RJ Hampshire scored the holeshot from Chase Sexton and Shane McElrath when the third round of the 250 East AMA Supercross Championship got underway on Saturday night in Atlanta.
McElrath and Sexton started tussling for position after a few laps and their battle allowed Hampshire a little breathing space. After the first few thrusts from McElrath, Sexton then stepped his pace up a gear to stretch away and close on to the tail of McElrath once again.
Jeremy Martin, Garrett Marchbanks and Jordon Smith were fourth, fifth and sixth with ten-minutes remaining.
Sexton finally made a move past Hampshire with eight-minutes left on the shot clock. Hampshire is well known for making hard passes and taking no prisoners, Sexton returned the favour with a very fair but forceful pass for the lead when Hampshire opened the door.
The leaders were now encountering a lot of lapped traffic and at this point of the race it was working somewhat in the favour of Sexton.
Jeremy Martin went down out of fourth place and was relegated back to tenth place by the time he was up and running again.
Sexton continued to pull away from Hampshire, the Husqvarna man then lost touch with Sexton and was getting pressured by McElrath in the latter stages of the race.
Hampshire held on for that second place though with McElrath finishing in third place at the flag.
Sexton the clear victor and extends his 250 SX East Championship lead to five-points over McElrath.
Eli Tomac arrived in Georgia off the back of a fairly dominant performance in Texas.
The Kawasaki rider started on the front foot overnight in Atlanta by recording the fastest lap in qualifying and then also won his Heat race ahead of the 450 Main.
Ken Roczen was second fastest in qualifying and had won the other Heat ahead of Jason Anderson and Justin Brayton.
The 450 Main looked likely to be shaping up as a Tomac versus Roczen showdown…
Roczen scored the holeshot aheead of Davalos and Friese while a slow-starting Tomac was in seventh place sandwiched between Wilson and Brayton.
Jason Anderson and Justin Barcia then both demoted Tomac further down the field over the first couple of laps. The move by Barcia seemed to light a fire under Tomac who then upped his aggression in response.
A lap later though Tomac got caught up with Baggett in a left-hander. The Kawasaki man made a move up the inside that Baggett was not expecting, the two got tangled up and both hit the deck, Tomac rejoining the race way down in 14th place.
As the race approached the half-way mark Roczen was nine-minutes clear of second placed Davalos who in turn had two-seconds on Justin Hill. Friese was fourth, Barcia fifth and Anderson sixth. Tomac was working his way back up the field and working on taking tenth spot from Justin Brayton.
Tomac got Brayton then pushed past Stewart, Friese and Plessinger to move up to seventh place behind Cooper Webb with four-minutes remaining. Both Webb and Tomac passed Justin Hill to move up to fourth and fifth respectively.
Justin Barcia had worked hard to force his way through the field during the middle part of the race and on the run to the flag had a three-second buffer over third placed Davalos. That second place somewhat of a triumph for Barcia.
Up front though it was Ken Roczen all on his lonesome. Taking the chequered flag 13-seconds ahead of Barcia, despite backing off considerably on the last two laps and just cruising home.
Webb and Tomac fought hard over fourth place all the way to the flag but it was the Kawasaki man that won that battle to score 19-points that sees Tomac tied with Roczen at the head of the points table ahead of Monster Energy AMA Supercross Round Ten at Daytona Beach next weekend.
Chad Reed scored a 15th place finish to add eight-points to his season tally which now stands at 39-points, and ranks him 17th in the standings.
The win for Roczen made it a double for Honda in Atlanta as Sexton had won the earlier 250 SX East Main.
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