Who’s had the worse outdoor season, Barcia or Tomac?
Who’s had the worse outdoor season, Barcia or Tomac?
Who’s having the worse outdoor season, Justin Barcia or Eli Tomac?
Matthes: Wow, this is a tough one. As we all know GEICO Honda’s Tomac and Barcia both had terrific supercross years with Barcia winning the east and Tomac almost capturing the west series. And after last season, the team had to have some great expectations for both of their guys when Tomac won his first ever national in his first race and Barcia won motos here and there. They are both young guys, both groomed through the GEICO amateur program and by all accounts, they both work hard and seem to be positive assets to a team.
So what in the hell is going on right now? Tomac suffered heat stroke at the second race last year and it took him a while to get up to speed. This season he started Hangtown up near the front and almost won the first race. Since then, it’s been up and down for Eli in his second season. A few thirds here and there but he’s rarely up front much and he hasn’t truly gotten a sniff of a win. He missed RedBud when Travis Baker plowed him into and he just lost fourth in the series to Kyle Cunningham. I’m sure that plenty of riders would love to have four podiums and sit fifth in the points but somehow, more was expected of Eli.
As far as Barcia, his season is close to the tipping point where it just goes right off the rails. Here’s the thing though, despite being seventh in the points, Barcia might be doing better than Tomac because of a few factors. He’s had six holeshots which means he’s ran up front, he’s got two second places in the series and he’s missed points in three motos due to a bike problem and crashes. Oh yeah, he’s also contracted mono somehow although by now, it should have run its course and be out of his system. Both guys try very hard, both guys have the machine to win races and both guys have had tough goes of it.
After much deliberation, I’m going to go with Tomac as having a worse motocross season than Barcia but it’s close. And again, it’s all relative because like I said- fifth ain’t the end of the world.
Swizcore: The Tomac deal is puzzling to me. Firstly, I wouldn’t say he was groomed by the Geico Am program, he spent more of his Am “career” on Suzuki’s but I digress. Eli has this super pedigree of work ethic and effort but somehow, that seems to be where he’s struggling outdoors. Perhaps it’s a case of needing to train smarter instead of harder? Eli’s been spending time with Shorty recently and I’m pretty sure Andrew would let him know if he thought Eli was missing something in his regimine and point him in the right direction so I’m betting it’s not preparation-related. For whatever reason Eli is struggling on Saturdays. Is he a head case? Having a case of the “Saturdays”? Just consistently bad luck at the races?
I would think being from air starved Colorado, Eli would be somewhat accustomed to adverse conditions, including mind numbing heat and humidity but it appears that he still is having overheating issues. Last year I’ll give him a pass, entry into the pro ranks, wins round 1, overheats at round 2 and is stuck playing operation recouperation the remainder of the season.
I’d just like to point out too, in defense of Eli and the rest of the field, it seems overall, the heat in this National series has tested the racer’s capacity week to week more than most seasons. Usually there’s a weekend thrown in with the heat wave that allows the racers to focus completely on the race at hand, not being concerned with regulating their core temp to thwart heat related issues. Nearly every single weekend has been taxing on them due to temperature, making it difficult for them to recover between races and come in fully refreshed.
Now Barcia. I always though mono stuck with you for a few months, not two or three weeks? Whatever the case, by Barcia winning the SX title I’m giving him the “I was so focused on sx and I just havent figured out how to transition from that focus into the outdoor season yet” pass. He isn’t even asking for the pass but I’m giving it to him. Yes, he’s been leading moto’s but between the mono and him using his bike to karate chop Musquin and other GNARLY crashes , this season is looking more and more like a wash and he may as well just get through it and learn from it.
My vote goes for Tomac’s as being the bigger worry because his issues are more puzzling and less obvious as being able to point at it and say “this is the problem and this is how we fix it.”
Matthes: Well said Swizzle and it’s got to be tough for the team right now as their main competition, Monster Energy Pro Circuit just romps its way to all three podium spots week after week. Coming into the outdoors, all injuries aside- a team of Blake Wharton, Justin Barcia, Wil Hahn and Eli Tomac seemed to match up pretty good to the PC guys but as explained, it’s all fallen to pieces. I’ve been on teams that struggle all year (although trust me the “powerhouse” KTM team of Keith Johnson, Kelly Smith, Rodrig Thain and Andy Harrington wasn’t nearly as good as the GEICO guys) and it sucks. The tent takes longer to tear down, the weather is worse, there are more travel delays and everyone is a little grouchier when the results aren’t coming.
So yeah, Barcia’s shown speed but has been sick and has been crashing while Eli, although better in the points, is a little mystifying to us right now. Oh well hopefully brighter things lay ahead for the team when amateur sensation Justin Bogle joins the team for the last few nationals.
Until then, it’s going to be a struggle.