Eli Tomac is in the best form of his life and just clinched his first ever AMA outdoor national championship one month ago.
His impending battle with Ken Roczen this weekend is the talk of the paddock so we caught up with the friendly American to talk about his season and racing Roczen in Germany.
Q I believe you met some Irish fans on Thursday night?!
A Oh Yeah I met some Irish fans at the restaurant!. It is cool to be somewhere where your country gets recognised – and they like to play golf like me so that’s cool!
Q A great season for you, supercross didn’t go the way you wanted but halfway through the outdoors you were unbeatable.
A Yeah in supercross I made a few mistakes and they just cost me but it was a really good battle with Ken. Then outdoors I managed to get that title so that was cool. Like you said half way it all started clicking and I started getting more wins and when that starts happening it is a lot of fun.
Q What changed? You had the speed in the first six rounds but in the last six even if you got a bad start you still won, what was the difference?
A It was just once you start winning and you get confidence all that stuff starts rolling. The biggest thing is upstairs in your head and maybe a little bit of bike set up. When everything starts winning it starts clicking.
Q You won your first ever national at Hangtown in 2010 so you always had the speed but it has taken four years to win the title, what did you have to change?
A I started when I was 17 so I was pretty young and it just takes time to get stronger and build your endurance, I struggled a lot with the heat because it gets really hot in America. It took me a few years to get used to that and figure out how to do well in practice, pick good starting gates and all that stuff.
Q You had a couple of rides on the 450 this year but you are full time next year and you are staying with Honda so set up should be easier?
A Yeah I am staying with Honda so transition should be easier. I am just excited, I will do Monster cup on the 450 and it will be fun to race against guys like Villopoto and Dungey in the premier class.
Q Moving unto this event here, Roczen raced you in your backyard all year now at the Nations it is the other way round, does that motivate you to beat him over here as well?
A Yeah, we should have a good battle. This track looks good for me, it looks almost kind of supercross. It is not a super unique track where local knowledge really counts so I think I will be able to put up a good fight.
Q Everyone wanted to see Herlings vTomac this year so it is disappointing he is hurt…
A I know I was disappointed too! But hey hopefully this isn’t my last motocross of nations and we will get to race sometime.
Interview by Jonathan McCready