After months of saying he was signed only to race Monster Energy Supercross in 2023, today Yamaha has confirmed Eli Tomac will extend his deal and in fact compete in both the AMA Pro Motocross Championship and the inaugural three SuperMotocross World Championship rounds that follow. This adds so much more drama to the rest of this racing season, as Pro Motocross could potentially host yet another showdown between Tomac and Chase Sexton, plus 2021 450MX Champion Dylan Ferrandis, and a tangle with two-time 250MX Champion Jett Lawrence, who will enter the 450 division outdoors. Plus, Tomac's inclusion into the big-money SuperMotocross World Championship gives him a chance to make even more history.
Tomac adding to more races to his long run, which started in 2010 as a pro (a race he won!) and moved to the 450 class in 2014 is a testament to his durability, big-picture thinking, and long-range training plans via his father, mountain bike legend John Tomac. Eli has been able to avoid big injuries for most of his career, missing just two races since 2016. On the mental side, John Tomac has always trained Eli with an eye on preventing burnout, even keeping him off the bike at times as a youth to make sure he would peak when it mattered.
"I think it all comes down to just if you're not burned out, mentally," said Eli Tomac Monday night on the PulpMX Show.
It's at that point that Eli also revealed he'd probably be racing beyond Monster Energy Supercross this year.
Last week, after he earned his 48th career 450SX main event win (which tied him with Ricky Carmichael for third-most on the all-time wins list), Tomac called into Steve Matthes’ PulpMX Show and said the following:
“I'll say right now there's maybe a 50/50 chance. The odds are getting better. At the start of the season I would say I was 98, 99 [percent] done, but the odds are getting better now.”
This afternoon, Yamaha has confirmed the Colorado native will look to defend his #1 plate in Pro Motocross and will look to become the first ever SuperMotocross World Champion later this fall in the playoff-round two events followed by the finale. Today’s seventh round of (of 17 rounds) is almost the halfway point of the supercross season.
Everyone was wondering—and hoping—what it would look like if we might see Tomac vs Jett Lawrence in the premier class before the #3 retired. The Australian was already slated to compete on a Honda HRC CRF450R in Pro Motocross before supercross started, but the question mark was on Tomac. Well, mark your calendar for May 27 and the Fox Raceway National because that’s when we will get ET3 vs the #18 for the first time in an AMA 450 race. And remember those battles Chase Sexton had with Tomac last summer? We are still a few months away but add in 2021 450 Class Champion Dylan Ferrandis and others as well and we might be in for quite the championship battle.
Locked 🔒 in! @elitomac is confirmed for the full SX, MX, and SMX championships in 2023 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bE08Go7phQ— Star Racing Yamaha (@StarRacingYam) February 25, 2023
Yamaha confirmed the news just ahead of today's Race Day Live qualifying broadcast, which then started the show off covering the breaking news.
“Well, after Salt Lake City, I am not done racing,” Tomac said to Daniel Blair in an exclusive interview at the start of today’s Race Day Live broadcast. “One hundred percent. It’s [the contract] done and signed.”
Tomac's risky move to Yamaha last year has kicked off an impressive rejuvination. Starting in 2022, Tomac had signed a one-year deal with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing for AMA Supercross and Motocross in 2022, with an option to return. He then logged an incredible season, claiming seven 450SX main event wins en route to the 2022 450SX title. While he sat out the supercross finale in Utah nursing a knee injury, it was announced that Tomac re-signed a deal with Yamaha that would bring him back to Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing in a supercross-only contract for 2023. (Note, Dylan Ferrandis also re-signed with the team on that day as well, although his deal was for both SX and MX in 2023). From there, Eli kept rolling, as he went on to win the 450 Class Pro Motocross title—as well as bring home the Chamberlin trophy in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in the fall, and even win the first round of the new FIM WSX Championship in Wales.
Below is the full release from Yamaha.
Tomac to Defend AMA Pro Motocross Title
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac signs contract extension to race the entire 2023 SMX World Championship
MARIETTA, Ga. – Monster Energy Yamaha Racing is pleased to announce that Eli Tomac will line up for the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross season and race the entire 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship. The reigning Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion put ink to paper for a contract extension with the team beyond the supercross season that will see him defend his AMA Pro Motocross 450SX title and make a run for the first-ever SuperMotocross World Championship.
After a phenomenal debut season with the team in 2022 with two titles and a Motocross of Nations victory, Tomac continues to lead the way. The defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion has yet to relinquish the red plate, scoring four victories in six rounds with the all-new Yamaha YZ450F to hold a seven-point lead in the standings. Tomac also continues to add his name to the record books, tying Ricky Carmichael last weekend with third on the all-time win list with 48 victories in the supercross premier class.
Jim Roach – Yamaha Racing Department Manager for YMUS
“We’re excited to have Eli with us for the rest of this inaugural SMX World Championship. The racing has been better than ever, so it’s not only great for Yamaha and the team to have Eli continue racing but also for the sport. 2022 was an incredible year, and it’s been great to see that momentum continue to grow this season with the all-new YZ450F. We look forward to seeing the #1 plates in both championships and to continue paving the way for success.”
Jeremy Coker – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 Team Manager
“We’re thrilled to have Eli on board for the entire SMX season! It’s been a great start to 2023, and he has been riding phenomenally. We look to keep that momentum going for the rest of the year and defend the 450 titles in both supercross and motocross, and take the title in this first SuperMotocross World Championship.”
Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“At the beginning of the season, I truly thought this was going to be a farewell tour, but I've been having too much fun racing my motorcycle. I have been enjoying every minute along the way with the team, so I'm excited to announce that I will be racing the entire SMX series.”