Photos by: Hoppenworld
Former 250SX champions Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn are seeking season-changing performances as they take their rookie 450 campaigns to the East Coast for this weekend’s Monster Energy Supercross event at the Georgia Dome.
Due to some bothersome injuries, the first half of the season has not brought the podium results Tomac and Hahn had hoped for, but the duo insist progress is being made as they transition to the sport’s premier category.
Tomac suffered a shoulder injury during a practice round at the first race of the year that eventually sidelined him for the first four events. Just as he returned to action, Hahn had a hard get-off that banged his throttle hand, putting him on IR for a pair of races.
Finally healthy for the second event in a row, the pair are ready to regain lost ground on the lead pack of riders.
“I am extremely pumped up for Atlanta,” said Tomac, who finished seventh last year in Atlanta on a trial race aboard a 450 Honda CRF. “The fans were really crazy and fun and they fill that dome up. I’m sure every rider will tell you we love it when you can hear all the roars from the crowd when we’re racing.
“I’ve pretty much always raced West Coast on my 250, so coming East is still a new experience to a certain extent. I did get a couple of chances to ride some East races last year feeling out the 450, and Atlanta was one of those races, so it’s not a totally blind deal. I know the dirt was a lot more how I like it, so I don’t expect the same difficulties with the track we all experienced in Dallas.
“I want to put together a better main this week. The setup for my 450 gets closer every time out. I am feeling better than ever and I am becoming stronger in the heat races, so it’s only a matter of time until we have a successful main.”
Just the mention of Atlanta brings a smile to Hahn’s face as the affable rider scored his first professional victory in the Georgia Dome one year ago. The gutty performance catapulted him into the 250 East points lead, which he successfully held for the remainder of the season.
“Atlanta definitely is a special place for me,” Hahn said. “I can’t wait to test out my GEICO Honda 450 there, and I look forward to building on my results. I have learned so much this year and that’s exciting. I’ll be heading into this weekend’s race with a big smile on my face, for sure.
“The hand injury was a setback, but I was back pretty close to where I need to be in my development at last weekend’s race in Dallas. I only expect to get better and better, and Atlanta would be a perfect place to break through and earn a podium finish.”
A sellout crowd of more than 70,000 people is expected to welcome the GEICO Honda team and the rest of the Supercross stars to the Georgia Dome. Live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 2.