SEATTLE – The nine weeks when the AMA tour turned east were a Godsend for GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac, who had an opportunity to heal up and prepare to make a run at his first Supercross Lites West series title starting Saturday at CenturyLink Field.Tomac suffered a nasty spill in the last West race at San Diego back in February, injuring his elbow and losing his series points lead in the process. Tomac said he's eager to wipe the memories of San Diego off the board and start a three-race duel with Dean Wilson for the title.
"Seattle should be a good track for me," Tomac said. "I like the ruts and the soft dirt. It should be a technical race, so it should be good for me.
"I'm going into this race more fired up than ever. Last year, I was only close to the points lead at the very last race of the season. Now, I've got three races to make my own destiny."
Wilson leads Tomac, who won three races in a row before the San Diego spill, by just two points.
"I'm 100 percent on the track right now," Tomac said. "I don’t have to worry about anything limiting me. I was off the bike for like four weeks, and was doing a lot of physical therapy with my elbow. It wasn't that bad of a break at all. They didn't even put a cast on it; they just let her heal up."
Also making a return to Lites West action is rider Wil Hahn, who fractured his hip while training back in January. He should be able to transition back to the 250cc smoothly after riding a 450cc bike for Muscle Milk Honda the last few weeks.
"I can't wait," Hahn said. "Riding the 450 really helped me a lot. I've been training on my 250 for the last couple of days and have just loved it. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and doing some damage.
"I've raced in Seattle in all kinds of weather and all kinds of conditions, so I'm ready for anything the track can throw at me."
GEICO Honda's Supercross rider, Kevin Windham, is still rehabbing shoulder and wrist injuries suffered two races ago in Houston. While Windham is holding out hope of racing before the Supercross season is out, the veteran is doubtful to even make the trip to the Northwest this weekend.
Practice for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross race at CenturyLink Field begins at 12:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday with opening ceremonies scheduled for 7 p.m. SPEED will broadcast the race live starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday night.