Wortham, Texas. Second round of the AMA Outdoor Motocross Championship at the Freestone facility officially served notice that rookie Eli Tomac’s historical win at the season opener in Hangtown was no fluke.
Despite the famously unrelenting Texas heat and humidity took its toll, Tomac served notice he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Remarkably, the number 243 privateer Honda holeshot both 250cc motos-ahead of a cadre of factory machines-and once again, as he’d done in Sacramento, put on a riding display of awe-inspiring natural talent far beyond his 17 years.
The first half of the moto Tomac charged to a commanding lead using some very creative lines, his body language and riding form exuding unbridled confidence.
But as anyone who’s ridden in Texas knows, the heat takes its toll and the humidity thins out the air and has an athlete gasping for oxygen. A little past the mid-point young Eli started to make bobbles as his body succumbed to the elements.
Pro Circuit Kawasaki mounted Christoff Pourcel, the Frenchman, eventually ran the youngster down for the win, relegating Tomac to a highly respectable second.
The second moto saw another Tomac holeshot against the factory machines and, once again, number 243 moved out front, thoroughly in command. Unfortunately the Texas heat had other ideas.
The elements pounded and Tomac gradually fell back to 11th, garnering a 6th overall for the day and dropping him to second in the championship, just 9 points behind title defender Pourcel.
“The heat took it’s toll on the guys today,” team co-owner Jeff Majkrzak. “Everyone struggled with it. I don’t know how you can prepare for conditions like they encountered out there. Going all out for 30-plus minutes in two different heats is tough, no matter how fit you may be.”
Eli Tomac’s emergence onto the national scene is reminiscent of Mark Barnett’s blasting onto the moto scene in the late 70s. He came out of nowhere to establish himself among the rank and file, consistently sticking his triple digit, woefully privateer Suzuki in the midst of the factory stars.
The same with Darrell Schultz, riding a Maico in the open class nationals in the 70s, or Tony Distenfano, a few years earlier when he almost won the 250cc National Championship all on his own. All of these riders started out just like Tomac. And just like that, the rider’s lives are never the same.
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (1-5)
2. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (6-1)
3. Dean Wilson, Canada, Kawasaki (3-3)
4. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (8-2)
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (4-7)
6. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (2-11)
7. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (9-6)
8. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (5-12)
9. Max Anstie, England, Yamaha (15-4)
10. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (10-8)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 86
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 77
3. Dean Wilson, Canada, Kawasaki, 69
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 68
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 61
6. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 58
7. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 56
8. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 54
9. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 50
10. Max Anstie, England, Yamaha, 40