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Chatter Box: Eli Tomac

Eli Tomac had a horrid start to 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and there appeared to be no real explanation for his struggles. The uncharacteristic results prompted discussion across the globe – all eyes were on the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider at the third round of the current campaign on Saturday. The first moto was troubling, as he had quiet ride en route to sixth, but he came alive in the second moto and ripped to an impressive moto win. A 6-1 scorecard put him third on the overall podium.

The fact that he stood on the overall podium meant that he had to appear in front of the media at the end of the day, so answers to some burning questions were received. It’s still not quite clear what was holding him back at the first two rounds – it seems that even he is still confused – but it seems as though he believes that he can continue to trend in a positive question. Tomac is now seventh in the championship standings, 47 points behind the current championship leader.

MX Vice: Eli, you talked a little bit about the frustration with the first two rounds and obviously the first moto today didn’t go as planned either. Was there a little bit of it all boiling over at the beginning of that second moto? You were just kind of riding on that kind of angry aggression level to say, “I am sick of this. I just want to get it done.”

I mean, of course. You know my moto finishes have been very marginal so that was in my mind. I was like, “I have got to do something and get back to normal.” Like I said before, it is frustrating when you have those races like that and dig yourself in that big a hole. It is better to get back to normal sooner than later.

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This could fall flat if you do not get it, but did Kawasaki give you the works parts back or did you just get mad and go out to get a win?

Oh, man. I kind of got mad and just went out and won. I put myself in a lot better track position early on and that really changed it for me. I just felt like I was behind, you know, in those other motos and not riding like myself at all. [I was] struggling with lines and connecting that whole track, so I don’t know. It kind of flipped the switch. It had been a weird Eli Tomac the last five motos, so I am glad to win something.

When you made that pass on Adam, it just looked like you went back to the Eli of old. You attacked that billboard corner and just kept going after that. Did moto two feel different to the first five that we had this season?

Oh, totally. I was like a whole different guy, and I do not even really know why other than putting myself in an early track position up there. I thought the track was good this week. It was one of the best High Point tracks, in my opinion, for like moisture in the track and how it was prepped. I looked at it last night and was like, “Dang this track looks sweet.” It turned out that way. It had some fun stuff on it too, like that dozer turn you were talking about. The whole thing shaped up in the right way, in my opinion. It was rough enough and technical enough but not a total mess in the morning.

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A lot has been said about the track this evening. That downhill where you were hopping over the little hip jump, I did not see too many other people doing that. Was that something that you worked out in practice?

Yeah, that line was after that big quad table. I did it once in the first moto and clipped my rear-end on it – I kind of put it away after that. I just looked at it again in moto two and the breaking bump on it was more built up from the 250MX guys. There was a better lip getting over that, so that was a cool line. That one and the triple step up beforehand – I felt like they were big for moto two there.

You would be the first to admit that the first two rounds have not gone the way that you would have liked them to go. A lot of people talk about there being a panic button for Eli and then we get people that come up with these wild theories of parts going missing off your bike. How do you deal with that and keep showing up with a happy face each weekend, when really it does not sound like you knew what was going wrong at the first two rounds?

Yeah, I could say that at round one I had a different set-up on. I went to round one with something else, suspension-wise and in general with chassis stuff. With that one I was just like, “Well, maybe we missed it?” At the second race, in Colorado, I had what I had today, so I do not know what was going on. I was getting tight in those other motos, so I don’t know if I had something going on with my body that way. I am back to normal feeling now, at least in moto two today. I could do what I wanted to do. The conspiracy stuff… I think we are all bigger and better people than that.

Interview: Press Conference | Lead Image: Align Media

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