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Eli Tomac, James Stewart update Denver injury: ‘It was just a freak deal’

James Stewart shows how Eli Tomac suffered a torn Achilles during Round 16 Supercross action in Denver, ending his season and effectively handing the 450 championship to Chase Sexton before the Salt Lake City final

Eli Tomac is focused on recovery after his Monster Energy Supercross Round 16 injury that ended his 2023 championship bid and in an Instagram update, says he is not going to make a decision on his career for at least ‘a month or two’.

On Lap 3 of the Main event, Eli Tomac overjumped an obstacle in a rhythm section at Empower Field in Denver, Colorado, landed hard and ruptured his Achilles tendon.

Tomac was able to get his tendon repaired and begin the road to recovery, which is a lengthy process for this type of injury.

“On Sunday, I was able to get my Achilles all tuned up and fixed,” Tomac said on Instagram. “I was very thankful to get in there right away and get this thing on the road to recovery. I’m basically at a loss of words for what happened and how it happened. In my mind, it was just a freak deal and a racing situation.

“I look back and I barely overjumped that tabletop and was standing up in that ramp, and I guess the high G load just took a little too much for my Achilles there. I’ve overjumped into plenty of other jumps just as hard, if not harder, and been totally fine before. I guess this stuff happens with racing. It’s very unfortunate to lose it this way, but myself and the Star Racing Yamaha team have so much to hold our heads high with. Looking back to 2022, winning Supercross, Motocross, the Motocross of Nations. That whole season was truly unforgettable.”

On the Bubba’s World podcast, NBC Sports analyst and two-time Supercross champion James Stewart detailed what occurred during the incident to cause Tomac’s injury.

“When Eli overjumps that table top - I wouldn’t even say he overjumped it that much - but when Eli goes over that table, he’s in between that transition,” Stewart said in the video above. The bike bottoms out. Now, where it goes wrong is that Eli is expecting a rebound. When it goes all the way down, even if you bottom out, the thing rebounds on you. ... He’s expecting the thing to come back up. It doesn’t come back up, but he’s expecting it to so he’s lifting back up. It’s almost as if you land on something and you’re trying to jump - like you’re jumping on a trampoline and you’re double bouncing with somebody and you miss time it and when you land, you’re springing back up and it doesn’t react and it’s a hard hit. That’s what happened to Eli.”

The abrupt end to Tomac’s season came one week after Cooper Webb suffered a hard blow to his helmet in his Nashville heat. Accidents in that round also claimed Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson, who were competing for top-five positions in the championship standings.

Tomac entered the 2023 season with a contract to race in Supercross only amid speculation that would lead to his retirement. With the addition of the SuperMotocross World Championship, Tomac extended his contract with the Star Racing Yamaha team to run the full Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and SMC seasons.

Always methodical, Tomac went on to say that he is not going to make a decision on his retirement until he has had a chance to process what happened.

“Even though the season ends the way it did, it was awesome. Getting the seven wins up to this point. It was a great season up until Saturday night. I guess that’s just racing. That’s the update. One thing’s for sure: I’m not going to make any decisions on my future right now. Maybe that will come a month or two down the road on whether or not I go racing again or what happens. We’re just going to focus on getting healthy.”

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon
Justin Barcia, collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Cooper Webb, concussion
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Christian Craig, elbow
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Jalek Swoll, arm
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta