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Team Green | 1/8/2013
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Bowers and Ames Win in Worcester
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Bowers and Ames Win in Worcester
Irvine, Calif. (January 8, 2013) – The 2013 AMA Arenacross series kicked off at the DCU Center in Worchester, Mass., on Friday and Saturday night. The new dual main event format added some excitement as Babbtt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers took the first main event win, but was unable to repeat his performance in the second main event. This left the door open for his teammate Zach Ames to steal the overall with a 2-2 finish. On Saturday, Bowers was unstoppable. He won both main events and acquired the points lead, despite having to start from the back row due to the new inversion rule. Ames finished third overall on Saturday night behind Bowers and Kawasaki rider Michael McDade. Racing both the Arenacross class and the Lites class on Friday, McDade took the second main event win and the win in the Arenacross Lites main event. On Saturday he finished second overall in between Bowers and Ames.
New Format
For the 2013 season, Arenacross has a few new changes including two main events and a Race to the Championship which will begin at Round 7. The change with the largest effect on the racing is the new inversion rule. Each night after the first main event, the winner will have to select from three briefcases. Each briefcase will contain the number zero, eight, or 16, which refers to the number of riders that will be inverted for gate pick for the second main event. One Friday, Bowers selected eight riders to be inverted, meaning just the front row inverted, but on Saturday he chose 16. Bowers was able to overcome his last gate pick from the back row to take the win and establish himself as the man to beat this season.
Reigning Champ
The two-time defending champion Bowers was the heavy favorite coming into the opening round. He did not disappoint in the Friday’s first main event by taking the early lead and separating himself from the field to take the win. For the second main event, the field was subject to the new inversion rule, which in this case saw the front row flipped giving Bowers the last pick on the row. He was able to get a good start on his KX™250F, but a mistake on the first lap dropped him to the back of the field. Bowers was able to recover to fifth, giving him third overall on the night. On Saturday, Bowers was all business. He chased down his teammate in the first main event, eventually making a pass with four laps remaining to take the win. This time in between main events, the field was subject to a full 16-rider inversion, meaning Bowers would have to start from the back row. Despite last gate pick, he was able to progressively climb through the field to take the top spot and sweep both main events. Bowers will head to Round 2 with the points lead.

“I just wanted to get out of the first round with some good points,” said Bowers. “With all the rule changes this year, it’s a lot easier to have a bad night. I think I could have won both mains on Friday, but in the second main event I stalled it in the whoops on the first lap and dropped way back. Saturday after winning the first main event, I was scared to pick the briefcase and sure enough I picked 16. I started in the back row, but I had some good lines and was able to cut through the field and get to the front. There were some sketchy moments though.”
Starting Out Front
New to the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki team for 2013, Ames came out swinging at Round 1. He quickly asserted himself at the front of the field and ran the pace of his teammate to take second place. In the second main event, Ames grabbed the holeshot on his KX250F and led the majority of the 12-lap race, before finishing second once again. His consistency paid off though, as his 2-2 finish gave him the overall on Friday night. On Saturday, a confident Ames took another holeshot in the first main event and again led for eight laps before dropping to second behind his teammate. In the second main event, Ames overcame the 16-rider inversed start to cross the line in seventh at the checkered flag. His 2-7 finish gave him third overall on Saturday and put him third overall in the points standings.

“I just wanted to get the first night out of the way,” said Ames. “The team hasn’t put any pressure on me, but I really want to do well and was sort of nervous. To get the overall on Friday was a great way to kick it off. I was feeling really confident on Saturday. I got really great starts all weekend, the bike is just awesome. It’s tough trying to come from the back with the inversion gate picks. I’m already looking forward to next weekend.”
The Challenger
Kawasaki rider McDade proved to be a front runner on Friday night, competing in both the Arenacross class and Lites class. McDade won the Lites East Championship last year and Friday night’s Lites main event, but after winning the second Arenacross class main event on Friday, he was ineligible to race the Lites class on Saturday. McDade finished second overall on both nights and holds second in the points standings.
Adapting Quick
Joining the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki team this year, Ames had to work quickly to adapt to his new KX250F. Although he rode a Kawasaki last season, his Babbitt’s Kawasaki was a whole new setup. He instantly fell in love with his new KX™ and it showed with his performance this weekend.

“It was a really easy transition to the new bike,” said Ames. “I was comfortable with the suspension set-up right away, so it was just getting used to the new motor; it’s so fast. I really love the team and everyone around me.”
Getting into a Rhythm
With one round in the books, the AMA Arenacross series will continue on non-stop until March. The riders had a chance to get the first round jitters out of the way and will now get down to business at Round 2. Joining Bowers and Ames next weekend will be arenacross rookie Tyler Villopoto as he makes his debut at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md., on January 11-13, 2013.
Results
AMA Arenacross Series – Round 1
DCU Center – Worcester, Mass.
January 4-6, 2013

Arenacross Class Overall – Friday
1. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (2,2)
2. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI (5,1)
3. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (1,5)

4. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM (4,3)
5. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI (6,4)
6. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki (3,12)
7. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (10,10)
8. Kyle White, Freeport, Ill., Honda
9. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM (12,9)
10. STEVEN MAGES, SARDINIA, OHIO, KAWASAKI (8,13)

Arenacross Class Overall – Saturday
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (1,1)
2. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI (3,2)
3. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (2,7)

4. Jeff Gibson, Pataskala, Ohio, KTM (4,8)
5. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda (12,5)
6. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (11,6)
7. PATRICK MASSIE, WASHINGTON COURT, OHIO, KAWASAKI (14,4)
8. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki (6,12)
9. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI (16,3)
10. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM (9,10)

Arenacross Class Points Standings
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 61
2. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI, 57
3. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 55

4. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM, 42
5. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 39
6. Jeff Gibson, Pataskala, Ohio, KTM, 36
7. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki, 35
8. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda, 29
9. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM, 29
10. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 29
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