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Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Bowers Wins Second-Consecutive AMA Arenacross Championship

February 28, 2012

Irvine, Calif. – An exciting AMA Arenacross series came to a close on Saturday night at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., where Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers was crowned 2012 AMA Arenacross Champion. Although Bowers only needed to make the main event to earn his second-consecutive title, he wanted to go out on top. He was fastest in qualifying aboard his KX™250F, won his heat race, won the dash for cash, and finished second in the main. Kawasaki privateer Zach Ames rode to his best performance of the season taking the main event win. Rounding out the podium was Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson completing a Kawasaki sweep to finish off the series third in the points.


Avoiding Disaster
Coming into the final round, Bowers had stacked up an astonishing 12 main event wins, four times as many as his closest competitor. In order to be crowned champion, Bowers needed to simply qualify for the main event. He started off the night by being fastest in qualifying and took control of his heat race. Shortly after taking over the lead, Bowers noticed he had punctured his rear tire. Knowing he couldn’t risk not transferring to the main, he soldiered on to take the win. In the Dash for Cash, he was sitting third until the last corner when the leaders collided and allowed Bowers to sneak by for the win.

“I was really excited about being fastest in practice and getting into a good heat race,” said Bowers. “I came off the start about third and made a quick pass to get in behind Johnson, who was leading. He made a mistake in the whoops and I was able to get by. The track was really rocky and next lap I nailed a big rock in the whoop section and got a flat rear tire. I couldn’t believe it and started worrying about having to go to the LCQ. I couldn’t risk not qualifying and throwing away the title so I just rode a wide bike and was able to stay out front.”

Back-to-Back Championships
Knowing the championship was almost in the bag, Bowers still wanted to grab one last podium to cap off the season. Anxious to get the main underway, Bowers ended up coming out of the first turn in third and began hounding the leaders. The track didn’t offer many passing spots so Bowers was forced to wait for a mistake, but the opportunity never arose. He would take second on the night to claim his second-consecutive AMA Arenacross Championship.

“Before the gate dropped for the main, the rider beside me jumped the gate and when he took off, I took off,” said Bowers. “Luckily, the gate dropped just as I got on the gas and I came around third. It was hard to make a move so I got into second and waited for Zach (Ames) to make a mistake, but he rode a great race. It’s so awesome to take the title. I thought last year was tough coming back from two broken legs, but this season has been so hectic, it really means a lot to really earn the title. Everybody over at Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki has been extraordinary. It’s been a great year.”

End on a High Note
Johnson had third place in the championship on lock coming into the last round, but wanted to finish off strong. His night started off with a holeshot in his heat race and he was the only rider tripling into one of the rhythm sections. A small mistake would drop him to second where he stayed close on the heels of his teammate. In the main event, Johnson ripped another holeshot on his KX250F and battled for the lead for the first few laps. He made a small mistake and dropped back, but finished strong with a close third.

“It was a great way to finish the series,” said Johnson. “I holeshotted the main event, but slid out coming into the whoops and lost my drive which dropped me to third. After five or six laps I started catching back up, but couldn’t find a spot to make a move. I had great season and couldn’t have done it without the support of the Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki team.”

Kawasaki Sweep
Kawasaki dominated the 2012 AMA Arenacross series not only in the Arenacross class, where Kawasaki won 15 out of 19 main events, but Kawasaki privateers Michael McDade and Chad Cook also won the Arenacross Lites East and Lites West, respectively. This marks Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawaski’s third consecutive arenacross championship. In the Arenacross class, Ames has continued to improve and show impressive speed on his privateer Kawasaki. This season he has been riding and training with Bowers in California and his hard work finally paid off, taking the win at Target Center. Ames, Bowers, and Johnson finished 1-2-3 making for an all-Kawasaki podium to end a successful Arenacross series.
Results
AMA Arenacross Series
Target Center – Minneapolis, Minn.
February 25, 2012

Arenacross Class Results
1. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI
2. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI
3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI

4. Travis Sewell, Westville, IN, KTM
5. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda

Arenacross Class Points
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 424

2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda, 394
3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 338
4. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI, 297

5. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 285

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