250 Words: San DiegoSunday, February 12, 2012 | 12:50 PM
We knew a whole new series was about to start, but we were thinking it would be next week! In one bone-jarring moment Eli Tomac went from having the championship in hand to losing 24 points and the West Region championship lead to Dean Wilson in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. The GEICO Honda rider was a victim of a self-inflicted solo crash in the whoops, which were more beefy than they were in the first five weeks of the series as he built his points lead. It was a reminder once again of Yogi Berra's immortal advice, “It ain't over until it's over.” Tomac's crashed snapped a three-race winning streak and completely changed the storyline here, as even the rider himself noted in the GEICO team's PR:
"We've made (the championship chase) interesting, which is something we didn't want to do, but we've got plenty of time to recover and rest now so that's what we'll do. We'll reload and get ready for the last three races. I'm not going to change anything I've been doing because it's been a great season so far. We just had some unfortunate luck tonight."
Photo: Simon Cudby
It also pretty much changed the question of whether or not Tomac would rest on his points lead or jump up to a 450 for the next few weeks while the Lites West goes on hiatus—he now has work to do here regardless of whether he rides the 450 or not. As for Wilson, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider is now in the driver's seat for this championship, albeit with just two points to spare. Having lost the East last year to Tomac's teammate Justin Barcia, the defending Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Champion can avenge himself here, but he's going to have to wait until April to move forward. He's got the momentum now, but things could be much different by then.
One thing is for certain: both Eli and Dean-O can thank the whoops for their respective sudden change of fortunes.
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Forty years ago, Team Honda arrived on the American motocross circuit with a brand new motorcycle: the game-changing Elsinore CR250. Page 170.