"The best ride of my career"
Eli Tomac was a beast on Saturday at High Point. The kid went 2-1 for his second overall win of the year, but it wasn't the win that made the statement. It was how he did it. Eli showed blazing speed and unrelenting fitness but, more importantly, the desire of a man that thinks this 2012 250 AMA Motocross Championship is his.
In moto one, he rounded turn-one around tenth, and with the man that some consider the fastest in the class—Blake Baggett—on his rear wheel for most of the race, Eli pushed his way forward to finish a very close second to his GEICO/Honda teammate Justin Barcia. With Baggett also considered the man with the fitness, it had to be a huge confidence boost for Eli to keep him at bay the whole moto.
While moto one was a huge statement about Eli's speed and fitness, it was in moto two that he showed an intensity that may change the course of this Championship. Eli started moto two around seventh, but this time, he had Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia and Blake Baggett all ahead of him at the front of the pack. The #17 quickly went to work and, by the halfway point, was in the mix battling with Baggett and Barcia for second.
Late in the race—with Roczen nine seconds ahead—Baggett made a few mistakes and fell back. After a long battle with the #20, Eli made a pass stick for second. At that point, it looked like Eli was going to go 2-2 and finish second overall to Barcia's 1-3, but then an orange bike surprisingly appeared on the horizon.
Roczen—with a nine-second lead at the time—slid out and lost six of the nine seconds with two laps to go. Eli saw that and pounced on the German. By the white flag, he was on Roczen’s rear wheel. The scene reminded me of footage of tornados heading toward trailer parks. Watching, you just know that the tornado is an unstoppable force and the double-wide has no chance. Eli was the tornado; Roczen had no shot.
After what was easily the ride of his career, Eli talked with Jason Weigandt for this week’s RacerX Monday Conversation. In the interview, Eli agrees saying, "It was definitely the best ride of my career." Click here to read "Monday Conversation: Eli Tomac".