Courtesy of RacerX
January 9, 2017 10:30am
by Jason Weigandt
It was on. Ken Roczen jetted off to the early lead at Anaheim, but Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac quickly filed in behind him in second, and the battle many had anticipated was set. Eli was ready this season! Eli had the start he needed! Here it comes!
There it went.
“My arms set off a friggin mushroom cloud bigger than anything that has ever happened,” he explained. “I blew up. That’s all there is to it. Anyone who has ridden a dirt bike has had arm pump, and at that point I was just along for the ride. It was a bummer because the rest of the day was really good. Qualifying was really good, I came out of that second. Heat race was good, starts were there, consistency, everything was there, so for that to happen in the main event was a bummer because I had some momentum.”
From there, the press threw out an endless run of theories and guesses as to why Tomac’s arms locked up. He wasn’t sure of why himself, though.
Maybe it was the Anaheim 1 nerves?
“I hope it is!” he said. “That was weird for me, I’m usually a guy who warms up, but this was the exact opposite. I came out of the hole fast and then went ice cold. Hopefully it’s just A1.”
“[I] went to the main event, nailed another good start. I put myself in a good position and had a good little battle with Marvin [Musquin]. Then at like lap nine or 10 I got crazy tight. Pretty embarrassingly tight,” he continued. “So I went backwards, just holding on for dear life. I don’t know if it was Anaheim 1 nerves or if I need to just chill out a little bit and not try to hammer that pace early, but it was disappointing. I’ve never had that happen once at the practice track. So definitely scratching my head a little bit on why it happened. I’ve literally been doing three of those motos a day no problem. So I don’t know if it’s race conditions … I don’t know.”
One reporter asked if maybe the difficult, slippery track conditions played a role. Tomac wasn’t sure, and said he actually liked the track.
“I thought it turned out to be really good,” he said. “I think it was kind of typical Anaheim. Had a little bit of a base and had some good dirt in there. There were a few spots where there were ruts but for the amount of rain we got, it turned into a pretty sweet track.”
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RacerX 2017 Anaheim 1 SX Insight