2022 450 Supercross champ Eli Tomac reveals torn MCL the cause of results slump

Eli Tomac has revealed that a knee injury was the reason for his slump in performance in recent weeks, and that he will likely miss the season-ending Salt Lake City Supercross. 

Eli Tomac, 2022 Foxborough Supercross. - Yamaha Racing.

ELI Tomac was crowned as the 2022 AMA Supercross champion last weekend in Denver, in his home state of Colorado. 

Tomac had dominated the season, especially in the middle of the year, when his main title rival, Jason Anderson, got into a weeks-long confrontation with Malcolm Stewart that culminated in their coming together on the first lap of the Daytona Main Event. Anderson would also crash out of the Detroit Supercross after hitting his head, and would have his own performance slump in the weeks after the Michigan race. 

Eli Tomac, 2022 Detroit Supercross. - Yamaha Racing

During that time, Tomac racked up five straight wins that would see his points lead become essentially unassailable. Although Anderson has now won the last three Supercross races in succession, Tomac’s points lead was such that he was still able to wrap up his second 450SX title with a round to go. 

But, while Anderson was winning, Tomac has been unable to make the top five in the last two races. Initially, it was thought that he was just managing risk factors and protecting his points lead. However, on the podium at the Denver Supercross last weekend, Tomac revealed that it has been a knee injury picked up in the Atlanta heat race which has affected his performances. 

Tomac then went on the PulpMX Show this past Monday (2 May 2022), on which he revealed further details about his injury. The #3 rider told the PulpMX Show that his medicate cruciate ligament (MCL) was torn in the Atlanta heat race when he dabbed his foot in the long, sweeping, flat left-hander after the split sand section, and before the first whoops section. 

Tomac said that the MCL injury will heal itself over time, and therefore will not require surgery. But he also said that there is a “98%” chance that he will not be racing in Salt Lake City for the Supercross season finale this weekend. 

Instead, Tomac is focusing on the AMA Pro Motocross season that is set to start on 28 May at Pala Raceway in California. That the injury will not require surgery, and that there are now only 25 days until the race in Pala, means that the best thing for Tomac’s chances of clinching the 450MX title he has not won since 2019 will be to skip this weekend’s - ultimately inconsequential - Salt Lake City Supercross. 

It could be that even missing Salt Lake does not give Tomac’s MCL the time it needs to recover in time for the Pro Motocross season, but only time will tell.