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Cooper Webb wins Wednesday again; Eli Tomac on brink of championship

Ralph Sheheen and Ricky Carmichael break down Supercross Round 16 and explain just how close Eli Tomac is to the 450SX championship.

Wednesday nights in Supercross still belong to Cooper Webb, but it seems extremely likely that the 2020 season championship will be the property of Eli Tomac.

Webb completed a sweep of the three-race Wednesday night program at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, leading the final seven laps in Round 16 after passing Zach Osborne for first place.

But with his fourth victory, Webb still trails by 24 points in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross standings entering Sunday’s finale after Tomac staged an impressive rally to finish second Wednesday. Osborne was third.

RESULTS, POINTS: Postrace statistics from Round 16 in Supercross

“I’m looking forward to Sunday,” Tomac told NBCSN after his seventh consecutive podium finish.

Eli Tomac bike

Eli Tomac has finished on the podium in six consecutive races (Feld Entertainment, Inc.).

Though he could have clinched the title with a victory Wednesday, Tomac will carry a virtually insurmountable lead into Sunday’s season finale as long as he qualifies for the main event.

Tomac got buried by a poor start and was last entering the first corner. He climbed to 12th of 22 riders after the first lap and was in the top five by the midpoint. With about 7 minutes remaining, he passed Ken Roczen for third and set his sights on Webb and Osborne.

“I felt better on this track today for making passes,” Tomac told NBCSN. “I was pushing hard, hard as I could. Caught the front pack and once Cooper made the pass past Zach, it seemed like he stepped it up. I did everything I could. Couldn’t quite get there. Really good day for us.”

Webb has eight consecutive podium finishes since he placed 12 in a hard crash at Arlington, Texas.

“I was just hitting my marks and trying to see where I could be better,” the defending series champion told NBCSN. “We were all really close on speed. Not a lot separated us. I fixed the whoops halfway, that was holding me back, and I started hitting them really well.”

Webb, Roczen and Tomac, the three contenders for the championship entering Wednesday, had strong battles for position throughout the 29-lap race.

“I had a lot of pressure from Kenny,” Webb said. “He was all over me at the beginning. Zach rode great out front. Saw Eli get behind me, I knew I had to make a pass.

“Great night. Great to get another win. Incredible when you can win these things. That was a tight race between us the whole time. It seemed like a lot of pressure between us all, and it was like we weren’t making many mistakes. I’m sure it was a fun race for the fans to watch and a fun race to win as well.”

Roczen whoops

Ken Roczen finished fourth and fell out of title contention (Feld Entertainment, Inc.).

Roczen, who was coming off a Round 15 victory Sunday, finished fourth and dropped a spot to third in the standings. With a 30-point deficit to Tomac, Roczen was eliminated from contention.

In the 250 East division, Chase Sexton aggressively seized command of the points race with his fourth victory of the season, moving championship rival Shane McElrath out of first and leading the final 18 laps. Heading into Sunday’s East-West Showdown, Sexton has a six-point lead on McElrath, who finished second.

“I didn’t want a do-over of the first race here,” Sexton told NBCSN, referring to McElrath’s victory in Round 1. “I kind of followed him. Once you follow, you lose your pace. I didn’t want that to happen, because I felt like I had a really good flow tonight. So I made it early and knew I was fast in that rhythm section. I didn’t want to be too dirty, but I didn’t want him to have a chance to get back at me in the next corner, so I had to put him to a stop.

“Overall I felt really good out there. It was a super fun race. Lappers were the hardest part was trying to figure out a way around them.”

Though Sexton’s Honda made contact with McElrath’s Yamaha by shoving his Honda through on the inside line, the runner-up wasn’t upset with the move.

“It’s go time,” McElrath told NBCSN. “That was a good race. I felt like I pushed hard and rode good. Chase just had a little bit of an edge on me. I had too many mistakes. It’s a little disappointing with second. Chase was on it. It was a fair pass. It’s do or die for the Showdown. I’ll be ready.”

Chase Sexton air