Team Adds Rising Star and X Games Gold Medalist Vicki Golden in Arenacross Lites
Over the last two seasons of AMA Arenacross Series competition, one team has successfully established itself as a powerhouse. Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis has captured back-to-back AMA Arenacross Series Championships with Josh Demuth (2010) and Tyler Bowers (2011). For 2012, the three-rider lineup of Demuth, Bowers, and two-time champion Chad Johnson, which has competed for the title the last two seasons, returns for even more success. Additionally, Babbitt’s will add groundbreaking female rider Vicki Golden to its start-studded lineup in an effort to capture Arenacross Lites hardware.
“We are excited for the upcoming AMA Arenacross Series season,” said Babbitt’s Team Manager Denny Bartz. “We feel we have a strong team with a lineup of riders that have prepared themselves for 2012. With the change back to 250F’s for all classes, our riders have dropped 15-20 pounds in weight, to prepare for the smaller bike size.”
Since signing the Arenacross class trio two years ago, the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki team has broken through as the team to beat in the series, following several years as a perennial contender. Demuth’s impressive run to the 2010 title was complimented by the team’s historic sweep of the championship podium, while Bowers capped off two of the most statistically-successful seasons of competition with his inaugural title back in March.
Demuth, a three-time AMA Arenacross Series Champion, returns to action after being forced to sit out the entire 2011 season with an injury. The missed opportunity to defend his crown is something that has sat on the veteran’s mind for the last year, and he’ll look to show he hasn’t lost a step this winter. With such a successful resume, it likely won’t take long for Demuth to get back into his groove.
A look at the results sheets over the past two seasons will reveal the dominance that Bowers has held on the AMA Arenacross Series since returning to the discipline in late 2009, following solid years in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. After a heartbreaking injury cost him the 2010 AMA Arenacross Series title, Bowers came back to take care of some unfinished business last season, winning 12 races en route to the title. He’ll look to stay ahead of the field throughout the 2012 season.
Johnson is embarking on his fourth season as a member of the Babbitt’s squad. Following his last title in 2008, Johnson has been a consistent threat to grab a third premier class championship. In his time at Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki, Johnson has posted five wins, to go along with championship finishes of fourth, second, and third, respectively. With his pair of teammates sure to bring the pressure, Johnson is looking for big things this upcoming season.
Last year, Golden became the darling of the AMA Arenacross Series, and one of the biggest stories in the sport of motocross. Her breakthrough outing at January’s Denver Arenacross will forever be etched in the history books, and after nearly a full season of AMA Arenacross Series experience under her belt, Golden was prepared for an assault on the Arenacross Lites title. Unfortunately, in preparation for the upcoming season, Golden suffered an injury that will likely sideline her through the first four rounds. However, come the New Year, expect Golden to be back out on the track, going bat-to-bar with her male counterparts.
“I have always been supportive of the entire women’s motocross scene,” added Bartz. “Miki Keller asked me if I would be interested in bringing Vicki on board, and while we weren’t able to pull it together last season, we started earlier this time around and everything worked out. I think Vicki has a lot of courage to compete in this series. While her injury will surely be a bit of a setback, I hope her determination gets her the results she’s looking for once she returns.”