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Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green Riders Win at The Inaugural Scouting Moto Combine
Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green’s Ryder DiFrancesco claimed overall victory in the inaugural MX Sports Scouting Moto Combine at Ironman MX with 2-1 moto scores and put his KX™250 on top of the podium. Fellow Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green rider Chance Hymas took second overall (1-2), while Gavin Towers finished 5-4 for fifth overall.
The MX Sports Pro Racing Scouting Moto Combine at Ironman MX marked the first of two groundbreaking events designed to showcase the future stars of motocross while offering them unprecedented insight into the demands of professional racing. The top A & B Class amateur riders were granted the opportunity to receive world class mentorship in media relations, fitness programing and nutritional structure prior to taking to the track for two 25-minute plus two lap motos on a professional level track.
In the single qualifying practice session of the morning, the Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green riders immediately established themselves as the ones to beat by sweeping the top of the leaderboard. When the 15-minute timed session reached its end, Hymas was the fastest qualifier with a best time of 2:02.452. DiFrancesco, only eclipsed by fractions of a second, qualified second with a fast time of 2:02.492 and Towers secured third with a 2:02.948. Fellow Team Green rider Jayden Clough qualified fourth with a respectable 2:04.097.
The first 25-minute plus two lap moto saw Team Green’s DiFrancesco and Hymas quickly surge out to a two man race for the lead, pulling away from the field, while Clough gave his best effort to keep the hard charging duo in sight from third. DiFrancesco, in his first race since an injury sidelined him for the better part of the Summer, impressed by backing his blistering speed with the necessary stamina. The No.23 Team Green Kawasaki of DiFrancesco withstood immense pressure from his teammate Hymas for the first nine laps of the race, until a late moto crash allowed Hymas to take the lead and DiFrancesco was forced to settle for second in Moto 1. When the checkers flew it was Hymas, DiFrancesco, and Clough who swept the podium for an all green celebration. Meanwhile, fellow Monster Energy® Kawasaki Team Green rider Gavin Towers rebounded from an early race crash to climb from 11th position to a fifth-place finish.
In the second and final race of the day, DiFrancesco once again showed that he is a force to be reckoned with when he got off to a second place start and took command of the lead on lap four. After making his way into first, DiFrancesco set sail and laid down steady laps to extend a sizeable gap on the rest of the pack. While DiFrancesco impressed at the front, many eyes were fixed on Hymas after a costly crash on lap one placed him at the tail end of the elite amateur field. As the laps clicked off, he proceeded to pick off riders until he reached second place. By the time the race reached its conclusion, it was DiFrancesco who proved victorious with a 2-1 moto score for first overall on the day. Hymas’ 1-2 moto finishes earned him second overall, while Clough (3-5) and Towers (5-4) rounded out the top-5 with fourth and fifth overall, respectively.
Once racing was finished and the podium cider had been sprayed, the young competitors of the combine were held to the same standard as their professional counterparts with various media junkets and a range of press related affairs to attend. The positive reception of this first-of-its-kind event was clear when the Team Green riders jumped at the chance to share their tales of success with the masses, having conquered the monumental Ironman track and proved themselves to be the class of the aspiring amateur field.
“It was great to be back at the track today! I’ve really missed racing over the last few months so I loved having everything from the early morning wake up call to the heart pounding moments throughout the day. On top of that, I put in two solid motos and surprised myself a little with how well I did by getting 2-1 moto scores for the overall win. Leading laps in the first moto felt awesome, I made a couple of mistakes in that one, but that just comes from the time I’ve had away from racing. Overall, I had a ton of fun today on the track and I know that racing on a national caliber track like this will help me leading into the pro ranks.”
- Ryder DiFrancesco
“I had some really good battles out there today. In the first moto, Ryder and I were running a fast pace out front so it was nice to come out with the win in that one. The second moto, I had a crash early which set me back to about last place, but I found some solid passing lines and came through pack to finish second. Overall, I feel good with where I’m at right now but there are a few things I’ll work on going into next weekend’s combine to help secure the top spot. My biggest takeaway from this weekend is definitely how strong I felt on the bike in the second moto, I had a great flow for the whole 30 minutes and that’s what I’ll be looking to carry forward.”
- Chance Hymas
“The moto combine was a very cool experience, from racing longer motos than typical amateur events to working with motocross legends like Chad Reed, Broc Glover and Damon Bradshaw. I’m happy with the speed I had in practice, but I think I need to work on my sprinting in the beginning of the motos to give myself a fighting chance against the front guys. I lost touch with the leaders early in the second moto and then had to make a big push in the middle to close up that gap. By the time I got up there I had used up a lot physically and had to settle in again. I will definitely work on that and do my best to execute early in the races. All in all, the day went well for me, I’m happy with my riding and this was a great experience to see where I can improve.”
- Gavin Towers
"Our team, the riders and their families really enjoyed the entire experience of the event. We all believe in the concept and feel fortunate that MX Sports has provided this platform for our athletes to learn and get a better understanding of what they will experience in the next step of their careers. We look forward to more successful events and hope to continue the on track success as well.”
- Ryan Holliday