Tomac seeks 2nd straight title
LAS VEGAS - Of all the perks about racing at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross finale in Las Vegas, GEICO Honda's Wil Hahn is just looking forward to having some teammates again.
Hahn has gone the last few 250SX East races without any peers in the GEICO Honda hauler because of Kevin Windham's retirement and Zach Bell's injury. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium, the team's 250SX West riders, Eli Tomac and Zach Osborne, will also take to the track and provide Hahn some fast company.
"Eli and I have worked real well together in the past," Hahn said. "We've raced together in the outdoor series and in the 250 West when I was healthy. We feed off each other well, so it should be a big help."
Although both Hahn and Tomac have an opportunity to claim the championship in each rider's respective divisions, the mindsets could play out completely opposite.
"It'll be fun to have some more guys in the truck for probably the most exciting race of the year," Tomac said. "Will's in a little different position because he's got to go out and defend, while I'm in full attack mode. Maybe the situations are different but we're both under the same pressure. We both want to win these championships."
Hahn leads the East standings by five points over Marvin Musquin, while Tomac, the 2012 West champ, is down five points to Ken Roczen for the West title.
The format for this weekend's race is a departure from the norm. The West and East division will each have their own races that will serve as both the final points event of the season and as qualifiers for the East-West Shootout, which is set to run as the non-points main event of the weekend.
"I think Eli and I are really going to feed off each other this weekend," Hahn said. "We're both going to go out there and do the best we can. I've been sticking to my game plan by preparing for this race the best I can. I want to reach my goal of clinching this title."
Tomac and Hahn have both been in California this week testing on a track similar to the dry, hard-pack surface they'll see in Vegas.
"I've been trying to keep things as normal as possible," Tomac said. "We're trying to get the bike to get though the whoops a little better and we've been improving on other little things. I think we're ready."
Osborne will be trying to get on the podium for the second time this season and secure a final West finish in the top five. He's currently sixth, three points behind Martin Davalos.
"It's a weird race because of the format and everything, but it gives me more chances to get on the box," Osborne said. "I really want to end this Supercross season on a positive note. I had a disappointing weekend last week and I want to turn that around and carry some momentum into the outdoor season."
Practice for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross stop at Sam Boyd Stadium gets underway at 1 p.m. Saturday with opening ceremonies getting started at 6:30.
SPEED TV will provide live coverage starting at 7:30.