by Geiger Media | Feb 02, 2015
Number 3 now tied for third in the points battle.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 31) – Eli Tomac rode the wheels off his GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda CFR450 Saturday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, methodically working his way past a knot of championship contenders to grab a hard-earned, third-place podium finish.
Tomac’s result was the best of the three GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda riders competing at this event. Matt Bisceglia and Malcolm Stewart came in fifth and 17th, respectively, in 250SX West action.
“(Ryan) Dungey got the win and he’s still the guy we’re all chasing, but I did pass (Trey) Canard and (Ken) Roczen and a few others tonight, and those are some valuable points,” Tomac said. “I couldn’t believe it when Trey went down in the sand section, and then after that Ken and I battled for a long time. There were areas when I’d catch right up to him and then there must have been a spot or two where he was quicker. We kind of yo-yoed like that for several laps.”
The battle with Roczen kept the spotlight on the two young riders, and when Tomac finally passed the German pro with one lap to go the crowd erupted.
“He was hard to pass, for sure, but I was determined to get those extra points on him,” said Tomac, who won his heat race easily to transfer to the main event. “I pushed it hard until the very end. If we had one more lap to go we might have both passed (Cole) Seely for second. It was that close up there. I’m pretty satisfied to get on the podium considering who I had to pass to get there.”
Tomac is now tied with Canard for third in the points. Roczen is second, 12 points ahead, with Dungey another 11 markers in front of Roczen.
Bisceglia’s fifth-place finish was his best of the year, an encouraging result considering he sat out the last two events with a slight concussion. The night could have been even better for the Texan if not for a restart five laps into the race when officials determined the gate malfunctioned and hampered Zach Osborne’s start. Bisceglia was second at the time of the red-flag restart.
“It was really nice to be back out on the track racing again,” Bisceglia said. “Ever since my concussion at A2 (the second Anaheim event), I’ve had very limited time on the bike. I pretty much had to just rest.
“I put everything I had into the main, got the holeshot and led four of the first five laps before the restart. I didn’t have such a great start the second time around and ended up sixth. From there I rode as hard as I could and managed to gain another spot to finish fifth. After tonight, I’m feeling really confident with my speed and the progress we have made with my program.”
Stewart got the worst of the restart as he was pushed into the inside of the first turn and went down. A fall later in the race left him far back in the pack. In the first race he had worked his way up to fourth and looked to be marching forward when the restart was called.
“This day started off so good,” Stewart said. “I got my first heat race win of the year, and that was exciting. Our main event, before the restart, I was running fourth. I had a clean start that I was happy with and I was riding strong. After the restart I got into it with (Justin) Hill in the first turn and I went down. I got back up and tried to fight my way back to the front and was pushing so hard that I washed out the front end and fell again.
“I’d say I lost focus after the first crash. There will always be ups and downs in racing and today was full of them. I wish they didn’t restart the race. I really don’t agree with the reason we had to start again, and as usual a lot of people benefited from the restart and others of us lost out. I’ll just put this one behind me and move on.”
The sixth race of the season takes place next Saturday at Petco Park in San Diego.