WASHOUGAL, Wash. (July 26) — GEICO Honda star Eli Tomac extended his streak of overall podium finishes to five races Saturday with a runner-up result at Washougal MX Park. Tomac was second to winner Ryan Dungey in both motos.
“Ol’ Dungey just had a little bit extra on me today,” Tomac said. “Good for him, but of course after going 1-1 last week in Millville (Minn.) we wanted to be on the top step again. I’m sure not complaining about another podium finish, especially here at Washougal because this track is a real test.”
Tomac turned in a spectacular ride in Moto 1 after a slow start left him in 16th place. He was up to 10th just a single lap later and began picking off his rivals one by one from there. Unfortunately for the Cortez, Colo., native, by the time he passed Ken Roczen for second he simply ran out of laps to reel in Dungey.
In Moto 2, Tomac got a much better launch and slotted into second place almost right away. He and Dungey gapped the field from there, and although Tomac closed up and looked ready to challenge for the lead at one point, a slight bobble caused him to drop back a few more seconds. He just rode it out from there.
“I probably used up a little extra energy in the first moto trying to catch up,” Tomac said. “The bike just spun like crazy at the start and I was way back by the first turn. It’s hard to pass here and I had to get after it to get that second-place finish.
“I almost did have a chance on Dungey in Moto 2 but I slid out a little in this one section with probably like 10 minutes to go and he pulled away. That was my last real chance to challenge him. Still, to put this GEICO Honda on the podium in the five outdoor races I’ve run is really cool. I just wish I hadn’t missed the start of the season.”
Teammate Christian Craig of Plymouth, Minn., had his best finish of the MX season, finishing 10th and 12th in the two motos for an overall ranking of 10th place.
“That was the goal for the weekend, to finish in the top 10, so I’m really happy,” said Craig, who joined the team four races ago. “Both motos were kind of the same for me. The field sort of shook out after the first lap and everyone just kind of rode it out from that point. There weren’t many places to pass, and as the day went along the ruts got even deeper and that made it even tougher.
“I can’t thank GEICO, Honda, Muscle Milk, Alias, and Factory Connection enough for giving me this chance. I’m having so much fun. I was retired for a little while but this sport is in my blood, and to be able to ride equipment like this is so rewarding. I’m having the time of my life right now.”
Reigning 250SX East champion Justin Bogle continued his attack on the Motocross front-runners with an overall fifth-place finish at Saturday’s Washougal National, highlighted by a third-place result in Moto 2.
“I came in here pretty wounded from a hard get-off last weekend and I wasn’t able to ride at all during the week, so to climb the podium at the end of the day is actually a pretty good result for me,” Bogle said. “My back and side are still limiting what I can do, so I’m really happy we have a week off before the next race.”
Bogle got as high as sixth place in Moto 1 but a mid-race crash set him back a few positions before he rallied to finish in seventh place. He then led for nine laps in Moto 2 before another fall allowed two riders past him.
“Two motos, two get-offs, that can’t happen if I want to stay up front, especially when you’re already banged up,” said Bogle, of Cushing, Okla. “I’ll continue to work with my trainer and try to get back to 100 percent before Unadilla.”
Stablemates Zach Bell, who posted 10th- and 11th-place finishes for 11th overall, and Matt Bisceglia (13th and 12th for 13th overall) also represented the vaunted GEICO Honda team with respectable rides on a hotter-than-average day in the Great Northwest.
“This was a pretty solid day for me,” said Bell, who hails from Cairo, Ga. “I’m trying to improve every race, every moto. The main goal coming into Washougal was to put myself in the mix with the top-level guys and I was able to do that for five or six laps, so that was good. There’s still more I want to do.
“Staying on the bike and keeping my body as injury-free as possible remains a top priority for me. I need to be in these races to have a chance.”
Bisceglia, a native of nearby Tualatin, Ore., was hoping to have a breakout race at the track he competed at as a boy but things just didn’t go his way.
“I’m in a slump,” Bisceglia said. “There’s no way around it. I’m in a slump and I don’t know why. I’m riding a lot during the week, my fitness is there, but I just can’t get results. This happened to me before at the amateur level and I know it’ll end at some point. I also know the only thing you can do is keep after it.
“We have a weekend off before heading across the country to Unadilla. Maybe things will start to fall into place there. I know I need to be patient, but it’s hard because as a rider all you want to do is win.”
The tour takes a weekend off before heading to the Unadilla National, Aug. 9, in New Berlin, N.Y.