HOUSTON (April 11) – Nothing came easy for the vaunted GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda race team during Saturday’s stop at NRG Stadium, but veteran riders Eli Tomac and Malcolm Stewart still managed to place their GEICO/AMSOIL/Hondas on the podium at the 14th Monster Energy Supercross event of the season.

Teammate Matt Bisceglia also gained accolades for earning the holeshot in the 250SX West main event, while Stewart’s top crewman, Derik Dwyer, was named the MMI/AMSOIL Top Tech of the Race.

Tomac, who battled flu-like symptoms for much of the week, had to fight through the semifinals to earn his spot in the main event. He then overcame a mid-pack start to work his way from 11th to third overall for his eighth podium result of the season.

“I felt OK early in the day, but kind of ran out of power in the evening,” Tomac said. “Considering I was flat on my back a few days ago, I guess I can’t be too upset with a podium finish. We’re still a solid second in the points with three races left, so even though the overall championship was decided tonight, there are still things to fight for down the stretch. More wins and more podiums would be good.”

Stewart had to overcome some obstacles of his own. He suffered a tough get-off in the third practice session that roughed up his face, and then he made contact with the rear wheel of Zach Osborne in the first heat race and crashed once again. That relegated him to the Last Chance Qualifier, which he won with a last-turn pass on Shane McElrath.

“I had to fight for everything today,” Stewart said. “I mean nothing came easy at all. When I crashed in practice I was just mad at myself, and then Zach came across me in the heat race and I went down hard again. I was so mad after that I didn’t even go back to the pits. I just waited at the starting line for the LCQ. I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me.

“I had a bad gate pick for the main and got around the first turn in 11th place. All I could do was work it from there. I just raced hard and passed dudes when I could. I finally got up front and managed to get third. I have to be pretty happy with that after a day like this one.

“It was super cool to see Derik get the MMI/AMSOIL Top Tech award. He definitely earned it today. I know no one worked harder with all the smashed up stuff I kept dragging back over there. He didn’t miss a beat. My bike was perfect every time.”

Bisceglia was left dreaming of what could have been after leading the first half of his heat race before settling for second and then racing as high as second in the main event before taking a spill during lap five that dropped him back several spots. He eventually finished eighth.

“I was really happy with my riding all day,” Bisceglia said. “My pace was good and I felt as healthy as I have in a while. I just lost the front end after the triple (in the main event). It happened so fast I couldn’t even react. I just kind of slid out. I was able to get up and get right back into the race, but some guys got past me when I was down.

“I’m happy to be racing again after the (west) break and I’m already looking forward to next weekend.”

The tour heads to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., for next Saturday’s event.

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