#3 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki):
Honestly, how can I not pick Tomac as the Most Impressive 450 Rider in Oakland? Tomac barely started within the top 10, but was able to somehow improve throughout the night on a track that was quickly detoriating; when everyone else was slowing down, Tomac was somehow getting faster.
At the beginning of the race, all eyes were on a potential Dungey/Webb battle. However, once Dungey slowly started pulling away, we all thought the race was over (I thought it was at least). But no!!!! Tomac was just starting to find lines, and somehow managed to pull out a VERY fast triple-quad after the first turn consistently throughout the night. Lines like this allowed Tomac not only to reel Dungey in, but to hunt him down with staggering speed, and pass him like he was standing still! At the halfway point, I started to think that Tomac was maybe going to catch Dungey by the end of the race. However, he ended up gaining 5 seconds in five laps (this is super fast), passed him, and then pulled way by 10 SECONDS IN THE LAST FIVE LAPS!!!! What?!?! This is VERY impressive.
Tomac’s dominance is starting to remind me of the 2015 Motocross series when he absolutely dominated everyone in the opening two rounds. We hadn’t seen that Tomac yet on the Kawasaki, but he’s finally here folks! This is the Tomac we know and expect; his competition must be scared, because this Tomac is virtually unstoppable.
Truthfully, I had doubts after last weekend in Phoenix as to wether Tomac could prove to be consistently fast. Well, those doubts are gone, and now I think Tomac will be the favorite for wins here on out.
Cover photo from Transworld Motocross by Mike Emery