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Round 9 of the 2016 Pro Motocross Championship Series in Washougal, WA
NEWS

Evergreen: Eli Tomac Triumphant at Washougal

Jul 252016

Monster Energy Kawasaki team racer Eli Tomac arrived at the fantastic, evergreen lined circuit in Washougal, Washington for Round 9 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season prepared to make a run at victory. When the gate dropped to the opening moto, on the first lap Tomac crossed the line in sixth. Tomac would remain third until the closing minutes of the moto, when he was able to race the No. 3 Monster Energy Kawasaki into second, where he would remain until the finish. At the start of the second 450 moto, Tomac exited Turn 1 in fourth, immediately zeroing in on the leaders and within a few corners had taken third. On Lap 2, Tomac blew by second place, around the outside of a turn, inheriting the position and now focusing on the leader Ken Roczen. Tomac caught Roczen, made a swift pass and took the lead, immediately gapping the field.. At the checkers it would be Tomac placing the Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F first, finishing 2-1 and winning the overall. After the motos at Washougal, Tomac spoke about his productive afternoon in the Pacific Northwest. .

Q&a

Eli, an excellent effort at Washougal that earned you your second Lucas Oil Pro Motocross National victory of the year.

Thanks, it was a good day. And it was no fluke, there wasn’t any sand this time! I guess you could call it a real track! First moto was a little bit bumpy, I was a little bit off and was tight the first half of the race. Wasn’t as good of a start either in that first moto. Going into the second moto, got a little bit better start and got to the front pretty quick. When I made the pass on Kenny [Roczen], he pretty much gave it to me after the finish line. I was on the inside, he was on the outside and let off. At that point I took it and, shoot, laid it down after that.

In the twilight stages of the second moto you had amassed an eight-second lead and then duly posted up the fastest lap of the race. Were you intntionaly pushing to keep and or extend the lead?

I was just in a good rhythm. The last thing you want to do is change up your rhythm or think about being safe. There are times when you can push too much, but you’re better off to stay in your groove.

Runner-up racer Ken Roczen has never beaten you at this track, has he?

Yeah. I mean, I’ve had a good past here. Obviously I wasn’t here last year, but in 2014 I think I was second, and in 2013 I won here. I’ve had a good past here.

Eli, you have talked about that fluke thing, in the sand, and Daytona, that was a one off race, is that something that bugs you?

It did bug me a little bit because, I’m not only a sand rider, you know? I haven’t gotten to where I am by being [only] a good sand rider, we literally only have one sand race a year, and that’s at Southwick.

A lot of the other riders have talked about the track deteriorating in the second moto, but you seemed to excel in the second moto.

Yeah, the track ended up drying out a little bit more. It seemed like there were a few lines I changed on the outside that I wasn’t doing in the first moto, but also kept some of the lines from the first moto. It did break down, but this track doesn’t really get crazy rough. It’s more slick, and you have to have throttle control here and there. There aren’t huge bumps anywhere. There are a few on the hills but nothing out of control.

It rained a lot the night before the race, were you surprised at how dry it was?

I was. It seemed like it was one of the hardest Washougal races I’ve ridden. I was surprised it didn’t develop deeper, taller ruts.

Your starts have been way better lately. What’s the difference?

Just a couple bike changes that make it more consistent in getting off the gate. Bike changes that make it easier.

Talking Motocross of Nations, are you in for Team USA?

I haven’t had any talks with anyone about the team.

If asked to go, would you to do it, would you do it?

I think so. I mean, it’s not something everyone is totally looking forward to just because how packed our schedule is getting. We’re racing now, there’s the Monster Cup and two GPs before that, so the race schedule is getting pretty wild. But hey, if it’s for our country we’ll go over there and fight and do what we can.

Can you give us a bit of insight, now that we’re this far into the season, how your communication with the team has evolved? How have you gelled with the team and the bike in trying to exploit both your strengths and the bike’s strengths?

It’s always a building process from one team to another team. Everyone speaks a different language. This is our first outdoor season and we’re definitely coming around—we just clicked off our second win. I felt really good today in that second moto.

Are you happy at this point in the season with what you’ve accomplished thus far?

If I would have gotten third again this weekend like I did last weekend, I wouldn’t be content. But now that we took another step forward and got another win, I think we’re making good progress. I just gave away a little too much at the beginning. We couldn’t expect too much out of each other at the beginning, it’s a process.

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