Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac renew supercross battle at Angel Stadium

Supercross series returns to Anaheim, where Roczen won season opener Jan. 3; Tomac won in Phoenix last week

Supercross returns to Angel Stadium on Saturday night with the third of 17 events on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series schedule.

Three of the season's first five races take place in Anaheim. Ken Roczen won the season-opening event there on Jan. 3, leading all 20 laps of the main event on his Suzuki, and Eli Tomac won last weekend at Chase Field in Phoenix after close racing with Roczen, who finished second.

"One of the best battles I've ever had," said Tomac, who rides a Honda. "We went back and forth [for the lead] three or four times. We were really clean and respected each other and then I got him."

Roczen maintained the early season lead in the championship standings, nine points ahead of KTM rider Ryan Dungey, who's trying to win his second title. Jason Anderson is third, 10 points behind Roczen, and Trey Canard is 14 points back in fourth.

"It's all about being consistent," Roczen said after the Phoenix race. "I need to focus on getting good starts, not crashing, and we're going to try and get another win."

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross. The sport uses tons of dirt to transform stadium fields into curvy courses filled with hills of varying heights that send the riders into multiple jumps as they race around the track — jumps that often lead to crashes.

Dungey won the series title in 2010 and then Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto dominated the sport, winning the championship the next four years. But Villopoto is racing overseas this year, making this season's supercross title fight a wide-open affair for the other riders.

Despite his win in Phoenix, Tomac is seventh in the standings, because he finished 20th in the 22-rider field in the season opener after a pair of crashes.

"I had my one bad race in the first round, I just can't have any more," Tomac said, adding that his Phoenix victory was "the best way to rebound."

After next week's race in Oakland, supercross makes its third and final stop at Angel Stadium on Jan. 31.

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