Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki Sweep the Podium at Arenacross Opener
Irvine, Calif. (January 13, 2015) – The 2015 Amsoil Arenacross Championship got underway Saturday at Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena with Team Babbitt’s sweeping the top four positions. Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Chris Blose made his debut with the team in dominant fashion as he won the first main and finished third in the second main event to take the overall. Behind him were his teammates Zach Ames who scored a 3-2 for second, Matt Goerke finished third with a 2-7 score, and Jacob Hayes finishes fourth overall with a 10-1 result. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green was also in Cincinnati as Darian Sanayei and Mitchell Harrison scored their first of three points in the Road to Supercross. Harrison took the heat race win in the Lites class, but it was Sanayei who came home with the AX Lites main event win on his KX™250F.
Blose made his debut with Team Babbitt’s for the 2015 season, despite almost ending his night during practice when a rider crossed the track in front of him. Blose showed that he has the talent and determination to be the next Arenacross champion.
“It was a really good start to the season, especially after the day I had,” said Blose. “It was a tough day from practice on. I had a crash with another rider who crossed the track while I was in the air which banged me up a bit. I just knew I needed good starts and I really just wanted to get through the night. I got the start in the first main event and once I was in front I knew I had the pace to take home the win. I picked the 16 inversion which meant I had to start from the back row, but I got a top-10 start and just tried to get to the leaders. Once I got into third I played it safe because I knew I had the overall. It was a learning curve all day, getting used to the schedule of Arenacross, but Team Babbitt’s is awesome and I’m really excited for the rest of the season.”
Ames returns to Team Babbitt’s for his sophomore year and is anxious to get the red plate back on his KX250F. Ames held the points lead for the majority of the 2014 season, but this year wants to make sure he’s there at the end for the Race to the Championship. He finished second overall.
“This weekend was a great way to start the season,” said Ames. “I was second fastest in practice and made some changes for the night show. In the heat race I had a run-in with another rider and then the red flag came out. We had a single file restart, where I was in the back and I ended up going down again. I went to the LCQ and finished safely in second behind my teammate. I had last gate pick for the first main event but snuck around the outside in the first turn and came out in sixth. I fought forward and scored into third in the last lap. With the 16 inversion I took the same gate and got another good start around the outside and worked my way up to second. It was so chaotic out there so I’m happy to leave healthy and take it race by race from here.”
Goerke made his Arenacross debut as well on Saturday after years of competing in Monster Energy Supercross. It took him all night to get accustomed to the tight track and the aggression needed to pass riders, but he was able to finish third overall to complete the Kawasaki podium sweep.
“The day started off not so good,” said Goerke. “I was really struggling with how aggressive everyone was and getting knocked around. I didn’t qualify very well but I got better throughout the night and finished second in the first main. It was a really huge shocker to me that everything happens so quick and the track was extremely tight. Bumping elbows in the whoops and banging bars every turn is something I’m not used to coming from supercross, but I learned quickly. Team Babbitt’s and the KX250F are awesome. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Hayes finished runner-up in the 2014 championship and is hungry to be up front. After a disappointing first main event, he came back to win the second main and finished fourth overall.
“I’m happy to leave the first round healthy and with a decent finish,” said Hayes. “I got the track dialed in early as we rode press day on Friday, and I was able to set the fastest lap by a half-second. The KX250F felt so good and I couldn’t be more stoked to be on Team Babbitt’s. Unfortunately I hit a guy in the heat race and broke a bunch of spokes so I couldn’t finish, but in the LCQ I got the holeshot and won. In the first main event I came from the second row and got tangled up with a rider early, so I came from last place up to 10th. With the inversion, I had a front row gate pick for the second main event and grabbed holeshot. From there I just rode clean and pulled a big lead. I have more of a plan this year to pace myself in the first half of the season and leading up to the Race to the Championship really ramp it up.”
In order to attain your supercross license, riders must take part in the Road to Supercross and race three different arenacross rounds. Sanayei and Harrison plan to make their professional debuts as early as 2016 and therefore wasted no time lining up for the first round. With more than 100 entries in the Arenacross class and close to that in the Lites class as well, Sanayei and Harrison had no issues qualifying near the front in both classes. They lined up for their Lites heat race and got off to a 1-2 start, which they maintained with Harrison taking the win. In the main event it was a Sanayei who got out front this time with Harrison on his rear wheel in second. Harrison made a few mistakes and fell to the back of the field and was able to climb back up and finish ninth. Meanwhile up front, Sanayei ran away with his first AX Lites win and led every lap.
Round 2 brings the team to Babbitt’s home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The team will be heading to Michigan early for the annual pre-race party at Babbitt’s Kawasaki and will look to have the same success over the two nights of racing at Van Andel Arena.
US Bank Arena – Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Arenacross Class Overall
Arenacross Class Points Standings
Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results
Photo Credit: Shift One Photography