Bruised but not broken, Tomac ready for redemption in Anaheim

Bruised but not broken, Tomac   ready for redemption in Anaheim 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 29) - GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac is going into Saturday's Monster Energy AMA Supercross race at Angels Stadium of Anaheim a little bruised but more determined than ever.

After starting the season with three straight 250SX West wins -- including two at the "Big A" -- Tomac had about everything possible go wrong last weekend in Oakland. He had a nasty crash in the main event, mangled his bike to the point he couldn't continue, suffered a DNF and lost his points lead.

"I bruised my knee a little too but it's really not bothered me at all this week," Tomac said. "I actually had a really good test session on Tuesday and I think we're getting my bike better. We worked on chassis and suspension to get me more comfortable so I can get it working better on the track.

"The only thing now is that I'm the hunter instead of the hunted. It's fine; there's a ways to go."

Tomac, the defending West champion, is in third place in the West standings, 15 points behind leader Ken Roczen and four behind second-place Cole Seely.

"We've got some points to make up now," Tomac said. "It's like déjà vu from last year (in San Diego). It's actually kind of ridiculous how similar it is but the main thing is that I'm ok. This season isn't anywhere close to being over."

GEICO Honda's other 250 West rider, Zach Osborne, is expecting the Anaheim track to be slicker and faster than it was the first two times they visited the facility.

"The dirt has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the season," he said. "The big thing is that the Monster Trucks were there and it pounded the dirt down.

"It's going to be a lot more like the second race. Once the dirt gets to a certain point there's not much they can do to loosen it up."

Osborne has been battling a shoulder injury for part of the season, but he's still managed to establish a foothold of fourth place in the overall standings. He said he's feeling as healthy as he's been since the start of the season, and is looking to have a breakthrough night this weekend.

"This week has been pretty much a normal week of preparation for me," Osborne said. "Going into this race I'm as prepared as I was to start the season before I injured my shoulder. It has me pretty excited.

"So far my results haven't told the whole story of how my season has progressed, but hopefully this weekend I'll break out and get to where I want to be."

Practice for the third trip to Angels Stadium of Anaheim gets under way at 12:30 p.m. PST. Opening ceremonies, which will feature an appearance from GEICO Honda's retired rider Kevin Windham, start at 7 p.m. SPEED TV will broadcast the event live starting at 10:30 p.m. EST.


Dusty Brandel

President of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Inc. Worked with Mike Hollander since Tapsis, Compuserve, etc. and has posted to the website since the beginning. First Female photo-journalist to be given a garage and pit pass for the NASCAR garage, 1972 at Ontario Motor Speedway. One of first seven female writers, photographers given access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and pits in 1971. Past President of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, 1992-96, and first female editor of the 8-Ball publication for the Press Club

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Volume 2012, Issue 10, Posted 11:55 PM, 01.29.2013