Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLube Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers Destroys the Competition in Reno

Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLube Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers Destroys the Competition in Reno

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Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLube Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers continued his win streak in Reno, Nev. dominating both race nights of AMA Arenacross. With three consecutive wins under his belt, Bowers gained a solid lead in the point standings. Friday night also saw Chad Johnson finish fourth-place, and Gray Davenport finish in ninth after getting caught up in pile-up in the first turn of the race. The riders almost swept the podium Saturday night with Bowers on top, Johnson taking second, and Davenport finishing fourth.

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The Turkey


After winning three-consecutive races, Bowers has proven to be a serious contender in the AMA Arenacross series. Coming into Reno with a win in Louisville, he was the man to beat. He proved unstoppable Friday night, gapping the field by 12 seconds before taking the checkered flag. On Saturday night, Bowers started in fifth place, but fought his way up front to finish on top of the podium.

“The track was tough this weekend,” said Team Manager Denny Bartz. “The whoops were very deep, and there were lots of them. Tyler is getting back up to the speed he carried last year, and setting a pace that is hard for other racers to maintain for more than just a few laps.”

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Not Far Behind


Johnson showed steady improvement over the weekend, finishing fourth place on Friday and second place on Saturday. A first-turn crash on Friday night left him at the back of the field. He fought hard, and made it across the finish line in fourth place. Johnson has found the podium several times this year, consistently enough to put himself in third place in the overall point standings.

“Chad’s starts are getting better,” said Bartz. “That’s going to help him win more main events. He is a good racer and just needs to iron out some of the wrinkles.”

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Continually Improving


Davenport has been learning a lot this year, and continues to improve. After Friday night’s crash left him in last-place, he ended up finishing in ninth. Saturday night he started off in the top 10, but worked his way through the field to finish in sixth place.

“Gray is doing better and setting some decent lap times,” said Bartz. “He really needs to focus on improving in the whoops.”

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Headed to Northern California


Now carrying the momentum of a solid win streak and the points lead, Bowers is looking forward to the upcoming race at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. There he will attempt to extend his win-steak, while Johnson chases down Jeff Gibson for second in points, and Davenport looks to climb into the top-five in overall points.

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Results


AMA Arenacross Series


Livestock Event Center – Reno, Nev.


February 18-19, 2011



AMA Arenacross Class Results (Saturday)

1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


2. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


3. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda


4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha


5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda


6. GRAY DAVENPORT, LEHI, UTAH, MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


7. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda


8. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha


9. Daniel Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Suzuki


10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki



AMA Arenacross Lites Results, Western Region (Saturday)

1. TIGER LACEY, SPRING CREEK, NEV., KAWASAKI


2. CHAD COOK, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., KAWASAKI


3. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kansas, KTM


4. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda


5. AVIERY HICKEY, DECATUR, TEXAS, KAWASAKI


6. JOEL FITTRO, ELMIRA, CALIF., KAWASAKI


7. Tanner Young, Marland, Okla., Yamaha


8. JAKE LOCKS, DIXON, CALIF., KAWASAKI


9. Travis Smith, Lancaster, Calif., Yamaha


10. Noa Quinabo, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki



AMA Arenacross Class Results (Friday)

1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


2. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda


3. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda


4. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda


6. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha


7. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda


8. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda


9. GRAY DAVENPORT, LEHI, UTAH, MONSTER ENERGY/TILUBE/BABBITTS KAWASAKI


10. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha



AMA Arenacross Lites Results, Western Region (Friday)

1. TIGER LACEY, SPRING CREEK, NEV., KAWASAKI


2. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda


3. JOEL FITTRO, ELMIRA, CALIF., KAWASAKI


4. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kansas, KTM


5. Travis Smith, Lancaster, Calif., Yamaha


6. Tanner Young, Marland, Okla., Yamaha


7. JAKE LOCKS, DIXON, CALIF., KAWASAKI


8. MORGAN BURGER, NAMPA, IDAHO, KAWASAKI


9. JONATHON WITHROW, ESCALON, CALIF., KAWASAKI


10. CHAD COOK, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., KAWASAKI



AMA Arenacross Point Standings

1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY, BABBITTS MONSTER ENERGY TILUBE KAWASAKI, 227


2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda, 215


3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITTS MONSTER ENERGY TILUBE KAWASAKI, 198


4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda, 160


5. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda, 153


6. GRAY DAVENPORT, LEHI, UTAH, BABBITTS MONSTER ENERGY TILUBE KAWASAKI, 153


7. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda, 132


8. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha, 124


9. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha, 111


10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki, 105


Back To School With Troy Lee Designs

Back To School With Troy Lee Designs

Team TLD/ Honda Speaks Out For a Great Cause

Story and Photos By: Chris Denison / Dirt Rider



Video by
: Masayuki Shirotani

Kids these days can use all the good examples they can get, and there’s no better role model for a preteen than a clean cut, courageous, slightly goofy young motocross racer. Earlier this week, Team Troy Lee Designs/ Honda paid a visit to Lincoln Alternative Elementary School in Corona, California, where the racers established themselves as absolute heroes in front of 400+ energetic students.

