Matthes Report: Southwick

"I’m going to go for sure."

"I’m going to go for sure."

Well Eli Tomac certainly made a statement over here with his win last week at Southwick. Going 1-1 and passing Ken Roczen in both motos was something new for the #3 this year. Was it a one race fluke due to the sand? Is Eli Tomac “fixed"? Is this the start of a Ken Roczen swoon? We’ll know soon enough but, in the meantime, I called Tomac up two days after his amazing ride to get his thoughts on the race, the MXoN and more. 

MX Vice: You’ve been getting a bunch of seconds and thirds. That’s great; a lot of riders would love that, but you have not been happy. In your position it’s got to be wins, right?

Eli Tomac: It is. I don’t know; that’s just what I’m kind of expected to do and what I want to do. People around you expect you to be winning or at least battling for wins. Some of the weekends past I was getting blown away. That’s what makes me angry, when I get beat by twenty-plus seconds and I’m not like maybe four or five seconds behind and it was kind of close. It’s when those big gaps start happening that you start getting angry and you’re like, ‘man, what’s going on here?’

MX Vice: You were certainly on it this past weekend, passing Roczen in both motos. You dropped it in the second moto, got up behind Kenny and got him back. You could see when you picked the bike up you were like, ‘oh no’. You could tell you were very pissed off.

Eli Tomac: It was. I was pissed and I was like, ‘no, I’m not going to lose this race’. Then going down that next straightaway there I was just kamikaze. I think Ken actually had a lapper in front of him and he was kind of going a little bit slower, but I still just bombed the inside of that corner. I was like, ‘I’m going to get you back’.

MX Vice: Obviously the sand surface agreed with you. You were phenomenal. Coming into this weekend at Millville, the last time you raced there you went 1-1. You have got to be excited about that too? Half of the track is a sandy track.

Eli Tomac: Yeah. It’s another track that I like. It is like that again where it’s kind of loose and you get little sand berm, half ruts built up where you can just pin it like that. It’s another one I like, for sure.

We’re getting confidence. My starts are getting better. They’re not exactly holeshots, but they’re getting better too as before they were really bad. Now at least I’m getting myself to the front at the beginning of the race. 

Eli Tomac took a much-needed win in the sand of Southwick (Douglas Turney/

MX Vice: What was the low point for you this outdoor season?

Eli Tomac: Low point was Hangtown, just because of what I did the year before, what I was expecting and how we basically just got worked there also by a lot. It wasn’t really close at all. Even having [Blake] Baggett pass me in that first moto and then [Jason] Anderson passed me in the second moto, and going 4-4 for third overall. The year before I went 1-1 so easily and I thought I could at least win the thing. I wasn’t expecting to win it by a minute, but when you have a race like that the year before you’re like, ‘man, I’ve got this race’. It wasn’t even close to that, so that was a low point for sure.

MX Vice: I’ve been around a lot of you guys in my years of either working on teams or in the media and after a loss, I’ve got to say that, for the most part you’re there signing for fans or giving interviews. I’d bet you’re so pissed that you’d rather not but that’s part of the job, right?

Eli Tomac: Yeah. You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. There are days where you don’t want to go out there to meet and greet every single fan that does come up to the front door or hang on the edge of the tent. But I don’t know, you just don’t want to be a butthead. That’s the image I don’t want to put off at all. I at least just want to be a decent guy. I’d just rather take that anger home, not show it to everyone I guess.

MX Vice: How’s the body feeling and everything else? You feeling a little bit better and everything?

Eli Tomac: Yeah, I’m one-hundred percent really. The one shoulder at the end of the day I can still feel it get a little bit more fatigued than normal, but it doesn’t really hinder me at all with my riding. I would say at the beginning of supercross there were still some effects that way. But, now, everything seems normal. I can do all my normal gym stuff, where early in supercross I couldn’t do all my normal gym routines. I couldn’t throw around kettle bells certain ways, but now it’s like I’m back to normal. Good that way for sure.

You’re going to do the two USGPs. If you’re selected for the Motocross of Nations team, are you going to go? Have you thought that far along?

Eli Tomac: I have, and the fact that I haven’t won one of those yet makes me really mad. I’m going to go for sure. I was thinking about it. I was like, ‘man, we’ve had a crazy long season’. We’ve been going hard since January and we’re adding these two GPs in, then you have ‘Nations too most likely. It’s crazy, because then you take two weeks off and you have to start riding a little bit of supercross for Monster Cup. It’s just never-ending. I think if I did win a ‘Nations before I would maybe. I don’t know. It’s just so tough to bail on. Our schedule is so gnarly now that you kind of have to take time off. When do you get time off?

Words: Steve Matthes | Image: Douglas Turney/

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