Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers Kicks-Off the 2012 Arenacross Season with a Win

October 31, 2011

Irvine, Calif. (October 31, 2011) – Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers kicked-off the 2012 AMA Arenacross season on the right foot, taking the win at Round 1 of the series at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Despite the change from 450F’s to 250F’s in the Arenacross class, reigning 2011 AMA Arenacross champion Bowers powered his KX™250F past the competition to take the checkers. Teammate Josh Demuth maintained a fast pace to finish second. Chad Johnson grabbed the holeshot and led several laps, but an incident with another racer left him in 14th place.

Back On the Box
Although Bowers returned to the series as reigning champion, he knew he’d still have to prove himself aboard the smaller bike. While he didn’t get the best start, Bowers diligently worked his way through the field and eventually pushed his way to the front of the pack. Proving he’s just as effective aboard a KX250F as he was on the KX™450F, Bowers is looking stronger than ever for the 2012 season.

“I gained a lot of confidence this weekend,” said Bowers. “I know a lot of people were wondering if I could win on a KX250F, but I guess they didn’t realize I worked my way up to a KX450F from a KX250F. I feel confident on a KX250F and knew I could make it go as fast as I needed on the track. I really have fun riding the KX250F. It’s easier to throw around because it’s so light and has crazy top-end with the new fuel injection system, which helps a lot in the whoops. There were two whoop sections on the track which I felt really played to my advantage. In the main I didn’t get the start I wanted, but was able to make passes in the whoops and worked my way into third. When I saw (Chad) Johnson and (Zach) Ames come together, I swung around them and tried to ride smart around the lappers until the finish. I am looking forward to doing it again next weekend.”

Clearing the Cobwebs
After being sidelined the entire 2011 season with an injury, Demuth knew he had to clear the cobwebs quickly in Des Moines to have a shot at the series championship. Once the gate dropped, Demuth got his KX250F up to speed quickly and maintained a fast pace, keying behind teammate Bowers until the finish. Walking away with second place, Demuth made evident that he still has what it takes to be a serious contender in the series.

Strong Starter
Johnson came to Des Moines feeling confident and ready to begin his run for the title. He got off to a great start, grabbing the holeshot aboard his KX250F, and was leading the charge for the first eight laps of the race. On lap nine, another rider attempted to pass Johnson on the inside of a corner, but the maneuver failed and sent both riders to the ground. The incident left Johnson in 14th place.

KX Proof Positive
When the AMA changed the Arenacross class from 450F’s to 250F’s, skeptics wondered if the Kawasaki KX250F would be able to maintain the same dominant position the KX450F had commanded for the past two seasons. Kawasaki rider Zach Ames set the tone early, piloting his KX250F to win the Dash for Cash. When the gate dropped for the 25-lap main event, the KX250F proved unstoppable. Between Johnson grabbing the holeshot and Bowers taking the checkers, the KX250F went unmatched from start to finish.

“We’re real happy with the first round results,” said Team Manager Denny Bartz. “Being the first race of the season, the riders were just trying to get themselves and their bikes dialed in. Out team made it through the first round with good results and without injuries, so we’re on the right track. Going into this round, a lot of people had questions and concerns whether Bowers could win on a 250F, and the jury rang in on that one. Bowers was a man on a mission coming through the pack to take the win. Overall, everything went really well. Despite the change in bike size, we started off where we left off last season. Hopefully we can keep winning races and stay on top of the podium.”

Off and Running
Next weekend, the Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki team will head to Round 2 of the 2012 AMA Arenacross series at Kemper Arena in Baltimore, Md. After proving he’s just as much a threat on a KX250F as he was on a KX450F, Bowers is looking to keep the momentum going for the rest of the season. Demuth wants build on his performance and hopes to take back the title he watched slip away last season. Johnson looks to continue grabbing holeshots and keep it on two-wheels so he can take make a bid for the championship.
2012 AMA Arenacross Series
Wells Fargo Arena – Des Moines, Iowa
October 29, 2011

Arenacross Class Results – Round 1

3. Jeff Gibson, Honda
4. Nathan Skaggs, Honda
5. Michael Willard, KTM

Arenacross Class Points Standings

3. Jeff Gibson, Honda, 20
4. Nathan Skaggs, Honda, 18
5. Michael Willard, KTM, 16