Tyler Bowers Has Championship in His Sights as 2012 AMA Arenacross Series Season Concludes in Minneapolis

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Champion Will Also be Crowned

The AMA Arenacross Series season has seen the world’s best arenacross riders wage war inside the country’s most popular arenas since October. Now, following 11 rounds of intense bar-to-bar competition, a pair of champions will be crowned on Saturday night inside Minneapolis’ Target Center for the 12th and final round of the 2012 season.

On the heels of an impressive two-night sweep this past weekend in Reno, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers needs just one point this weekend to secure back-to-back Arenacross Class Championships, which hasn’t happened since Darcy Lange accomplished the same feat in 2004 and 2005. Bowers’ 12 main event wins matches his total from last season and based on the way he’s been riding recently, he could very well improve on that impressive mark.

Last weekend in Reno, FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson was looking to capitalize on a big win he achieved one week prior and hopefully gain even more ground on Bowers in the premier class standings. Out of the gate in each of the weekend’s two main events. Gibson did what he needed to do, grabbing the early lead and trying to pull away from the field. On each night, however, Bowers followed Gibson in second and tactically put himself in position to win both times, gaining six points on his rival over the course of the weekend and putting himself as close as possible to clinching the 2012 championship.

In order to secure his second consecutive Arenacross Class crown, Bowers simply needs to qualify for the main event on Saturday night. In the world of arenacross, anything can happen at any given moment and while his task should be a relatively easy one to accomplish, Bowers still has some work to do inside the Target Center this weekend.

Along with the drama of the premier class, the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Championship is also being hotly contested heading into the AMA Arenacross Series finale. Thanks to back-to-back fifth-place efforts last weekend, BNTQ.net/TUF Honda’s Kevin Markwardt has moved to within four points of reigning Western Regional Champion Chad Cook, who rides for HOK Racing Kawasaki. In Reno, Cook experienced one of his roughest outings of the season, and saw his points lead shrink from 10 points to four.

With only one main event and 18 laps remaining for the 2012 season, both Cook and Markwardt will be ready to lay it all on the line on Saturday night for the chance to claim a coveted AMA title.

The 12th and final round of the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season commences on Saturday, February 25, from the Target Center in Minneapolis. Opening ceremonies kick off at 7 p.m. CT.

Previous Round Results:

Livestock Events Center – Reno, Nev.

February 17-18, 2012

Round 11 of 12

Arenacross Class Results (Reno, Nev.) – Night One

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  3. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
  4. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
  6. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
  7. Travis Sewell, Westville, IN, KTM
  8. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
  9. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
  10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Reno, Nev.) – Night One

  1. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
  2. Tiger Lacy, Beaverton, Ore., Kawasaki
  3. Michael McDade, Edinburg, Pa, KTM
  4. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
  5. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda
  6. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatcong, N.J., KTM
  7. Chris Proscelle, Dulzura, Calif., Honda
  8. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda
  9. Cody Church, Grand Junction, Colo., Kawasaki
  10. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., Kawasaki

Arenacross Class Results (Reno, Nev.) – Night Two

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  3. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
  4. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
  5. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
  6. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda
  7. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
  8. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
  9. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  10. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM      

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Reno, Nev.) – Night Two

  1. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatcong, N.J., KTM
  2. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
  3. Michael McDade, Edinburg, Pa, KTM
  4. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
  5. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda
  6. Tiger Lacy, Beaverton, Ore., Kawasaki
  7. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda
  8. Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  9. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
  10. Cody Church, Grand Junction, Colo., Kawasaki

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 18 of 19)

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki (12 wins) – 402
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda (3 wins) – 378
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki (2 wins) – 318
  4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (1 win) – 275
  5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 272
  6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 245
  7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 206
  8. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM – 173
  9. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 161
  10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 139

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 8 of 9)

  1. Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 98
  2. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda – 94
  3. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 82
  4. Cody Church, Grand Junction, Colo., Kawasaki – 57
  5. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM – 47
  6. Chris Proscelle, Dulzura, Calif., Honda – 36
  7. Patrick Massie, Washington Court House, Ohio, Honda – 35
  8. Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM – 24
  9. Tiger Lacy, Beaverton, Ore., Kawasaki – 22
  10. Nick Myers, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 22

