Log In

Reset Password

Supercross champion Eli Tomac sits out final race, plans for new season

Eli Tomac raises the trophy after winning the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross title Saturday at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
Two-time titlist talks about knee injury, racing plans

Supercross champion Eli Tomac of Cortez paused last week to shed light on the backstory of his 2022 title race in Denver, his near-disastrous knee injury and his plans for a new season.

Tomac, known as the “ironman” of Supercross racing, had just won a second AMA Supercross championship, at age 29.

He clinched the title in his home state of Colorado on April 30 with a fifth-place finish at Empower Field at Mile Hile in Denver after a duel with eventual winner Jason Anderson.

He sat out the final race in Salt Lake City on May 7 to recover.

Appearing in a postrace interview with NBC in Denver with his children Lev Loe and Noah Grey and wife, Jessica (Steiner) Tomac, he talked about his season-ending performance.

“I wanted to give (fans) more for the race itself, but you know, I had to be smart about it and finish where we finished and got this title,” he said.

Eli Tomac of Cortez, appearing in a postrace interview with NBC in Denver with his children Lev Loe and Noah Grey and wife, Jessica (Steiner) Tomac.

He might not have had much more to give.

Tomac later told PulpMX on May 4 that he had a damaged MCL, or medial cruciate ligament.

“I guess it’s the only thing in your knee that can heal itself, so now I’ve gotta take the time and heal it and hopefully not tweak it again,” he said. “But yeah, for now it is getting better every day.”

He said the injury has given him problems since April 16. It was strong enough for early race laps but became tender in later laps because he depends on his knees to squeeze his bike in corners and jumps.

Tomac also clarified that after the Boston race on April 23, when he was fined for skipping the postrace media meeting, he wanted to avoid possible questions about his knee. He feared that competitors might take advantage of that knowledge.

“I do think motocross is enough of a contact sport to where it does matter if you know a guy’s, you know hurt, especially his knee,” Tomac said. “Why not take him a little bit high make him squirrel out … so that was, that was my take on it.”

Tomac added that he thought he would be healthy for the outdoor Motocross season, which begins May 28 at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. He also has won three 450cc Motocross titles – in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The 2022 Supercross season was one of Tomac’s most spectacular. He first won the 450cc Supercross title in 2020.

Racing in his first season for Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha, Tomac racked up seven wins for a team that had not won a Supercross race.

He won a record sixth race at Daytona International Speedway on March 6, breaking a tie with the legendary Ricky Carmichael.

And he tied Chad Reed with 44 all-time Supercross wins, which is fourth-best.

He has 83 wins in the 450 Supercross and combined Motocross classes, placing him in the class of Carmichael with 150 wins, James Stewart Jr. with 98 and Jeremy McGrath with 89.

He plans to come back for more.

Steve Matthes of RacerXonline reported this week that Tomac plans to talk with Star Racing Yamaha about signing on for the 2023 season.

“I'm trying to sign my next year right now, actually,” Tomac said in Denver. “So, that's in the works. So heck, I want to keep going.”

Final 2022 Supercross point standings

1. Eli Tomac: 359

2. Jason Anderson: 350

3. Malcolm Stewart: 314

4: Marvin Musquin: 305

5. Justin Barcia: 302

6: Chase Sexton: 292

7. Cooper Webb: 278

8: Brandon Hartranft: 178

9. Justin Brayton: 176

10. Dean Wilson: 152