2013 Motocross of Nations
GEICO Motorcycle Honda rider Eli Tomac overcame a scary wreck in his first race at the FIM Motocross of Nations in Teutschenthal, Germany, on Sunday to rebound for a podium finish in his second race and help Team USA to a second-place overall finish at the annual international event.
Tomac rode in the MX2 class for the U.S. team and was paired with the MX1 group in the first race of the day, where he had a wild race.
He had a rough start and was mired deep in the pack as far back as 17th. In a style that became his trademark during the recently completed motocross season, Tomac went to work and charged his way through the pack.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda) says: “I didn’t get a good start in the first moto. As I spun off the line, I think my dirt was a little dry; I thought it was going to work but it didn’t. I went through the pack a little bit and was in third place at one point before I made a really big mistake that sent me flying over the bars.”
Flying over the bars is an understatement. The bike came out from under Tomac while going over a big jump and it was a long way down.
Eli Tomac says: “I was flying through the air without my motorcycle, which was a little scary. But I was lucky to get up, be healthy, get back on the bike, and finish it out.”
Tomac rallied to finish the race in 16th, and that would be the score Team USA dropped from its total.
In the second race, it was the MX2 racers paired with the Open class, which reunited Tomac with former GEICO Honda teammate Justin Barcia.
Tomac got off to a much stronger start, which set up an all-too-familiar duel with Germany’s Ken Roczen, who finished second to Tomac during the motocross season.
Eli Tomac says: “In the second moto I had a big battle with Roczen. He got the start, and to me whoever got the start was going to win because we were so close with a big battle all the way through. I did get shuffled back a few times with lappers, which was what hurt me the most, and the fans were really behind him, but he rode a great race.”
Tomac finished second in that moto with Barcia coming in fourth. Team USA was knocked off the top spot in the podium in the final race of the day. Ryan Dungey finished seventh in that race, and it was Barcia’s turn to suffer bad luck at the start of the moto. Barcia got sucked into a pileup in the first corner and it took a while to get back going again. Barcia rallied to finish 11th, but the total was three points behind Belgium, which won the team title.
Eli Tomac says: “It’s been a really cool experience. Although we are disappointed not to win, hopefully I can come back and we know we’ve got to put together all five motos for the result.”
Up next for Tomac is the Oct. 19 Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.