DELMONT, Pa. – GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac had a season-best, second-place finish at Saturday’s Steel City National, the penultimate race in the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship season.
“I even got to lead some laps, that was probably the highlight of my day,” Tomac said. “I had kind of a rough weekend last weekend, so it was nice to turn it around here.”
Heat and humidity punished Western Pennsylvania, which made endurance and the ability to recover a premium. On this day, Tomac had both in abundance.
“It was hot and humid here and I made it through,” Tomac said. “That is a big step for me. That’s a big confidence thing. I was able to bounce back well from the first race. I felt this is the best day I’ve had all year. The cards finally fell my way.”
Tomac led a few laps in the second moto and dueled with eventual winner Dean Wilson for much of the first part of that race. Overall he was able to maintain a steady pace from start to finish. With his finish, Tomac moved around Kyle Cunningham for fourth in the season standings.
“It’s great to be the top non-green (Kawasaki) guy in the points,” he said. “It’s nice to have this back and forth action. Hopefully we can take care of business next weekend.”
Tomac leads Cunningham by seven points with one race left.
Fellow GEICO Honda 250cc pro Justin Bogle was seventh overall on the day after finishes of sixth and 10th. It’s the third time in as many tries that he’s turned in a top 10 finish as a pro.
“I was sick this week and wasn’t feeling too good today,” Bogle said. “First moto was awesome. I got to battle with Wilson, that was fun. I just faded back a bit at the end there. It could be worse, considering how I feel, so we’ll just try to get healthier for next week.”
Justin Barcia, who is riding an American Honda CRF450R, had a solid start to the day with a fourth-place finish in the first moto, but succumbed to the heat in the second and pulled off the course. He finished 13th overall.
“I had to ride really hard in the first moto,” Barcia said. “It’s a really hard track for me and I was pushing hard in the first moto. As a result, I wasn’t 100 percent for the second moto. What happened today is unacceptable for me. I really feel like I let everybody down. I’m not going to waste this opportunity. I’m going to work harder next week and be better prepared.”
Jimmy Decotis was 24th overall with finishes of 33rd and 19th in the motos.
“It was a tough day for me but a learned a lot,” Decotis said. “I learned a lot about myself and just had to fight through things. I haven’t been riding in this kind heat. I just need to find some confidence.”
Up next for GEICO Honda is the season finale for the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship on Sept. 10, at Pala Raceway outside San Diego.