2012 AMA Supercross
A three-race winning streak that powered GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac to a 22-point lead in the Monster Energy Supercross Lites West points ended with a heartbreaking DNF Saturday night at Qualcomm Stadium.
Fellow GEICO Honda riders Kevin Windham also had a tough outing, finishing 16th in Supercross, while fill-in rider Gavin Faith posted a career-best sixth place result.
Tomac's last-place finish coupled with Dean Wilson's victory resulted in a stunning change at the top of the standings, with Tomac dropping behind Wilson by two points. There are three races left on the Supercross Lites West schedule with the next one coming April 21 in Seattle.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda CRF250R Supercross) says: "We've made (the championship chase) interesting, which is something we didn't want to do, but we've got plenty of time to recover and rest now so that's what we'll do.
"We'll reload and get ready for the last three races. I'm not going to change anything I've been doing because it's been a great season so far. We just had some unfortunate luck tonight."
Tomac's woes started in the first heat race when he had a collision with a lower-ranked rider. That forced him well back in the pack and he had to fight hard just to qualify for the Main. Unfortunately, his eighth-place heat finish gave him a less-than-desirable gate pick for the Main and once again he found himself in a fight for every position.
Even so, Tomac rounded the first turn in sixth place, and had reached third place by Lap 7. But an off-kilter run through the whoops was his undoing, and the ensuing solo wreck left him battered and unable to continue.
Eli Tomac says: "I feel like I got run over by a truck. I missed the front wheel in the first part of the whoops and it did the huck-and-buck on me. I went down and the bike came down on top of me. I tried to get up and continue but the bike wouldn't start.
"It's a bummer because I could see the two guys in front of me and the race still had a long way to go so it could have been good there at the end. It just wasn't meant to be."
The whoops section also tripped up Windham, who was running a lofty fourth before wiping out in almost the same spot that claimed Tomac. As he struggled to catch his breath and finish the final three laps he fell back to 16th place.
Kevin Windham (GEICO Honda CRF450R Supercross) says: "I thought we had great chance at a podium finish. Those whoops were just killer though. There's no point in having a section of whoops like that where so many riders were taken out of the race. The fans don't want that.
"At least we stayed fifth in the points because Bubba (fourth-place rider James Stewart) wrecked in the whoops also. It's a disappointing finish though."
Faith was moderately pleased with his sixth-place finish. This event marked his last with the GEICO Honda team, with Wil Hahn expected to return before the next West race.
Gavin Faith (GEICO Honda CRF250R Supercross) says: "I could have pushed it a little more but I got arm-pump and decided to just ride it out. These four races with the GEICO Honda team have been great. It's a first-class group and they treated me so well. I couldn't have asked for a better situation."