As the gate dropped on the first 450 Class moto of the afternoon it was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo who emerged with his fifth MotoSport.com Holeshot with Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton right behind him as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne slotted into third. With a clear track Cianciarulo was able to quickly build a multi-second advantage that he then managed through the middle portion of the moto. Meanwhile, Sexton shed himself of Osborne to assert his hold of second.
As the second half of the moto wore on, Sexton was able to gain some ground on Cianciarulo and got to within less than two seconds of the lead. However, Cianciarulo responded and was able to restabilize the lead. With less than five minutes remaining Cianciarulo narrowly avoided a crash when he briefly lost control of his Kawasaki, which allowed Sexton to close within just a second-and-a-half. Once again Cianciarulo dug deep in response and was able to rebuild his lead to its largest margin. Behind the see-saw battle up front Tomac, who started sixth, was able to track down Osborne and make the pass for third.
Cianciarulo went wire-to-wire for his fourth moto win of the season, crossing the finish line 2.6 seconds ahead of Sexton with a hard-charging Tomac in third. Osborne followed in fourth, with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia completing the top five.
The 450 Class field made uphill charge once more to begin the final moto of the day and as the riders exited the first turn it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin who secured the MotoSport.com Holeshot over Cianciarulo, who quickly applied pressure and jumped into the lead, followed by Osborne into second. Musquin continued to lose ground as Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Suzuki’s Max Anstie took over third and left Musquin to deal with Tomac in a battle for fourth. Tomac pounced and stormed past both Musquin and Anstie to go from fifth to third.
After a busy opening lap Cianciarulo was able to sprint away to a second-and-a-half advantage over Osborne, while Tomac gave chase from third. The top three ran within a couple seconds of one another and after several laps of trading momentum Tomac began to apply pressure on Osborne, successfully taking control of second a little more than 10 minutes into the moto. From there Tomac kept looking ahead and started to make the move on his teammate for the lead. With the home crowd cheering him on, Tomac made the pass happen and took control of the moto.
Once out front Tomac dropped the hammer and quickly gapped the rest of the field. Together, the Kawasaki tandem then pulled away from Osborne. The pace of the top three was so impressive that the leaders enjoyed more than a 10-second advantage over fourth halfway through the moto. With a handful of time left on the clock it appeared as though Tomac had the win in hand, but his place slowed as he appeared to deal with something on his motorcycle, which allowed Cianciarulo to close back in. Tomac’s slowing was brief and he regrouped to rebuild his advantage.
With Tomac back up to speed, managing a lead of about five seconds, Cianciarulo was forced to deal with some pressure from a late charge by Osborne from third. The championship rivals were within a few bike lengths of one another when Cianciarulo nearly crashed after his bike took off awkwardly on a jump. He kept his Kawasaki on two wheels, but it allowed Osborne to assume second. Just a few laps later Cianciarulo put in one final charge to catch and pass Osborne. Cianciarulo came to the inside on one of the track’s downhill sections but couldn’t get the bike slowed enough, causing slight contact between the two that sent Cianciarulo off the track momentarily. Out front Tomac finished strong to take his second moto win of the season by 8.9 seconds over Osborne, with Cianciarulo in third.