightly frustrated,” McAdoo said. “There were some areas where I felt like I could have been better, but from what I was dealt over the last few weeks, (most everyone saw what happened to me in A2), it was very trying.”
In his most recent race, McAdoo crashed in one of the Triple Crown mains and injured his arm, but avoided any broken bones.
Brown dropped to fourth, recovered momentarily, and then hit the ground once again as time was running off the clock.
The overall winner of the Triple Crown at Anaheim 2, Levi Kitchen took advantage of Brown’s mistake to settle into fourth while Brown rounded out the top five.
Phil Nicoletti dislocated wrist in practice; Stylez Robertson also failed to mount after crashing in prelims.
2023 Race Recaps
Tampa: Cooper Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Eli Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time
Oakland Supercross coverage
Oakland by the numbers
Team Solitaire races with NASCAR connection
Jason Anderson on probation for rough riding
Eli Tomac protects points’ lead with risk-free ride
SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Tampa
Results and points after Tampa