The Reigning Champion: Eli Tomac
Born from Grade-A competitive racing stock and professionally guided through the amateur ranks, longtime Monster Energy-backed Eli Tomac stands tall as a testament to the greatness of American motocross. Fast forward to the current and Tomac put down what will be remembered as one of the greatest years in professional motocross racing history when he won the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series championship, followed that up by winning the Lucas Oil AMA Championship Motocross Series (in an epic, down-to-the-wire battle with Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton), helped Team USA to the Motocross Des National title and, for good measure, dominated the opening round of the inaugural FIM World Supercross Championship.
Tomac’s career began on two wheels, spun from the DNA of his professional bicycle racing legend father, John Tomac. Committed to dirt bikes over mountain bikes at an early age, the Colorado-based Tomacs hit the amateur MX scene. From California to Vegas, stops in Texas and Missouri, Florida – all culminating with the Monster Energy Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Under the competition-keen eye of his father, Eli graduated from 50cc Cobra bikes through 65s and 85s, eventually arriving at, once he turned 16, the bikes he’s still racing on today.
Eli’s race career didn’t quite start out like other Monster Energy-backed greats, including Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. At Loretta’s, it took him five years before he won his first title… his very first race being a 29th place in the 51cc 4-6 AMA Class 1 division, hardly showing up on this industry’s ‘Who’s Next?’ radar in 1999. But the Tomacs would persist, and by the time Eli was an 8th grader, the commitment was made that he would pursue a career racing dirt bikes.
The amateur racing floodgates would burst open for Tomac in 2004, when he captured his first Loretta’s title aboard a Suzuki RM65 – winning the 65cc 10-11 Stock class. From there Tomac would add four more titles at Loretta’s, his last two coming aboard Hondas in 2009 (250 B Modified & Schoolboy 2). And it’d be Honda that would stick with the young racer out of Cortez, Colo., signing him in 2010 to their Geico Honda 250 program.
As a newly-turned pro racer for Honda Tomac would, in turn, make history for both him and the famous Japanese marque as he became the first – and only – professional motocross racer to win his very first race, doing so at the 2010 Hangtown MX National aboard the Geico Honda 250.
Tomac’s 250 class career continued to flourish as he finished as the runner-up in the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross SX West Championship, backed up the following season (’12) by capturing his first-ever SX title. That season Tomac nailed seven 250 class podiums – including five victories. Allowed to defend his 2021 250 SX title, Tomac would wind up taking second, but rallied back in a big way when he won the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series’ 250 class title with seven victories and going 12-for-12 in podium finishes in the 12-round U.S.-based summer series.
It'd be at this point that Tomac would make the move to supercross and motocross’ premier class, racing the 450cc bikes. And though he met with great success early, the big bore class proved to be a challenge. Multiple injuries and just plain bad luck would keep Tomac from challenging for titles as he placed 2nd in the Monster Energy Supercross 450 class (’15), and was on a tear in the outdoor MX season before being sidelined with an injury.
Tomac had his ‘monstrous’ moment in 2016 when he captured his first Monster Energy Cup title, and the six-figure prize, topping a field of the world’s top supercross racers at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium. Two years later Tomac would be only the third rider in the MEC history to sweep all three event motos (1st/1st/1st), becoming the only racer to win the event twice, and pocketed a cool million dollars for his efforts – the richest single event purse in the sport’s history.
Beginning in 2017 Tomac would go on a straight-up competition beat down outdoors, winning three-straight AMA Pro Motocross championships (’17, ’18 & ’19) while continuing to run well in Monster Energy Supercross with runner-up 450 class championship finishes in 2017 & ’19.
A Monster Energy Supercross title, his first in the premier class, would come in 2020, followed in 2022 by one of the greatest years ever for a professional dirt bike racer as Tomac combined SX & MX titles, a prestigious Motocross Des Nations title with an ESPN “ESPY” for the Best Male Action Sports Athlete. Wha-BAM!
When he’s not banging out laps on dirt bikes, Tomac satisfies his speed jones on mountain bikes, jet skis and sports cars – only slowing, and that includes one of the more grueling CrossFit training programs in the business, to spend quality time with his wife and two young children.