Tomac takes drama out of 250 event

Geico Honda rider closes points gap on leader Roczen

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter


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WASHOUGAL — Well, that was not really expected.

The 250 class of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has been so close this season, and yet the Peterson Cat Washougal National was simply a blowout Saturday afternoon.

Eli Tomac of Geico Honda won the first moto by 19 seconds, then turned it up a notch in the second moto with a 20-second victory.

Ho hum, he took the lead early and it was over.

It was Tomac’s third overall title in the eight races this season and the first time this season he has won both motos.

Ken Roczen of Red Bull KTM overcame a tough start in the first moto, moving from ninth to second place.

He then finished second in the second moto for second overall. Roczen leads the season points race, but Tomac closed the gap to one point with his 1-1 finish. Roczen has 356 points to Tomcac’s 355.

With four rounds to go, the title is up for grabs.

Of course, if Tomac rides the rest of the series like he did Saturday, the title will be his.

“It was a good one for sure,” Tomac said of his Saturday.

The 1-1 was a long time coming for him. He said he believes he should have had more success in the series all year.

“But I’d make little mistakes here and there. This race, I put it all together,” he said.

He acknowledged, however, that he nearly made a big mistake late in the second moto.

“I almost gave it away,” Tomac said. “I was as close as I could get without crashing.”

He saved himself from potential disaster, then conservatively took his bike home to the finish line.

Roczen was a long way back, finishing second place in both motos.

“I wasn’t feeling it,” he said of racing on the challenging course, with its slick dirt and the change of vision as riders go in and out of sunshine in the Washougal woods. “It’s hard to make up time.”

So he stayed clear of trouble and barely kept the red plate — which goes to the points leader.

“It’s fun to ride with it, but I want to have it at the end of the year,” Roczen said.

Tomac is not satisfied with being a point behind Roczen.

“I’m not in the lead yet, so I still have to get the job done,” he said. “It’s always nice to be closer.”

Marvin Musquin finished third in the overall.

Justin Hill of Yoncalla, Ore., who lived in La Center years ago, had his best performance of his rookie season.