GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac regains Lites West lead in Seattle

SEATTLE (April 21) – GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac finished third Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, but more importantly regained the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites West points lead in the process.

"You can easily say it was one of the wildest races of my life," Tomac said. "I didn't like that black number plate on my bike, and I'm glad I'll have the red one back on it next week."

After eventual winner Ryan Sipes took the lead off of the first corner, Tomac and Dean Wilson, who went into the night with the points lead, started a pitched, bar-banging battle for second place.

"I had a great start," Tomac said. "My mechanic Brian Kranz got the gate going good. Wilson ended up getting by me at the finish line (on the first lap). (The pass) was a little bit rough because I ended up in the hay bales a little and almost off the track."

Tomac stalked Wilson a little while longer and made another move to get around and back into second.

"I got around him on another triple," Tomac said. "He pushed me off the track on the next corner. I got back on and thought, 'If you want to play that way, I'll play.'"

Tomac and Wilson would make contact one final time, this time, however, it was Tomac who held his ground and came out the better in the exchange.

"I got him back in the same corner he got me the first time," Tomac said. "That time, he didn't let off. So if you don't let off, you are probably going to crash – he did and I didn’t."

Wilson went down in a heap as Tomac sped off with a bent shifter on his bike. Wilson got back up to eventually finish seventh as Tomac dropped to third as he nursed his wounded GEICO Honda home to his fifth podium finish of the season.

"My shift lever was basically broken and I was stuck in third gear," said Tomac, who leaves Seattle with a four point edge over Wilson. "It was nuts. It felt like an automatic transmission car out there. It was amazing the thing held up. If the race was five laps longer, I would have finished 20th."

GEICO Honda's other Lites West rider, Wil Hahn, finished fifth in his return to the Lites ranks following a hip injury. He advanced as far as third, but admitted that he started playing too many games during the latter stages of the race and it hurt him.

"I had a mediocre start, but made a lot of passes really quick," Hahn said. "I got into a good position behind Eli but started playing cat-and-mouse. It should have run my lines and raced my moto, but I let it bother me, rode tight and went back to fifth."

Up next for the GEICO Honda team is the next-to-last race of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season on April 28 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.