Eli Tomac is back and ready to win at Muddy Creek. Photography by Andrew Fredrickson
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac proved to everyone that he’s more than ready to race again after topping the charts in timed qualifying for today’s Muddy Creek Motocross National in Tennessee.
Tomac, who is racing the outdoors for the first time this season since an injury, was flying on the Muddy Creek track. His best time was a 1:57.344, which was nearly a full second quicker than that put up by Ken Roczen on the Red Bull KTM.
Right behind Roczen is Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard, followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, Toyota/N-Fab/JGRMX Yamaha’s Josh Grant and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, last year’s 450-class winner. Dungey’s best time was a full three seconds off Tomac’s pace.
Malcolm Stewart, Andrew Short, Ben Lamay and Chad Reed round out the top 10 in the 450 class.
Christophe Pourcel topped the 250-class qualifying.
Not much has changed in the 250 class. Valli Yamaha’s Christophe Pourcel was again the quickest qualifier in the 250 ranks. Looking to get a win for the first time this season, Pourcel was a about a second and a half quicker than the next-best rider fellow Frenchman Marvin Musquin on the Red Bull KTM, with Pourcel knocking down a 1:58.809 and Musquin a 2:00.446. Musquin won here last year.
Points leader and winner of the opening two rounds Jeremy Martin, on the Star Racing Yamaha, was third quickest, followed by his teammate Cooper Webb, GEICO Honda’s Zach Bell and the returning Dean Wilson on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki.
“I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a while and I’m just excited to get out there and get back into it,” said Wilson. “I’ve stayed optimistic despite having to watch my teammates and everyone else the first month of the season, and I’m coming into Muddy Creek with no pressure. I want to go out there, have fun and continue to make progress until we’re there battling for wins each week.”
Wilson suffered a lacerated knee in the second moto at the Glen Helen opener.
Wilson’s teammate Justin Hill was seventh quickest, followed by Rockstar’s Joey Savatgy, two-time winner Blake Baggett and Jason Anderson.