Los Angeles Supercross
Geico Honda CRF 250 R rider Eli Tomac needed just three races at the top level of his sport to earn a coveted spot on the podium, taking second place Saturday night at the first-ever AMA Supercross race at Dodger Stadium.
Geico teammates Kevin Windham and Jimmy DeCotis also fared well at the third stop of the 2011 season, with Windham finishing sixth on his CRF 450cc Honda and replacement rider DeCotis taking eighth place behind Tomac in Supercross Lites (250cc) action.
Eli Tomac (2011 Honda CRF 250 R) says: "This is what Supercross is all about," said Tomac, who started fourth but quickly jumped up to second. "I finally got the start I needed and I feel like I figured a lot out tonight. I couldn’t be happier with the way the race went down.
"I definitely felt the guys coming up behind me the last few laps and I got a little tight, a little nervous, but I was able to hold my line and defend (Broc) Tickle. I kept my spot and that was important. It was a good, solid ride."
Tomac’s finish helped him move from seventh to fifth place in the championship points.
Like Tomac, crowd favorite Windham also got a great start in his main event and was happy to avoid most of the dramatic racing that went on in the race as riders seemed to be falling all over the course.
Kevin Windham (2011 Honda CRF 450 R) says: "It was a crazy race. The fans got their money’s worth, and that’s cool because we loved racing at this stadium. I’m glad I salvaged some points, stayed out of trouble, and put on a good show for everyone.
"After the first two races, especially after not finishing in Phoenix, I really needed to get some points and stay up with the other guys.
"Everyone’s injury-free and running strong this year. I see a lot of hungry riders out here and I think we’re going to see a lot more of the hardcore action that we saw tonight as the season progresses."
Filling in for the injured Wil Hahn, who fractured a vertebrae in his spine two weeks ago at the season opener, DeCotis had another respectable ride, following up his seventh-place result in Phoenix with another top-10 result.
The teenager from Peabody, Mass., was planning to run the Supercross Lites East schedule as an independent but jumped in when Hahn was hurt.
Jimmy DeCotis (2011 Honda CRF 250 R) says: "I rode really well in the heat race," DeCotis comments. "I had a good start and that’s big in Supercross. In the main I was kind of all over the place. That was probably the worst I’ve ridden in awhile so to get eighth place is actually pretty good.
"I’m still a little nervous. It’s all-new to me and I’m finding my place. I do feel better about everything now and I know I’ll be able to settle down and ride stronger. I’m having a blast."
Despite missing the first event, DeCotis is 12th in the standings. The AMA Supercross tour next moves to Oakland, Calif., for next Saturday’s event.