Budd’s Creek MX
MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (July 12) — Hours before the start of the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National on Saturday at Budds Creek Motocross, GEICO Honda 450 rider Eli Tomac wasn’t sure he’d be able to race.
Beset with nagging back issues, Tomac decided to make a go of it and he raced right to the podium.
Tomac charged from a slow start in the second moto to finish third and grab third place overall for his third consecutive podium finish.
“Honestly, at the start of the day I didn’t know if I was going to be racing,” Tomac said. “To turn it into a podium is awesome.”
Tomac returned to the GEICO Honda team three races ago and has contended for victory each week. Not even pain in his back could slow him down.
“The adrenaline and the racing made me not think about it,” Tomac said.
Tomac started the day with a fourth-place finish in the first moto, holding down the position for 15 of the race’s 17 laps. In the second moto, he didn’t get a good start and was 11th after the first lap, but by the end of the race Tomac had one of the fastest motorcycles. He methodically picked his way through the field and even closed on second place in the latter stages.
“It was fun,” Tomac said. “I got in a good flow and had some good lines out there. Honestly, it was a really tough track to pass on. A lot of the lines drifted into each other, so when you tried to pass, the other guy would kinda cut you off.
“To make a pass, you had to be really aggressive and hope for the guy to make a little mistake, too.”
Since Tomac isn’t racing for motocross points, he could be aggressive.
“You can, so I don’t really have much to lose, and honestly I don’t,” Tomac said. “I’m just gunning for podiums.”
Teammate Christian Craig doesn’t have goals as lofty as Tomac yet, though this was only his second race on the 450 bike. The Maryland heat and humidity got to Craig in the first moto, as he faded to 15th place.
“I’m just glad it’s over, actually,” Craig said. “I haven’t been training too hard because I do have a real job, so I knew it was going to be a tough one when I was looking at the weather this weekend. It was really humid.
“I qualified really good and put myself in a good spot in the first moto but I just died. It was tough to hang on, and I just rode it out. I was pretty worn out after that, and I didn’t know if I was going to race in the second moto because I was so depleted.”
But Craig toughed it out.
“I went out there and just rode around,” Craig said. “I ended up doing better than my first moto.”
Craig finished 14th in the second moto and was 14th overall, matching his finish at RedBud last weekend.
Justin Bogle led the GEICO Honda 250cc motocross team with a pair of top-five finishes in the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National on Saturday at Budds Creek Motocross.
Bogle finished sixth overall in what was a bit of a disappointment for the 250 Supercross champion in the East Series.
“I got tight,” Bogle said. “It wasn’t my best display of riding today.”
Teammates Matt Bisceglia and Zach Bell persevered through difficult days to finish 15th and 16th overall, respectively.
The day started well for Bogle, as he was fast in practice and earned the holeshot in the first moto.
“I started off the day good in practice and felt good,” Bogle said. “For me, practice usually doesn’t go that well, so it was a good start to the day and a great start to the first moto with the holeshot. We led for a couple of laps and ran up front for most of the time.”
Bogle ended up fourth and was still in contention for an overall podium finish, but he struggled in the second moto.
“Just a really tough moto for me,” Bogle said. “I didn’t get the greatest start and got shuffled back the first couple of laps. I felt strong and felt good all the way through the moto. I was catching guys at the end, but I needed to make it happen a little sooner.”
Bisceglia crashed in the first moto, damaging his 250 bike, but he recovered to finish that race.
“I over-jumped the little tabletop in the middle and landed on a kicker,” Bisceglia said. “It sent me end over end pretty hard and knocked the sweat into the inside of my lens on my goggles. It bent my bike and my levers up a little bit, and we had to get everything straightened out.”
He ended up 26th but had a much better race in the second moto and was pleased with his progress.
“For how bad I spun off the gate and where I was at, I felt like I came out decent,” Bisceglia said. “I made a bunch of passes on the first couple laps and was holding my own. It was a good comeback; I just need to be a little bit stronger the last 10 minutes of the race.”
Bell made a good start in the first moto, crossing the line 10th on the first lap, but brake issues caused him to slip back to 17th.
“My back brakes went out on the first lap, so the first moto didn’t go as planned,” Bell said. “I ended up falling. I was running in the top 10, trying to make my way back up.”
His start wasn’t as good in the second moto, but Bell began slicing his way through the field before an error caused him to fall back to 15th at the checkered flag.
“I was picking people off and ended up sliding out again,” Bell said. “I tried to make a late charge but the guys were too far ahead. Overall, I’m happy and I’m excited for next weekend.”