Motocross Notebook: Tomac back to full health, full speed

MILLVILLE — Eli Tomac tries not to think about "what if?"

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Ken Roczen leads Ryan Dungey in a 450 moto.

MILLVILLE — Eli Tomac tries not to think about "what if?"

The veteran motocross rider from Cortez, Colo., has been asked that question often over the past month: What if you had been healthy at the beginning of the season?

"I felt at the time that getting healthy was the right thing to do, and I still feel like I made the right choice," Tomac said late Saturday afternoon.

His comments came on the heels of one of his best performances ever as a professional motocross rider. Tomac swept the two 450 class motos to win the overall during Round 8 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Spring Creek MX Park.

It's the same track at which Tomac swept the motos in the 250 class last season, en route to a national championship.


There will be no national title for Tomac this season. He missed the first four rounds of the motocross season after suffering a collarbone injury during the supercross season.

He's been on a roll since returning to action on June 28 in Blountville, Tenn. In his eight motos this season, Tomac has won two, finished second once, had three third-place finishes and two fourth-place finishes.

Saturday marked the fourth time in his pro career, and first time in the 450 class, that he had a 1-1 (winning both motos) finish. He jumped up to ninth place in the season points standings, despite having competed in only half of the races.

"Today was my first 450 overall, so it's cool," Tomac said. "Not many guys get to say they've won a 450 outdoor national, so it's cool to be there. And I did it in 1-1 fashion, so that was awesome.

"I just get along with this track because it's a lot like my track at home. There's a lot of sand and big rollers. It's just a track that suits me, so I was comfortable all day."

Martins have a friendly sibling rivalry

Millville native Jeremy Martin has a seemingly insurmountable lead atop the 250 class in the AMA pro points standings. He has 341 points, good for a 43-point lead over his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb with four rounds to go in the motocross season.

Martin's older brother, Alex, sits 11th in those standings after having one of his best days as a pro on Saturday, when he finished eighth overall at his home track.


When Alex Martin was brought into the post-race press conference, he was introduced to the media as "the other half of the Martin brothers."

Alex smiled and said "I'd have to say I'm the better half."

He elaborated, saying there's no secret to his brother's success, other than hard work and effort.

"I know I'm faster than him, or I was faster than him at one point in my life," Alex said. "I'm really happy for him and really proud of him. He's not taking any special multivitamins or anything. He's putting in a lot of hard work.

"I'm trying to put in my work and get better each time out."

Alex's seventh-place finish in Moto 2 was his second-best finish of the season, behind a sixth-place finish at RedBud in Buchanan, Mich., two weeks ago. The difference this time was he had a partisan crowd cheering him on.

"Oh, yeah, I really noticed it," he said of the vocal hometown crowd of close to 20,000 fans. "It was really cool of (the AMA) to let us all take a parade lap before the first moto. The crowd was loud. There were people hanging over the fence and cheering. It was great."

A homecoming for Dungey


The Martin brothers weren't the only riders who came "home" on Saturday. Belle Plaine native Ryan Dungey— who now lists Waconia as his hometown— was back at the track where he spent many of his days as an amateur rider.

The 24-year-old always has a large crowd of friends and family in attendance at Spring Creek. Saturday was no different, and Dungey didn't disappoint them, finishing 3-2 in the 450 class for a second-place overall finish behind Tomac.

Dungey, a two-time 450 national champion, sits second in the points standings this summer behind Germany's Ken Roczen. Dungey trails Roczen by 24 points with four rounds remaining in the season.

"I definitely feel like we're going in the right direction," Dungey said. "I didn't capitalize on some chances to pick up more points today, but we're moving in the right direction."

Martin to represent USA?

Dungey was asked which riders he would pick to join him, should he be named captain of the United States team for the Motocross of Nations event in September.

When it came to naming riders from the 250 class, he didn't hesitate.

"I believe (Jeremy) Martin should go," Dungey said. "(Blake) Baggett has been there before, Martin hasn't, but everybody needs to have a first time there."


The Motocross of Nations is an annual competition that has been held since 1947, where countries from all over the world select their top riders to compete on 500cc, 250 and 125 bikes in what some call the Olympics of motocross.

The U.S. won the event seven consecutive years, from 2005-2011, behind Dungey, Ricky Carmichael or James Stewart Jr. Germany snapped that streak in 2012, followed by Belgium winning last year.

"It'd be an awesome experience," Martin said. "I've never been overseas, period. It would be really cool to go over there and try it."

The 2014 Motocross of Nations is scheduled for Sept. 27-28 in Kegums, Latvia.

Mt. Martin is a hit

One major change to the track at Spring Creek that riders noticed immediately last week is the hill that's been dubbed Mt. Martin, named after track owner John Martin, who created it.

The hill climb on the west side of the track was extended to go higher and steeper, with a quick turnaround at the top and a steep drop back down.Jeremy Martin said the downhill portion was somewhat nerve-wracking.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "They haven't changed the track much in the past couple of years.


"On Press Day (Thursday) I tried to jump as far as I could coming down and had to back off; I got kind of scared."

Last week was Dungey's first time on Mt. Martin and he had a positive review, too.

"Going up is pretty cool, that takes a lot of horsepower," he said. "Coming down you get some high, fast speeds. I was risking it a little bit in the second moto, being in second place and trying to make up some ground.

"I don't think we have a hill like that anywhere else."



(Moto 1-Moto 2)

1. Eli Tomac, Honda#1-1


2. Ryan Dungey, KTM#3-2

3. Ken Roczen, KTM#2-4

4. Trey Canard, Honda#4-3

5. Josh Grant, Yamaha#5-5

6. Brett Metcalfe, Kawasaki#6-6

7. Andrew Short, KTM#9-7

8. Weston Peick, Suzuki#8-8

9. Fredrik Noren, Honda#11-10

10. Matt Goerke, KTM#12-11

Points standings: 1. Roczen 367, 2. Dungey 343, 3. Canard 302, 4. James Stewart Jr. 226, 5. Metcalfe 222, 6. Grant 218, 7. Peick 188, 8. Short 187, 9. Tomac 168, 10. Chad Reed 146.


(Moto 1-Moto 2)

1. Jeremy Martin, Yamaha#1-2

2. Marvin Musquin, KTM#2-4

3. Cooper Webb, Yamaha#9-1

4. Christophe Pourcel, Yamaha#3-6

5. Dean Wilson, Kawasaki#5-5

6. Jason Anderson, KTM#11-3

7. Joey Savatgy, KTM#8-9

8. Alex Martin, Yamaha#12-7

9. Cole Seely, Honda#7-13

10. Jessy Nelson, Honda#14-8

Points standings: 1. J. Martin 341, 2. Webb 298, 3. Blake Baggett 285, 4. Pourcel 246, 5. Musquin 241, 6. Justin Bogle 240, 7. Anderson 236, 8. Seely 188, 9. Nelson 164, 10. Justin Hill 150, 11. Alex Martin 136.

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