Round 12 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series may be a turning point in the series, as Eli Tomac extended his lead over Ken Roczen to 13 points with five races remaining. Although Tomac didn’t win SLC2—defending Supercross Champion Cooper Webb had the honors—Tomac’s P2 finish added five points to his lead. Roczen won his Heat and ran strong early in the Main Event after a lackluster start with Tomac. However, Roczen’s journey through the pack stalled at P5, and he finished 25 seconds behind runner-up Tomac.
The Main Event got off to an unexpected start, with Zach Osborne grabbing the holeshot, pursued by Webb and Justin Barcia. Roczen was in P8 after one lap, with Tomac right behind him. From there, Tomac was willing to follow Roczen toward the front. By lap 3, the duo had gotten by Martín Dávalos and Justin Hill. After two more laps, Barcia and Dean Wilson were passed, putting Roczen and Tomac into the top five with Roczen continuing to lead the way.
In the meantime, Osborne retained his lead over Webb, which remained steady between one- and two-seconds. Jason Anderson moved into P3 on lap 4, but wasn’t a threat to Webb.
On lap 11 (of 27), Tomac made his move on Roczen, passing Roczen in the 180-degree lefthander as they exited the whoops. Early on, Roczen had an advantage in the long whoops section. Eventually, that went away as the whoops deteriorated.
As Tomac chased down Anderson, Roczen did not come along. Two laps later, Tomac passed Anderson in the same spot he passed Roczen. Osborne’s buffer over Webb dropped to under one-second, with Tomac moving toward the leading pair.
Osborne was able to hold onto his lead until lap 21, when Webb made his move as he was feeling Tomac’s pressure from behind. Not wanting to give up his first 450SX class win, Osborne stuck with Webb, but two laps later surrendered P2 to Tomac. Osborne quickly fell off the pace and was never again a factor. That set up a showdown between the defending champion and the current points leader.
As it turned out, the battle never materialized. Although Tomac was close to Webb, he was never able to show Webb a wheel. On the last lap, an error in a rhythm section cost Tomac any opportunity to mount a final attack on Webb, and Webb crossed the finish line almost two seconds clear of Tomac.
“It was a great night overall, but it was a tough race,” Webb said. “The track conditions were definitely tricky, and you had to be patient out there. The whoops were tough; I just committed to my lines from the beginning and it played out pretty well. It was a great night to get a win. These are not easily regained, especially with the top guys up here tonight, so I want to soak it in, but we’ve got five more rounds to go.”
Anderson finished a distant P4, 25 seconds behind Webb, with Roczen two seconds shy of Anderson and less than two seconds clear of Wilson. Wilson held onto P6 by finishing just 0.4 seconds ahead of Malcolm Stewart, who was a first-time Heat winner earlier in the evening. After running in a podium position for the three opening laps, Barcia repeated his P8 finish in SLC1. Justin Brayton and Justin Hill rounded out the top 10.
With a 13-point deficit and five races remaining, Roczen still controls his own destiny. If Roczen wins out, he is the champion. However, after going 3-5 in the first two Salt Lake City races, a five-race run of victories will be a tall order. Based on the first two races, Webb is more of a threat to Roczen’s P2 in the standings than Roczen is likely to take the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Championship away from Tomac.
However, keep an eye out on the weather. At the end of the SLC2 Main Event, the forecast for rain on Saturday is 80 percent, and there’s a 70 percent chance of rain at race time for SLC3 on Sunday. Temperatures will be in the 50s, a far cry from the 90-degree Main Event at SLC1. It’s not over.
Rich Shepherd photography courtesy of Feld Entertainment
2020 Salt Lake City 2 Supercross Results, Rice-Eccles Stadium
- Cooper Webb (KTM)
- Eli Tomac (Kawasaki)
- Zach Osborne (Husqvarna)
- Jason Anderson (Husqvarna)
- Ken Roczen (Honda)
- Dean Wilson (Husqvarna)
- Malcolm Stewart (Honda)
- Justin Barcia (Yamaha)
- Justin Brayton (Honda)
- Justin Hill (Honda)
- Martín Dávalos (KTM)
- Aaron Plessinger (Yamaha)
- Benny Bloss (KTM)
- Blake Baggett (KTM)
- Kyle Cunningham (Suzuki)
- Vince Friese (Honda)
- Chad Reed (Honda)
- Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha)
- Adam Enticknap (Suzuki)
- Carlen Gardner (Honda)
- Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki)
- Ryan Breece (Suzuki)
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series Standings (after 12 of 17 rounds)
- Eli Tomac (Kawasaki), 275 points (6 wins; 8 podiums)
- Ken Roczen (Honda), 262 (3 wins; 9 podiums)
- Cooper Webb (KTM), 246 (2 wins; 9 podiums)
- Justin Barcia (Yamaha), 225 (1 win; 3 podiums)
- Jason Anderson (Husqvarna), 208 (3 podiums)
- Malcolm Stewart (Honda), 180
- Justin Hill (Honda), 161
- Dean Wilson (Husqvarna), 159
- Justin Brayton (Honda), 157
- Aaron Plessinger (Yamaha), 147
- Zach Osborne (Husqvarna), 144 (1 podium)
- Blake Baggett (KTM), 134 (1 podium)
- Adam Cianciarulo (Kawasaki), 129 (2 podiums)
- Martín Dávalos (KTM), 121
- Vince Friese (Honda), 120
- Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki), 65
- Chad Reed (Honda/KTM), 59
- Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha), 57
- Benny Bloss (Yamaha/KTM), 54
- Kyle Cunningham (Suzuki), 40
- Ryan Breece (Suzuki), 32
- Alex Ray (Kawasaki), 25
- Justin Bogle (KTM), 24
- Chris Blose (Honda), 18
- Adam Enticknap (Suzuki), 16
- Broc Tickle (Suzuki), 12
- Daniel Herrlein (KTM), 8
- Ryan Sipes (KTM), 7
- James Weeks (Yamaha), 7
- Henry Miller (KTM), 6
- Jimmy Decotis (Suzuki), 4
- Fredrik Norén (Suzuki), 4
- Jason Clermont (Kawasaki), 3
- Cade Autenrieth (Honda), 3
- Ronnie Stewart (Husqvarna), 3
- Carlen Gardner (Honda), 3
- Josh Cartwright (Kawasaki), 1
- Jerry Robin (Honda), 1