Eli Tomac interview - Top Yank
Posted on September 13, 2021
Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac is very much one of the greatest riders to ever race the AMA championships, indoors or outdoors. With an AMA 250 motocross championship, an AMA 450 supercross championship and three AMA 450 motocross championships he belongs up there with many of the legends the sport has seen in USA.
Despite not winning a title in 2021, he is still, the fastest American racer, and while he sat and watched Cooper Webb dominate the indoor title and Dylan Ferrandis the outdoor title, you just know that Tomac still has some winning in his future.
He still wants to win a Chamberlain Trophy at the MXoN, and more supercross and motocross championships and while he leaves Kawasaki to head over to Monster Energy Yamaha, that goal of being the best remains as his main motivation.
The World media caught up with the AMA legend and he gave us some good information on what makes him tick.
MXlarge: It was close for the win last weekend, but are you satisfied with how it ended?
Tomac: It was close, and it was, like disheartening from moto one, because I had a good pace going. I felt like I could catch those guys, but I missed my main line and washed out my front end and crashed. I hurt my thumb and that is why I was rather mediocre once I got going. I was able to tape it for the second moto and got some strength back in. I rode good in moto two and won it, but once again Dylan rode strong in those two motos.
Mxlarge: Did you know you hadn’t won it after the second moto?
Tomac: I was watching it and I was like marking Craig and I believe Anstie was there and then I saw the red plate and he was coming, so I knew my chances were not good. I was pumped with about five minutes to go, but you know, Dylan came through and that was it. You can only control what you have for yourself.
MXlarge: Obviously a big day as it was your last day with Kawasaki. How excited are you for the future?
Tomac: Yes, and I can’t say where I am going or what my future is, but today, I am pretty emotional, up and down that way and we had so much success with Kawasaki with Brian and my mechanic and that is hard to swallow and you kind of become family. We worked totally on good terms throughout this motocross season, and it was tough leaving the track, but life goes on and that is what you can do.
MXlarge: Going back to such a long career with Kawasaki, can you mention why you left and didn’t stay with them for the rest of your career?
Tomac: No, I can’t, just out of respect for my relationship with Kawasaki. It was just a decision I made on my own and we stopped on good terms, so out of respect for that, I can’t mention why I left.
MXlarge: What was the highlight with Kawasaki?
Tomac: The fight for the Monster Energy Supercross title. Obviously also the 450-motocross title was first and that is also huge, but that supercross title was elusive for us for some time and that is one I will look back on, and also during the Covid thing. We had a lot going on in 2020. I mean, 2020 is a special year for me.
MXlarge: Hangtown usually starts the season or is at the front of the season. How was the track today compared to before?
Tomac: It started out harder base and all day it was hard base and then it had good character at the end of the day, but it was one of the hard packs we have ridden and that is fine, because we don’t need all of them perfectly prepped and perfect conditions. I did enjoy hard pack, although it did bite me, but overall, it was hot and comparing it to end of May, it felt the same, all the fields around were still brown, so it wasn’t so different for me.
MXlarge: You also stop with your mechanic, what does that relationship mean to you over the 11 years you have had?
Tomac: It will be strange not working with him. You are family and you show up to the race and you are a team and man, we had a long-standing relationship, 11 years and I could trust the bike every weekend, no worrying what the bike was doing, and he had a good track record that way. It is tough to think about not having him there.
MXLarge: You lost both your titles, outdoors and indoors, and some riders might walk away, what keeps you motivated to keep coming back?
Tomac: For me, I still have the itch for chasing chequered flags and being on the start line. I am not checked out yet, I still like to do it, and I still enjoy trying to win races and be the best guy.