Eli Tomac crashed in the second of two fiercely fought races with rival Marvin Musquin on Saturday to finish second in the Southwick motocross in Massachusetts.
It was Tomac’s first loss of the series.
His record is now 5-1, and he remains atop the standings with a 32-point lead over Musquin.
Tomac has dominated the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 class series this year, winning nine out of 12 motos at six race venues.
Musquin, who is No. 2 in the overall standings, has won just three motos, but has raced consistently. He has finished on the podium in nine out of 12 motos. Southwick was Musquin’s first overall victory of the season.
After winning the first moto, Tomac appeared to be headed for his sixth straight overall victory.
In the decisive second moto on Saturday, Tomac got off to a good start, and passed Musquin for the lead in Lap 2. Racing in front, Tomac crashed midway through the race, but was able to get back on his bike.
Appearing to have recovered, Tomac still had the lead but crashed in Lap 8, allowing Musquin to pass for the lead. Tomac’s Kawasaki apparently was damaged, and he couldn’t mount a challenge. Musquin cruised to an easy victory.
Tomac finished second, about 15 seconds behind Musquin. Justin Barcia was third, followed by Blake Baggett and Ken Roczen.
The overall victory at Southwick went to Musquin, who finished the day of racing with first and second-place finishes (2-1) in the two motos. Tomac also finished with a first and second (1-2), but was second overall because the tiebreaker goes to the top finisher in the second moto. Justin Barcia was third overall (3-3), and Blake Baggett (4-4) and Ken Roczen (5-5) rounded out the Top 5.
In the first moto, Tomac was sixth after Lap 1 behind Roczen, Barcia, Musquin, Baggett and Justin Bogle.
Musquin, the fastest qualifier on Saturday, started in third, but charged to the front in Lap 6.
Tomac quickly moved out of sixth place and into fourth place in Lap 3, into third in Lap 5, and into second in Lap 6.
It became a two-man race as the top two riders in AMA motocross posted their fastest times in Lap 7 and distanced themselves from the crowd.
For the next several laps, Tomac stalked Musquin wheel to wheel, covered in Musquin’s dirt. As the countdown clock expired with three laps remaining, Tomac became more aggressive and challenged from the outside and inside, but Musquin countered each time and closed the passing lane in a remarkable show of defensive riding.
Then, as Musquin and Tomac raced toward the white flag, Tomac bolted wide to the edge of the track and passed him as the two nearly collided.
Musquin bounced back and made a brief charge for the lead, but crashed on a downhill jump in the last lap. Tomac went on to win by 27 seconds. Musquin got back up to finish second. Barcia, Baggett and Roczen rounded out the Top 5.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac and Musquin set a blistering pace in qualifying rounds, running about 2 seconds faster than Baggett and Barcia, who qualified in third and fourth. Musquin came out on top, with a lap of 2 minutes, 7.315 seconds, followed by Tomac at 2:07.385.
Next week, the 12-race series goes to Buchanan, Michigan, for the Redbud National on July 7.