GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac will return to racing this weekend at Muddy Creek Raceway in Tennessee, the Coloradoan having missed the first four outdoor Nationals after breaking a collarbone.
"The whole year has not been normal for me," Tomac said in a team release. "I hope to race week in and week out. Hopefully, after this time off I've had, I can finally put the hammer down to the end of the season. I'm definitely excited to be back out there."
The non-defending 250cc champion says he’ll be going for it since championship points don’t mean much at this point.
"I'm going to go out there and go for it," Tomac said. "At this point, I don't have anything to lose. I won't do anything stupid and not finish, but I'm definitely going for podiums and wins now. I'm really close to 100 percent. I feel 100 percent on the motorcycle right now. Come Saturday, I won't have any issues. I'm happy and I'm in a good spot."
Tomac’s 250cc teammate Matt Bisceglia is also coming back from an injury. He strained some elbow tendons in a crash at the most recent race, but the weekend off gave him a chance to recover.
"After having the get-off I had at High Point, I've only ridden twice since then," Bisceglia said. "I'm actually still pretty sore. I've been a little bit limited to how much I can ride, but I've had two good days of riding and hope to get a couple more. My doctor got me a good elbow sleeve, so I hope that will brace it a little bit more. It'll be good. It's nothing that I can't deal with once the adrenaline kicks in. I'll be close to 100 percent, for sure."
Justin Bogle, meanwhile, has had no injury issues and is fourth in the 250cc standings with eight races to go in the series.
"I've been back home in Oklahoma the last few weeks, so I'm getting used to that humidity and heat," Bogle said. "The track is fun, and there are a couple of cool jumps on it. I had a decent race there last year, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's always good to come home. [Trainer] Ryan [Fedorow] has been back here with me, and we've been working with Robbie Reynard. He's been more hands-on with my riding, and that's been a big help to me as well. I'm feeling good and am happy to get this East Coast swing going."
Zach Bell is looking forward to racing on the East Coast, too, as he's comfortable on the dirt in this part of the country.
"I'm expecting a top-10 finish," Bell said. "I'm expecting to have fun during the weekend and to be safe. We're back on the East Coast and I'm used to the style of dirt, so it should be a good weekend for me. I trained all last week and took the weekend off, so it was good. I'm ready to go back racing."