It’s more than two years since Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac failed to register points in a moto. That figure confirms, if we needed any confirmation, that Tomac is not only the fastest motocross rider plying his trade in the US, but is also the most consistently fast motocrosser in the US.
But a tough Independence Day weekend at RedBud showed all good things must come to an end.
After qualifying with the second fastest lap time (2:02.4), Tomac lined up for Moto 1 in front of the patriotic Michigan fans ready for a thrilling day of racing.
As the gate dropped, Tomac came off the line in third position. He wasted no time working his way out front into clean air and quickly raced into the lead. The race looked to be wrapped up with more than a 10 second lead with approximately two laps to go when Tomac was forced to pull off resulting in a DNF. It was the end of an incredible run, but more on that later.
With an abysmal gate pick from the first moto DNF, Tomac found himself buried behind a bunch of riders in the first turn.
Tomac was determined to fight his way to the front and quickly clicked off fast lap times while putting in some ass-puckering passes to work his way into the top 10. A minor error put a dent in his charge as he was forced to make a stop in the mechanics area for a few adjustments – this dropped Tomac back six places. He returned to the track and continued to battle for as many championship points as possible, securing ninth for 15th overall.
“Obviously today didn’t go the way we hoped,” said Tomac. “It’s unfortunate because I felt really good on the bike in Moto 1 and to come away with no points was tough. Moto 2 was frustrating as well but I focused on salvaging any points I could. We’ll take advantage of the week off and come back strong and ready to get back to our winning ways.”
Zero points in the first moto proved costly for Tomac. He has now lost the championship lead for the first time this year and failing to score points in moto one also brought an end to a remarkable run of 60 points-scoring motos that stretched back to the start of 2016 at Hangtown – that’s 2 years, 1 month, 17 days or 778 days. The defending champion and the rest of the Monster Energy team will need to regroup and come back fighting.
The 2018 AMA Pro Motocross Championship takes one week off and returns for Round 8 on July 21 in Millville, Minnesota for the Spring Creek National.