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Team Green | 1/15/2013
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Bowers Wins Friday Night in Baltimore and Retains the AMA Arenacross Points Lead
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Bowers Wins Friday Night in Baltimore and Retains the AMA Arenacross Points Lead
Irvine, Calif. (January 15, 2013) – Round 2 of the AMA Arenacross series came to an exciting close at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md., with a three-way Kawasaki tie for the overall on Saturday. On Friday night, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers won the second main event which gave him the overall win for the evening. Bowers ran away with the victory in Saturday’s second main event giving him a 3-1 score, which tied him with Kawasaki rider Michael McDade who scored a 1-3 in the main events. The tie was settled by the Head-to-Head bracket races giving McDade the overall on Saturday as he took the Head-to-Head win and scored one additional championship point. Bowers’ teammate Zach Ames took the first moto win on Friday night, but a mistake in the second main while leading dropped him to seventh overall. Ames made up for it on Saturday, completing the three-way tie with his 2-2 main event score and taking third overall. Making his Arenacross debut, Tyler Villopoto made all four main events of the weekend and finished just outside the top-10.
Staying Consistent
As two-time defending champion, Bowers knows what it takes to win. On Friday night, he sat in second behind his teammate in the first main event. He didn’t want to chance taking them both down and settled for second place. After the top eight were subject to inversion, Bowers dropped back to the second row on the inside to play it safe. He hugged the inside corner and quickly moved into the lead taking the win and the overall on the night. On Saturday, Bowers nearly had the first main event holeshot but got tangled with another rider dropping him back. He ran out of laps to catch the leaders, but was able to recover to third. In the second main event, Bowers ran away with the win on his KX™250F and held a sizeable gap over the rest of the field. Tying for the overall with his 3-1 score, Bowers would be bumped to second overall after falling short of the win in the Head-to-Head races, where an extra point is awarded. Bowers remains the points leader heading into Round 3.

“I had a solid weekend and came out with the points lead,” said Bowers. “I just wanted to survive this weekend because the track was really slick. I didn’t take too many chances and just tried to stay on two wheels and stay smart. After going down in Friday night’s Head-to-Head race, I just wanted to stay clean on Saturday night and was just edged out at the finish line. It ultimately cost me the overall, but I still have the points lead and will keep plugging away.”
Buckling Down
Coming into the weekend with a cold, Ames wasn’t letting that become an excuse. He got out front early in Friday’s first main event and went on to win uncontested. Keeping the ball rolling, Ames grabbed the holeshot in the second main event and started to stretch out a lead. Around the halfway mark, Ames was trying to change lines to avoid lapped riders and hit a rock with his front tire, which sent him to the ground. He made as many passes as he could and finished 10th, giving him seventh overall. On Saturday, Ames returned to the podium after just barely being edged out for the first main event win and finished in second in both main events. Finishing 2-2, Ames ties for the overall, but was bumped to third overall and completed an all-Kawasaki podium.

“I’m really happy with the weekend,” said Ames. “I was up-front in every main event and had it not been for a crash on Friday, I think I would have went 1-1. I feel like I’m starting to find some speed that I had lost in the past. Training with Tyler (Bowers) has been good and we have a solid program.”
Learning the Ropes
Making his Areanacross debut, Villopoto took his time adjusting to the slippery track conditions and the racing format of Arenacross. He posted top-10 qualifying times on both nights and was able to transfer to the main events with ease. On Friday night, Villopoto was consistent finishing just outside the top-10 in 12th in both main events. With the first race bugs out of the way, he started to feel more comfortable and confident on Saturday. Villopoto was fourth fastest in qualifying, but a poor start in the main event kept him from battling up front. Villopoto will look to improve next weekend in Grand Rapids.

“The weekend wasn’t quite what I wanted, but was still positive,” said Villopoto. “Friday I was super tentative and wasn’t feeling like myself, but rode okay. On Saturday night I was much more comfortable on the track and with the bike and I had good speed, but my starts weren’t great and it was hard to come through the pack. I’m just happy to get through the weekend safe and look forward to the next one.”
Three-way Tie
McDade has begun to make a name for himself this year in Arenacross. The Kawasaki privateer finished second overall on Friday night behind Bowers, but was hungry for more. On Saturday he edged out Ames for the first main event win and continued to battle with him in the second main event taking third. With Bowers and McDade both scoring a first and a third place finish, and Ames finishing with a 2-2 score, the three of them tied for points at 30. The tie was broken by the winner of the Head-to-Head races where McDade came out on top and earned an additional championship point. Kawasaki finished first through fourth on Saturday night.
Opposite Conditions
After soft and rutted conditions at Round 1 in Worcester, Mass., the Baltimore track was the polar opposite. The dirt was very hard-packed clay that became extremely slick as the night progressed. Many riders struggled to adjust, but the same three Kawasaki riders who dominated last weekend, were up front once again.

“The new KX250F is so good that it’s easy to adjust,” said Bowers. “Last weekend was a super soft and rutted track, while this weekend was very hard and slick dirt. We were able to make some changes that made the track easier to ride. The bike is so fast right out of the box that sometimes we have to tone it down to handle slippery conditions like Baltimore.”
Hometown Race
The AMA Arenacross series heads to Grand Rapids, Mich., for Round 3 January 18-20, 2013. Grand Rapids is the home base for Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki presented by Maxxis. They will be holding an open house on Thursday at Babbitt’s Kawasaki where Bowers, Ames and Villopoto will be present signing autographs and interacting with the fans.
Results
AMA Arenacross – Round 2
1st Mariner Arena – Baltimore, Md.
January 11-12, 2013

Arenacross Class Overall – Friday
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (2,1)

2. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI (4-3)
3. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (6,4)
4. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (5,5)
5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM (9,2)
6. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM (3,8)
7. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (1,10)
8. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki (7,6)
9. Jeff Gibson, Pataskala, Ohio, KTM (11,9)
10. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI (14,7)
14. TYLER VILLOPOTO, MENIFEE, CALIF., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (12,12)

Arenacross Class Overall – Saturday
1. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI (1,3)
2. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (3,1)
3. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (2,2)
4. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI (5,8)

5. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (9,5)
6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM (7,7)
7. Jeff Gibson, Pataskala, Ohio, KTM (12,4)
8. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki (6,12)
9. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM (8,11)
10. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (10,10)
16. TYLER VILLOPOTO, MENIFEE, CALIF., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI (16,13)

Arenacross Points Standings
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 122
2. MICHAEL MCDADE, EDINBURG, PA., KAWASAKI, 115
3. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY/AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 108

4. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM, 79
5. GARED STEINKE, WOODLAND, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 73
6. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM, 73
7. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., Suzuki, 72
8. Jeff Gibson, Pataskala, Ohio, KTM, 68
9. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 67
10. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM, 56
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