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Mar 17, 2013 - 06:25 PM
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Gray Quick In Qualifying To Start Second At Gatornationals
Posted by: newsla on Mar 17, 2013 - 06:18 PM
Gray Quick In Qualifying To Start Second At Gatornationals

GEICO Honda rider Wil Hahn extended his lead in the 250SX East standings with a hard-fought third-place finish Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. Teammate Eli Tomac rounded out his four-race stint on a 450 with a ninth-place result, while Zach Bell came home in 13th in the 250 class.


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After a less-than-perfect start, Hahn found himself shuffled as far back as 12th place in the 15-lap Main event. From there he methodically worked his way through the pack, ultimately earning his fifth podium result in five starts this season.

"Man, it was tough tonight," said Hahn, a two-time winner this year. "There were people flying around everywhere and I was tight and cautious all the way around. That's just not me. I'm kind of disappointed with the way I raced tonight, to be honest.

"I've got to find a way to get happy and focus on the positives. I'm coming out of here with the points lead still so the red plate in staying on the GEICO Honda where it belongs. I'm going to put my head down this week before Toronto and just refocus. I want to come out of there with a win. I want to have that feeling again."

Hahn entered the night five points ahead of Dean Wilson and 14 up on good friend Marvin Musquin. By the time the dust settled, he was nine markers ahead of Musquin, who won his second race in a row, and 20 up on Blake Wharton, who finished fifth. Wilson was injured in his heat race and transported to a local hospital. He did not compete in the Main event and is now 25 back of Hahn in fourth place.

A huge pile-up at the start of the 450 race almost claimed Tomac but he managed to stay up right and rode fairly well for throughout the Main event.

"My heat race was not so great so I ended up with the 14th gate pick for the Main," Tomac said. "Then there was that big mess on the first turn and I had to get around all of that. I still rode pretty well and got up to about sixth place at one point. Then I messed up and tried to change my line by the start/finish line and had a little tip-over. That cost me a few spots and from that point I just rode it in from there.

"I know I can do a lot better on the 450. Confidence-wise I feel like I'm going to be really strong when I get back on the 250. I'm ready for that to happen, for sure. This time I've had on the 450 has been a real learning experience and it will only help me when I make the move full-time in 2014."

Battling a stomach virus that limited his preparation for this race, a tired Bell needed a win in the Last Chance Qualifier just to make the Main event. He had a decent start but lacked the energy to stay with the front pack and eventually slipped back to 13th.

"Got the LCQ win, so that was good, especially after a pretty lousy practice and Heat race," Bell said. "I really thought I could contend for the podium. The Main started well but I had a little bobble and went back to dead last. It was good just to get back to where I finished.

"I couldn't really push when I needed to because I felt like I would throw up if I did. (The illness) really affected me. My energy wasn't there and I wasn't really there either."

The Monster Energy Supercross tour heads to the Canada for next Saturday's stop at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

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