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Jul 23, 2014 - 06:58 AM
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Red-Hot Tomac Leads MX's Best Into Washougal; Teammate Craig Hitting His Stride
Posted by: newsla on Jul 23, 2014 - 06:56 AM
Red-Hot Tomac Leads MX's Best Into Washougal; Teammate Craig Hitting His Stride

Fresh off a convincing sweep of the 450 class last Saturday in Millville, Minn., GEICO Honda pro Eli Tomac arrives at the Washougal National near Portland as the new man to beat in Motocross racing's top category.


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Tomac took first place in both motos in Millville, giving him his first overall victory on a big bike. He accomplished the feat four times last year on a 250cc Honda en route to winning the MX championship. Although the 450 title is out of reach this year due to an injury that kept Tomac out of the first four outdoor races, his four consecutive overall podium results since his return are proving he's one of the best in the sport.

"Things are going really well," said Tomac, who hails from Cortez, Colo. "I feel comfortable on the bike, and being 100 percent healthy allows me to ride the way I was riding last year when we won the championship.

"Washougal can be a love/hate race. It's the most clay-based track we have on the circuit, so starts are always important. You definitely want to stay out of heavy roost that the dirt creates. If you can get clear early, it makes a big difference.

"It also has a lot of big up and downhill runs, plus the shadows from the trees make racing in the ruts and bumps even more technical. It's unique but a lot of fun."

Despite missing four of eight races so far, Tomac already has ascended to ninth in the championship rankings. He could gain two more spots in Washougal.

Joining Tomac once again in 450 action is Christian Craig, who came out of retirement three races ago to ride a second GEICO Honda. Craig, from Plymouth, Minn., has posted overall finishes of 14th, 14th, and 12th in his short time back, highlighted by a ninth-place result in the second moto in Millville.

"I'm really looking forward to Washougal," Craig said. "It's always been one of my favorite tracks and I've done pretty well there in the past. Coming off that ninth-place finish in the second moto last weekend at Millville, I'm going to keep pushing to stay inside the top 10. I really wanted a top-10 overall last weekend but with an early crash in Moto 1 that ended up dropping me to 19th place, it just didn't happen.

"I now know I can run in the top 10, so that's what I'm expecting of myself coming into Washougal. I've been having so much fun these past few weeks on the GEICO Honda team, and I really want to get a top-10 overall to say thank you for all they have done for me."

The first moto will be shown live on MAVTV from 1-3 p.m. PT, Saturday. The second moto will air live on NBCSN from 3-5 p.m. PT, Saturday.

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