Muddy Creek MX
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (June 28) — After missing the first four races of the motocross season, GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac came back in style, snatching third-place finishes in both 450 motos during the Tennessee National at Muddy Creek Raceway.
“It was a great start for me in my return to the motocross circuit,” Tomac said. “We started off the day well with a first-place qualifying effort, which gave me a good spot on the start. In fact, I got the holeshot in the first moto and led for about 15 minutes but got passed by the two KTM riders at the end.
“I had another solid start in the second moto and ended up in the top five at the start. I worked my way up to third and was a little bit closer to the KTM guys than I was in the first moto. That team just had a super-strong race. I did what I could in both motos, but I honestly couldn’t ask for more in my first race back.”
Teammate Justin Bogle was looking to rebound after his last 250 race didn’t go as well. He secured a third-place overall finish in Blountville after capturing a solid fourth in the first moto and a second-place finish in the second moto.
“I had a tough week at home, so I came into this event not in the best position,” Bogle said. “To get up on the podium this week was a good step in the right direction but I’m still hungry for more. The next goal is definitely getting a moto win and going from there. We’re making progress and getting closer.”
Bogle, the 2014 250SX East champion, knows that in order to continue his quest to capture a moto win and eventually the championship he needs to remain as healthy as possible.
“I’m feeling better and fitness is good,” Bogle said. “That’s my strong point right now I think. Today was one of the most humid races we will have this season. The heat is not an issue; it’s the humidity. If we could make it through the intense humidity we had today, we should be pretty good for the rest of the season. I definitely felt good fitness-wise today.”
However, fellow 250 rider Zach Bell’s day didn’t go quite as initially expected when an early qualifying crash hindered his performance during both motos. After having to pull in early during the first moto, scoring a 38th-place finish, Bell rebounded to 12th in the second moto and 16th overall.
“The day started off good for us,” Bell said. “In the first qualifying session I was second-fastest, but in the second session I crashed and hurt my shoulder pretty badly. I still went out in the first moto and was running in the top 10 for a while, but it was so bad to hang on to with my shoulder that I decided to pull off and just call it so I wouldn’t hurt myself more.
“In the second moto I had to start out on the outside and almost got the holeshot. I was running in the top five for almost 20 minutes, but I started getting tired with my shoulder injury. It was getting hard to hang on to again, so I let a few people get by me so I could just finish the race.”
The next stop for the GEICO Honda MX riders is the RedBud National, next Saturday, in Buchanan, Mich.