Eli Tomac needs max points each weekend in a bid to close the gap on Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen and repeat as 250 West SX Champion. He appeared ready to do just that as he pulled the early lead in Seattle, but the rutted track struck, pulling him down and ending his bid for the win. Tomac got up and finished second, but Roczen jetted off with the win and more points.
A late crash while leading cost Tomac not only the win, but valuable championship points.
Simon Cudby photo
"I won my heat race which gave me a really good gate pick and was really fired up," Tomac said in a post-race statement from his team. "I was able to get out and establish a lead for the first nine laps. At that point I got stuck in a deep rut coming out of the whoops and went over the bars.
"I was hoping to close the gap a little today. We've made our job to repeat a lot more difficult, but as long as I'm still mathematically alive, I'll keep fighting. Crazy things have happened in the last couple of races of the year and I'm not giving up.”
While second was not what Tomac wanted, third was absolutely perfect for Zach Osborne, who has had his fair share of troubles through this year’s West campaign. Seattle marked the first podium of the SX season for Osborne.
Zach Osborne collected his first podium of 2013 in Seattle.
“I feel like I did my homework during the break and it paid off,” said Osborne when we called him yesterday. “I needed that podium. I was getting kind of nervous. The team wasn’t putting any pressure on me, but I was putting it on myself. Everyone knows what this team is capable of so I felt I needed to deliver.
“The main thing is, I’m healthy. I didn’t do that good at Anaheim 1, but that’s because I crashed in the first turn and came back to seventh. Then I hurt my shoulder at Phoenix. So it’s good to just finally be healthy. This podium is a big step, I feel like I have a whole new mental outlook now. So hopefully you’ll see more results like this.”Osborne is no doubt happy to finally get some champagne. If the 20-year-old Tomac were old enough to drink the second-place bottle, he’d probably tell you it didn’t taste all that good.