2012 Dash for Cash Winners:

  • Des Moines – Zach Ames
  • Baltimore Night One – Tyler Bowers
  • Baltimore Night Two – Tyler Bowers
  • Madison Night One – Willy Browning
  • Madison Night Two – Jeff Gibson
  • Wilkes Barre Night One – Tyler Bowers
  • Wilkes Barre Night Two – Nathan Skaggs
  • Grand Rapids Night One – Zach Ames
  • Grand Rapids Night Two – Jeff Gibson
  • Topeka Night One – Chad Johnson
  • Topeka Night Two – Nathan Skaggs
  • Dayton – Jeff Gibson
  • Cedar Park Night One – Kelly Smith
  • Cedar Park Night Two – Tyler Bowers
  • Lexington – Tyler Bowers
  • Fresno – Tyler Bowers
  • Reno Night One – Nathan Skaggs
  • Reno Night Two – Jeff Gibson


Supercross points leader Justin Barcia looking to add to his Lites East tally in Atlanta

With the first race – and win – under his belt, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia is headed into this weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites East race at the Georgia Dome relaxed and confident.

“It was good to get the first race out of the way, especially with a win,” Barcia said. “You always have those jitters coming into the season but once you get out there and ride it all goes away. Now it just feels like business as usual. Georgia is home and I love the vibe of Atlanta. The fans will be there, you know that for sure, and the building will be loud. I’m ready.”

With the win last week, Barcia, the defending Lites East champion, assumes the early points lead, but knows going wire-to-wire to repeat as champ is going to be his toughest challenge yet.

“It’s going to be a crazy season,” he said. “There are definitely five, six, seven guys that can be on the podium any race. I feel like I can win every race but you know that’s probably not going to happen. If we can at least get on the podium every weekend, like we did last year, then we should be in good shape to defend the title.”

Barcia’s Lites teammate, rookie Justin Bogle, is looking for redemption after seeing what would have been a solid debut ride wiped away after getting cleaned out hard by Malcolm Stewart.

“I’ve never been more anxious to race,” Bogle said. “Getting taken out of the race last weekend was hard on me but before that happened I was riding in the top three and I really wasn’t even riding at my best. I was pretty tight and not in a good rhythm, but I was still right there.”

Bogle finished 14th in Dallas and is prepared to ride hard and climb his way back up the rankings.

“It’s good to have a race in the books,” Bogle said. “I know where I stand and how I stack up against the other guys. I’m confident we’ll have a better weekend in Atlanta. I need to earn some points back. I’m ready to get after it.”

GEICO Honda’s Supercross rider, Kevin Windham, is tied for fifth in the series standings with Jake Weimer, but he’s still seeking his first podium of the season.

“I’m trying to stay calm this year because I think we’ve shown we have the ability to get on the podium and contend for some wins,” Windham said. “There is a level of frustration because we haven’t finished up there yet but when you’re so close week after week you don’t want to change too much. It’s just a matter of getting the little breaks it sometimes takes. Being fifth is about right. The guys ahead of me at the moment have had better seasons so far. But we’re right there. We just need to finish.”

Practice for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross race at Georgia Dome gets under way at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday with opening ceremonies scheduled for 7 p.m. SPEED TV will air both the Supercross and Supercross Lites East races live starting at 7:30 p.m. EST.


Honda Tops the Opening Round of the 2012 Supercross Lites East Class

Round seven of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series took place this weekend in Arlington, TX. Nearly 54,000 fans filled Cowboys Stadium to watch not only the seventh round of the series, but also the opening round of the Lites East class. GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, who is also the defending Lites East Champion, started his season strong by winning the main. His teammate Kevin Windham and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton rode noteworthy races, finishing in the top ten.

After spending most of the week recovering from his crash in San Diego, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton put together a respectable ride aboard his CRF450R. He finished a solid fifth in his heat race. In the main, Brayton grabbed a mid-pack start and had a close call on the first lap when another rider landed on his right side. Despite damage to his exhaust, Brayton spent the remaining 20 laps battling his way up a ninth-place finish.

“The night went okay since I came into this round not even knowing if I was going to be able to ride. I did a lot of therapy this week but wasn’t able to get on the bike,” said Brayton. “In the main I got landed on in the first lap. The right side of my body and my muffler were pretty messed up. I am happy to be going home safe and have another week for rehab. I think I’ll be able to go to Atlanta more on point like I was before my crash in San Diego.”

TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed started the day off strong after laying down the fastest lap time in qualifying, giving him first gate pick headed into the heat races. He finished a solid second in his heat race in front of GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham. In the main Reed got a good start and quickly made his way into the second-place position. He was putting a lot of pressure on the rider in first place until going down hard in the whoops. Reed was taken off the track by the Asterisk medical team and was unable to finish the race.

For a second week in a row GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham had an upsetting end to his night. After qualifying fifth quickest during the day, he finished third in his heat. During the main he rode in fifth the majority of the race until making a few mistakes and dropping to seventh place.

“The GEICO Honda was running incredible and things were going great almost all day,” said Windham. “I don’t know what happened but with three to four laps to go I made some major mistakes causing me to get passed a few times. I don’t want to dwell on it too much since the majority of the day went well but I just need to focus on finishing the last five laps strong. I’m excited for Atlanta which will be my 200th start and am hoping to turn things around and make it on the podium.”

Defending Lites East Champion Justin Barcia started his 2012 season exactly where he left off last year–on top of the podium. After setting the quickest lap time in qualifying, Barcia rode a solid heat race finishing in first place. In the main he nabbed a fourth place start and quickly began charging to the front of the pack. On lap eight Barcia made the pass for first and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field to take his first win of the season.

“The night started okay. I got a bad start in the heat race but was still able to take the win,” said Barcia. “I turned it around in the main, got a pretty good start and made some strong passes. I ended up getting the lead and was able to pull a nice gap. This is a great way to start off the season and I am excited to head to Atlanta.”


Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross

Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross

Rockstar Energy’s Blake Wharton cards fourth in first Supercross Lites East round

Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross - Photo 1 of 4

Photos by Jake Klingensmith

The Rockstar Energy Racing teams turned in some impressive yet hair-raising performances at round seven of the AMA/FIM Supercross Series at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, TX, on Saturday night. The track was a tight, technical one, and it put all the Rockstar riders through their respective paces before the evening was over. Additionally, this round marked the first of the East Region Supercross Lites rounds.

Starting the East Coast rounds with a bang was Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Blake Wharton, who made it to the Supercross Lites main event after finishing fourth in his heat race. Although Wharton had a get-off in the 15-lap main, he recovered and brought home a solid fourth-place result.

“It was an interesting night,” said Wharton. “I would have liked to be on the podium, that’s certainly how you want to start out your season, but I felt like I had some good things going on. Ultimately, I have some things to work on, but the bikes were great and my starts were on point. Now, I’m definitely looking forward to Atlanta. I’ve raced there twice and I’ve done well. I like the track and it’s another place to make a statement. Every round is an opportunity, and I just have to keep pushing for it. I think I’ll be there in the end.”

Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Hunter Hewitt picked up the final transfer spot in his heat race, thanks to a ninth-place result. In the main, he struggled a little, but still put in a determined ride and finished 12th.

“This was one of those days where I never really got into my groove,” said Hewitt. “I worked really hard in the off-season so it was pretty frustrating, but the Rockstar Energy Racing team really helped keep me upbeat. We got through the heat race and into the main, and I just tried to ride my own race. We’re going to Atlanta next, and I think it’ll be a good race for us.”

Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross - Photo 2 of 4

Also in Supercross Lites, the Star Valli Yamaha team put forth a heroic effort. Kyle Cunningham scored an impressive third in his heat race, but a first-lap crash in the main saw him retire for the night. Star Valli Yamaha teammate Kyle Peters suffered a practice crash earlier in the week and did not race the evening’s event. Peters expects to be back as early as next weekend’s Atlanta round.

In the Supercross class, Rockstar’s Brett Metcalfe suffered a fairly nasty crash in practice but rallied to finish fourth in his heat race. In the 20-lap main, Metcalfe got a bad start that put him near the back of the field. Trying to make his way through, he collided with another rider coming off the triple. No one was injured, though Metcalfe’s shifter was damaged and stuck in second gear. Metcalfe still managed to pull-off an eighth-place finish.

Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross - Photo 3 of 4

“I was feeling pretty good coming into Dallas,” said Metcalfe. “We had some positive practice sessions, but then I crashed in practice and that kind of shook me up. I’m still a little bit sore from that. In the main, I hit the triple and I nearly landed on somebody, and it really scared me. Then, I realized that my shifter had gotten bent so I was stuck in second gear. Luckily, this was the kind of track where you could get away with using one gear for the whole lap, so it wasn’t so bad for me. After that, I backed it down because I just wanted to finish the race. Now I’m just looking forward to Atlanta. I think everyone loves to go to Atlanta, because the dirt’s really good and the track’s always fun.”

Rockstar Energy counterpart Nick Wey had a solid day in Arlington. After scoring 16th fastest in the afternoon timed practices, Wey qualified for the main with an eighth-place heat race result. The Rockstar Energy rider finished off the night with a consistent ride for a 12th-place finish in the Supercross main event.

Rockstar Energy Racing Teams Come Through After Bad Luck at 2012 Arlington Supercross - Photo 4 of 4

Also in the Supercross class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry won the LCQ and went on to finish 14th in the main event. Star Valli’s Nico Izzi, who races Supercross Lites West, made it to the Supercross main event with a seventh-place heat race finish. In the main, Izzi put in about seven laps before retiring with wrist pain and may sit out the next few rounds. Finally, Star Valli’s Austin Stroupe was recently returned to racing after a concussion, but he crashed in practice injuring his shoulder.

The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the eighth round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, February 25th, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. You can meet the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki riders on Friday, February 24th from 6 to 7 PM at Mountain Motorsports, 899 Iris Drive S.E., Conyers, GA.


Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Avoids Catastrophe to Pull Off an Eighth-Place Finish in Arlington Supercross

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Avoids Catastrophe to Pull Off an Eighth-Place Finish in Arlington Supercross

Team Yoshimura Suzuki was proud to bring home a safe and solid top-10 finish in round seven of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Series at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, TX, on Saturday night. Australian Brett Metcalfe realized that discretion was the better part of valor after what could have been a catastrophic crash. In the end, he was able race his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to a respectable eighth-place finish.

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Avoids Catastrophe to Pull Off an Eighth-Place Finish in Arlington Supercross - Photo 1 of 2

Photos by Jake Klingensmith

Going into the weekend, the Yoshimura Suzuki squad was more than ready to race. Metcalfe concentrated on his starts during the previous week and he was feeling good about his chances on the tight, technical Texas track. Unfortunately, a crash during the afternoon qualifying practice set him back a little. Despite this, he rallied and finished an impressive fourth in his eight-lap heat race.

“I was feeling pretty good coming into Dallas,” said Metcalfe. “We had some positive practice sessions, but then I crashed in practice and that kind of shook me up. I’m still a little bit sore from that. But we got through practice and then qualifying went well. In the heat race, I caught a really good start – that’s something I’ve been working on and the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 has been gaining well – and in the heat race, I ended up fourth. I was happy with that, because I had a good ride going.”

Looking back at the start of the 20-lap main, Metcalfe regretted his gate pick. He came off the line and got a little sideways, winding up at near the back of the pack. Trying to pick his way through the tight and twisty field, he launched over the triple jump only to narrowly miss landing on another racer. Although contact was made, both riders resumed racing. For Metcalfe, the contact resulted in a bent shift lever that was stuck in second gear. Regardless, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider was still able to manage an eighth-place finish.

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Avoids Catastrophe to Pull Off an Eighth-Place Finish in Arlington Supercross - Photo 2 of 2

“That first lap was just really, really crazy,” said Metcalfe. “The track’s tight and there were bikes jamming up everywhere. I hit the triple and I nearly landed on somebody, and it really scared me. Then, I realized that my shifter had gotten bent so I was stuck in second gear. Luckily, this was the kind of track where you could get away with using one gear for the whole lap, so it wasn’t so bad for me. After that, I backed it down because I just wanted to finish the race. That was really it for me for the night. I’m just happy I got through it.”

Always looking forward, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider is already focusing on next weekend’s race in Georgia. Said Metcalfe: “I think everyone loves to go to Atlanta, because the dirt’s really good and the track’s always fun. I just want to have a solid week of practice, get some rest and get ready for Atlanta.”

Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s next event is the eighth round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, February 25th, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. You can meet Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s Brett Metcalfe on Friday, February 24th from 6 to 7 PM at Mountain Motorsports, 899 Iris Drive S.E., Conyers, GA 30094.


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