Eli Tomac was set to make his debut in the 450 SX class during the opening round of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
season, but a crash in his heat race left the GEICO Honda ace unable to compete. He’s been out of commission since that fall but has since healed and will return to competition at Anaheim III.
“It's been a long month but I'm finally ready to go," said Tomac. "Not exactly the way we wanted to start our 450 career, but I plan on being out here for a long time and winning a lot of races for GEICO Honda, so in the long run I think we did what was best.
"It was a weird deal because I went to a few different specialists and there was nothing structurally wrong with my arm or my shoulder, but at the same time it was really weak while it was healing. I just couldn't hold onto the bike well enough to race at this level."
Tomac will enter one of the most stacked fields in recent memory and his chances of contending for this year’s title are slim after missing the first four rounds of the championship.
"We tried every kind of therapy and rest cycles we could," added Tomac. "The thought was that if I could ride in Phoenix or A2 and get any kind of result, I'd at least earn enough points to stay in the championship picture, but I just couldn't do it. After that we just decided to let it heal all the way, get in some really good training and riding, and come back when I was 100%. That's where we're at now."
At full strength, Tomac has what it takes to battle for podiums in the 450 ranks. In 2013 the Honda rider took on the premier class at Daytona and finished fourth and later in the year he raced in the Monster Energy Cup and finished fourth with a 5-6-3 result. With the championship pressure effectively off, Tomac will look to hone his skill in the series and mark successes on a race-by-race basis.
“No one is even thinking of us at this point, so maybe we can get out there and sneak up on some guys," Tomac said. "It would be great to get in some good rides and try to put this GEICO Honda up on the podium. I'd love to win some races, for sure. I know we have everything we need to be successful, and if we can stay healthy I like our chances."