Eli Tomac was off to the best start of a 450SX season to date. Taking a whopping five main event wins in the first eight races, the defending champion continued to lead the 450SX points standings since he took the points lead at the third round of the 2022 season. But then a somewhat puzzling eighth-place finish at the ninth-round Indianapolis Supercross, paired with a third-place from Cooper Webb, gave Webb the points lead at the end of the night. Tomac’s best 450SX career start through the first eight rounds turned into his second-most points through nine rounds behind last year. And Webb has caught fire, putting in his best points total through the first nine rounds of his seven 450SX seasons to date. Tomac did not crash in his eighth-place finish, and seemed like he was having an “off” night. We know Tomac has said before if he is not comfortable he is not going to push past his limits.
But on Friday’s press day session ahead of today’s round ten Detroit Supercross, Tomac admitted he had a strained neck last weekend. He said waking up Friday he could not turn his head to the right. He could not put his finger on the injury as it was “definitely something really funky, although this does help answer why the #1 was unable to move forward in the main event. He said this week he rode once (Tuesday) and was focused on healing his neck, and after knowing last weekend would be a struggle he is feeling much better ahead of today’s race.
Here is the interview with Tomac. And watch our full press day video below at the bottom of the post.
Racer X Online: Eli Tomac, talk us through last weekend in Indianapolis. And any changes anything—with the bike or mentally—heading into this weekend?
Eli Tomac: Uh, not really any changes going on. What happened in Indy is I had a strained neck. It was a huge bummer. It was a really technical condition and for that to happen it was like extra handicapped. That’s the reason I was rolling around—I don’t want to say rolling around—but was back in ninth and was struggling. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone’s point of view. So, yeah, just tried to get that better this week and it has gotten better. And I’m thankful that we’re not on that dirt here again at Detroit. And yeah, just keep going.
Did the strained neck hinder you at all during the week or what was the process like this week?
I rode Tuesday. That was the only day I rode though. So, rode Tuesday. And the rest of the time I was just thinking about that [strained neck] and getting it better. So, it’s not a total disaster, but it was definitely something really funky. I woke up Friday morning to get on the airplane to go to Indy and I could not turn my head to the right at all. I don’t know whether it was something I did training beforehand. I can’t really put my finger on it. But…all I know is my neck was jacked last week.
Maybe a little dad life in there?
Maybe. Maybe holding the kids on my right arm too much, yeah. So, it was frustrating.
Last year, these two races were switched last year, it was Detroit and then Indianapolis, but these were the big races where you gained a lot of points on everybody. You got the wins, other guys struggled and we saw some privateers up in the top ten. You’ve lost the points lead now but you are still right there. What’s the mindset heading into Detroit? Knowing you’ve done well here in the past—although that does not gaurentee success—but knowing you can do well here. What is your mindset heading into tomorrow?
Well, my mindset is much more positive than last week. I knew last week was going to be a struggle. It’s basically the condition of that dirt. Just that straight up. If you’re dealing with an injury of any sort, in that rutted condition, with that sketchy of a situation, it just amplifies it. So much happier to be here in Detroit.
Main image by Mitch Kendra