GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac conquered a track that has been his nemesis over the years by winning both 250cc motos in the Texas heat at the Freestone National in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday.
“Man, this is the greatest turnaround in my dirt biking career,” Tomac said. “This track did in my 2010 season both mentally and a little physically. It seems like it’s taken two years since I’ve been able to get my crap together. I’ve got podiums here and there since my first win in Hangtown (in 2010); to not get a win has been really annoying. Today feels like a weight is off my shoulders.”
Tomac won the day overall and closed to within one point of second place after his dominating double moto win afternoon in the Lites class. It was part of an effort that saw all three GEICO Honda riders finish in the top 10 overall.
“My starts this week were good enough,” Tomac said. “I got a little balled up in the first corner in both motos which cost me a couple of starts. After that, my pace was good all day. I had a really good flow around the track and could hop, skip and jump the bumps really well.”
It never took Tomac very long to get settled, work his way to the front and then extend his lead once he got there. Tomac won each moto by more than 10 seconds.
“It just takes some time and experience at these tracks,” Tomac said. “It’s really paying off now.”
Justin Barcia finished fifth overall after finishes of fourth and fifth overall. Barcia was plagued by uncharacteristically poor starts on Saturday, so he was forced to pass a lot of bikes to get to his solid, if not mildly frustrating, finish.
“It was not a fun day for me at all,” Barcia said. “I really had to work my butt off. First moto, I got a bad jump and got stuck behind two guys that crashed, so it slowed me up. I think I went from 19th to fourth. Then I got sideswiped at the start of the second moto, and had to come from 37th to fifth. I salvaged some good points today. It’s never a bad day when you are top five, but it’s not what we want. We want to win and be up there.”
Barcia is now in fourth place on the season, three points behind Tomac for third.
Wil Hahn had a similar day to Barcia – Hahn got into a hole early off the start, but battled back to get a solid finish of eighth overall (12th and sixth in the motos).
“I went down a couple of times in the first moto, once was my fault and once wasn’t,” Hahn said. “I got back as high as 10th but one of those crashes knocked me back to 12th. The second moto, I got a really good start, ran third for a while, but just didn’t make passes happen. Took me until the 15 or 20 minute mark to put my head down and go, which helped me make some passes at the end. All in all, it’s my best result so far this year, and I’m glad I’m making progress. I just want to be in that top five. It’s where I feel I belong. With my starts have been and with the way I feel at the end of the moto, if I can bring it from the beginning of the moto, I’ll be fine.”
Hahn leaves Texas seventh in points, six in back of Martin Musquin for sixth.
The GEICO Honda team will now pack up and head to Denver for the Thunder Valley National on June 2.