How much of an impact can a trio of young rippers have on a bunch of fourth, fifth and sixth graders? You’d be surprised. As Christian Craig, Travis Baker and Cole Seely answered questions, told stories and talked about safety to the riveted audience, they also drove home the importance of success in school, getting good grades and holding on to your dreams. The impact on the students was clearly real, but most importantly a ton of kids were exposed to one of the greatest family sports on the planet.

For one afternoon, Lincoln Alternative Elementary was transformed into a pit area for the TLD/ Honda squad. Understandably, the kids were in heaven.

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Speed TV had a camera crew on hand to cover the action, and the kids got a kick out of the prospect of being on national television. The spot is set to air in conjunction with the upcoming San Diego SX race, which will be broadcast live on Speed TV.

If you think sugar gets kids revved up, try race gas fumes! When Christian Craig’s bike rolled onto the back lawn of Lincoln elementary, 400+ pre-teens officially made more noise than the entire Anaheim Supercross crowd.

Troy Lee Designs is also based in Corona, California, just a few miles from Lincoln Elementary. The company has several ties to the local community; reaching out to the students at Lincoln was yet another way for TLD to give back to the city while helping to promote the sport.

Quite possibly the best part of the assembly was the question and answer session with a handful of students. Questions ranged from “Has Obama been to your races?” to “Do you guys ever fight?” The racers themselves were more than happy to answer each query, also taking the time to reiterate the importance of education and persistence in realizing one’s dreams.

The highlight of the afternoon came when Travis Baker claimed that he still remembered his elementary school song, and then promptly jumped into a full-throttle rendition of the tune. While Baker’s future in motocross looks bright, he won’t be going platinum anytime soon. Still, you have to give the kid credit for his ability to wow a crowd!

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Part of the assembly focused on safety equipment, with a hands-on explanation as to how and why racers wear helmets and chest protectors. No fifth graders were harmed in this demonstration, but one was disappointed that he didn’t get to keep the lid!

TLD’s Shawn Norfolk was the man that made the event happen. “Troy Lee grew up here in Corona, and he thought it would be so cool to go to a local elementary school and make some kids’ days.” Shawn explained. “We decided to make it happen before the Supercross series left the West Coast, as we figured we could stop by and show these kids that you don’t need to try to be a doctor or a lawyer to use your education. These guys-these professional athletes-have to use their minds every day!”

Jason Scott, Principal of Lincoln Alternative Elementary, was beside himself at how well the racers were received. “I think the visit was highly motivational for the students, and to bring in the arts has been exciting-we don’t get a chance to do that very often. And for the kids to hear from professional athletes about reading, writing, math-as well as safety-is critical. It’s an important message that I’m so glad they brought and shared.”

Troy Lee Designs is founded on art, and one of the coolest components of the racers’ visit was an art contest. Students were given 12 x 18 sheets of paper and told to draw a picture from the theme “motocross is…” with each of the racers picking their favorite drawing.

Mixed in with the various sketches were several freestyle drawings, a tiger driving a car, a couple of street bikes and (visible at top right) an impressive illustration of the Predator flat-tracking a Harley across red flames. Evidently, motocross means hugely different things to certain kids.

The three students with the top drawings were awarded a TLD backpack full of swag, much to their disbelief and excitement. As if that wasn’t enough, they also received tickets to the weekend’s Supercross race and special VIP hospitality access to the TLD/ Honda rig.

Huge props to Lincoln Elementary for exposing their students to the best sport on earth, and three cheers for the TLD Honda team for taking the time to support the youngens.

Sorry, Justin Bieber, there’s a new heartthrob in town, and his name is Christian Craig!


Arenacross West Coast Swing Continues in Sacramento

Arenacross West Coast Swing Continues in Sacramento

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Bowers Sits Atop Standings at Halfway Point

The 2011 AMA Arenacross Series hit the halfway point last weekend in Reno and after two nights of action at the longest-running arenacross race in history. Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers asserted himself as the rider to beat for the 2011 Arenacross class title after a weekend sweep from the “Biggest Little City in the World.” This weekend, the series will conclude its two-week western swing with a return to the California State Capital in Sacramento and ARCO Arena.

Bowers is currently in the midst of a three-race winning streak and since capturing his first win of the season in Denver, has won five of the last seven main events. He assumed the points lead from TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson following his hometown race in Louisville and has yet to lose since.

Through seven rounds, Bowers’ lead over Gibson sits at 12 points and after a dominant start by Gibson to start the season, the momentum has shifted into Bowers’ favor. With five wins to Bowers’ credit already this season, he is beginning to show the same dominance he had over the field in 2010 when he grabbed nine overall victories.

Despite Bowers’ recent run, Gibson has been impressive in his own right. A pair of third-place efforts in Reno gave the 2009 AMA Arenacross Series Champion a streak of six podium results, but his continued loss of points to his rival over the past three weeks has proven to be too much to overcome despite his incredible consistency.

