Reigning Monster Energy Supercross champion Eli Tomac returned to his winning ways last night in Houston.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki main man rebounded strong after a difficult first round after openly admitted that he was a little worried by Saturday’s performance.
“To be honest I was stressing out,” confessed the Monster Kawasaki man. The champ found himself in a deep points hole after Saturday’s action: “Sixteen points is horrible after round one, right? Like that is a terrible hole to be in. I was pulling my hair out. I was even pulling my hair all day today, in practice I was still a little bit behind. Being straight up I was pulling my hair and tonight was so huge for us and the start was so huge for us. We needed that.”
Tomac grabbed a much better start in the main event this time around, he followed his Kawasaki team-mate Adam Cianciarulo and rookie sensation Chase Sexton early on. The two young riders set a blistering fast pace during the opening stages of the race,.
“The opening laps were crazy fast. Chase was going really fast and Adam was going really fast. I just thought it was going to be insane for 29 laps. They both made mistakes, but that pace was pretty wild early on.”
The main event was an action-packed affair, but Tomac was cleverly able to steer away from most of the drama. “I was aware of the guys behind me and the stuff up front. It was wild to see two crashes in the same spot! I think there must have been a little rut or edge hiding under there that bit both Chase and Adam. So yeah, that was a gift.
“After that it was all about maintenance and maintaining the lead. I did what I could. Zach was coming on strong. I was kind of pacing myself up until the halfway point and then I tried to go harder. I knew I had to get going, he was catching me. But then he made a mistake too. It was one of those nights. Clean air was huge tonight in that way.”
With Tomac being joined on the box by Dylan Ferrandis and Justin Brayton we saw a completely new podium roster compared to the opening round. This is surely a sign of how deeply talented the 450 field is this season.
Tomac agrees that this might make things harder for him this year, “It’s going to be hard to come through the field this year, really hard. Everyone is getting a little bit faster and everyone is getting a little bit closer to each other.
“If you just look at the times in practice, everyone is on the same second. If you look down the list there are like 12 guys on the same second. In the past that would have maybe been two or three guys who were on the next level. As we saw tonight it was a whole different podium.”