Race Recap: Tomac wins 5th Daytona
It’s no surprise that Eli Tomac won the race this past weekend. Leading into the 2021 Daytona Supercross, Eli Tomac has been the measuring stick for success since 2015. Since then he has won four times (2020, 2019, 2017, 2016) while finishing second in 2018 and 2015. That second-place finishes came only to 450 class veteran Justin Brayton in 2018, and Ryan Dungey in 2015, who went on to win the 450 championship that year.
When it comes to the Daytona race every year the track is designed to mimic an outdoor track which suits Tomac’s riding style very well, obvious by his results. Qualifying seems to look just like another practice day for Tomac. He qualified third overall on his Monster Energy Kawasaki, his mentality is just to practice on the track, find the fast lines, and make the main event.
Ken Roczen qualified first overall followed by Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider Dylan Ferrandis, a rider that was expected to make some noise in the 450 class after his dominant championship performance in the 250 West championships in 2020 and 2019.
The series hottest rider, Cooper Webb on his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, took the first heat win in dominant fashion followed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing rider Aaron Plessinger took a big step qualifying 8th and finished second in the first heat. Ken Roczen kept his red plate rolling with a heat two win on his Team Honda HRC in a heat race that had 450 class heavy hitters Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin, and Jason Anderson.
The 450 main events started exactly how it finished, Tomac, Webb, Plessinger. It wasn’t a very exciting 450 main, which has been the case in Daytona in recent years. Tomac finished off another dominant performance by getting the lead out of the first turn and never relinquishing it. Aaron Plessinger was able to finish his strong weekend with his first podium finish in third.
The big story coming out of this weekend however is that Webb is only 2 points behind series champion Ken Roczen. With only 8 races left in the 2021 Supercross season, Webb seems to be riding towards his second Supercross championship. Historically Daytona is when Tomac actually starts his supercross season, with most of his 100 race wins come after the Daytona event every year, and a 24 point lead held by Roczen isn’t much of a gap for the defending champion to make up difference.
Heading into the second race on the 250 West championship in Daytona, Justin Cooper was leading the points and wanted to make a statement about his intentions to win the 2021 250 West championship. The Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider qualified first overall once again beating our Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Cameron Mcadoo. The 250 West championship battle seems to be shaping up to be a fight between these two riders.
Heat 1 Mcadoo took the victory over teammate Seth Hammaker by four and half seconds. Hunter Lawrence took his Team Honda HRC to the front of the second heat race, not once but twice as the race was red-flagged. He would win by 5 seconds with a field of top riders Jordan Smith, Stilez Robertson, and Justin Cooper.
The 250 main event was much more exciting than the 450 race as we saw two of the series top riders struggle early on with Mcadoo getting a bad start and making the first turn in 17th position and Justin Cooper got tangled up leaving him in 19th. The Rockstart Energy Husqvarna Factory rider Stilez Robertson was able to make his way to the front of the pack until Cameron Mcadoo fought his way back up to the front with 5 minutes left in the race and passed Robertson for the race win. Justin Cooper was able to fight back from 19th all the way up to fourth, but even with that valent effort, he had to turn over the points leading red number plate to Mcadoo now being down by four points.
The next three races will be in Arlington Texas for another triple header taking place on March 13th, 16th, and 20th. The 250 West riders will continue to battle over the championship. Will we see another triple header win by Ken Roczen? He seems to thrive in those back to back to back situations, or will we see Copper Webb start making his second-half points push for another title. Even with both those possible situations, one thing is for sure, as long as Tomac stays healthy, we will see him make his usual late-season push for a Supercross championship.