“Both Tyler and Jeff are in the midst of two of the most impressive seasons we’ve ever seen in the AMA Arenacross Series,” said Series Director Jayme Dalsing. “In any other year, Gibson would clearly be the rider to beat, but Bowers has managed to still be that much better. Given how well they’ve both ridden, it’s hard to believe the gap between them is in the double digits.”

In addition to the duo leading the pack, the competition throughout the rest of the field has been exceptional. Chad Johnson and Cole Siebler, teammates to Bowers and Gibson, respectively, have been in the mix throughout the season and have managed to capture wins of their own. While they currently aren’t within striking distance of the championship lead, they’ve added greatly to the parity of the Arenacross class along with Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/HondaofFairfield.com’s Zach Ames, who sits fourth in the championship. Veteran riders Gray Davenport, the third member of the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki team, and Kelly Smith, of Team Faith Yamaha, have also put forth some great rides in recent weeks.

The competition within the division is tougher than ever and despite the dominance of Bowers and Gibson atop the standings, it’s anyone’s race to win every time the gate drops. Even with the majority of the checkered flags to their credit, the title contenders will be the first to echo the sentiment. While the statistics may suggest otherwise, both Bowers and Gibson have had to work harder than ever to achieve success.

This weekend’s eighth round commences on Saturday, February 26 at 7 p.m. PT from ARCO Arena and marks the AMA Arenacross Series’ first visit to Sacramento since the 2009 season. In addition to the hotly-contested competition of the Arenacross class, the Arenacross Lites Western Regional Championship continues after reaching its halfway point in Reno. Oklahoma native Chad Cook sits atop the standings and leads his challengers into action this weekend.

Advance tickets are available for the Sacramento Arenacross at the ARCO Arena Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone and ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $2 more the day of the race.

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 10 of 19)

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 227
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 215
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 198
  4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 160
  5. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda – 153
  6. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 153
  7. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 132
  8. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha – 124
  9. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha – 111
  10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 105

Arenacross Lites Class Western Regional Points (After Race 5 of 10)

  1. Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 105
  2. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 83
  3. Aviery Hickey, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki – 67
  4. Travis Smith, Lancaster, Calif., Yamaha – 66
  5. Tanner Young, Marland, Okla., Yamaha – 51
  6. Tiger Lacey, Spring Creek, Nev., Kawasaki – 50
  7. Bobby Fitch, Littleton, Colo., Honda – 44
  8. Jeremy Huddleston, Eustace, Texas, KTM – 42
  9. Noa Quinabo, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki – 36
  10. Joel Fittro, Elmira, Calif., Kawasaki – 35


Points leader Justin Barcia leads the way into Atlanta Supercross race

GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia rocketed off to a great start to his 2011 campaign by winning the first event of the AMA Supercross Lites East series Feb. 12 in Houston. The red-hot racer from Ochlocknee, Ga., will now look to build on his early success at his hometown event when the Monster Energy tour hits the Georgia Dome this Saturday for the eighth stop of the year.

“I can’t wait to ride again,” Barcia said. “I didn’t want to take last week off after winning in Houston. I wanted to ride again the next day.

“You have the whole off-season to think about that first race. I knew I needed to be strong and I wanted to get off to a good start. I know a lot of people are pointing to me as one of the favorites in the (Lites) East so I wanted to show everyone I was worthy of all the attention. Now that race is done and it’s time for Atlanta.”

Barcia will be joined in the Peach State by teammates Kevin Windham, who rides a 450cc Honda in Supercross, and Blake Wharton, who competes alongside Barcia on a 250cc Honda in Supercross Lites East. Following back-to-back DNFs, one due to an accident and the other to mechanical issues, Windham has slipped to 11th in the points. After one race in Lites East, Wharton is sixth overall.

Echoing a common theme in the sport, the 18-year-old Barcia said being quick out of the gate was key in Houston and should be a huge factor once again in Georgia.

“The start is everything,” Barcia said. “I was able to sneak inside on the first turn in Houston and then I had clear track in front of me. I had a good, fast bike and was able to hold off a few challenges. I felt great and rode pretty much like I wanted to. I was happy. I just want to do even better here at home with all my friends and family around.”

Windham, one the most popular riders in the sport and at 32 the oldest full-time competitor in the elite Supercross class, says staying in the saddle is his top goal.

“I’m tired of hitting the ground every weekend,” Windham said. “I’ve taken some really hard hits the last two weeks and I feel pretty lucky I haven’t broken anything.

“My longevity in the sport is a direct result of avoiding these kinds of problems. This is not typical of the way I ride at all. It’s been a very trying time for me. I can’t even practice like normal during the week because I need to rest my body. Trying to push the limits to stay up front this year puts you on the edge.”

Prior to his spill in Houston, Windham was running away with the Main Event, proving he still has what it takes to win and dominate the Supercross class. “I want to get that feeling back as soon as possible,” he said. “I just have to tough it out and push through this.”

For his part, Wharton had a strong opening race and stayed in Barcia’s shadow for a good portion of the Houston race before finishing sixth. Like Barcia, Wharton should contend for the Atlanta trophy and the Lites East points championship.

The Atlanta race will air live on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, with a repeat showing at 10:30 p.m.


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