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Feb 23, 2020

2020 Taft WORCS Report

Honolulu Hills Raceway, in Taft, CA, played host to the second round of the 2020 WORCS series. As is typical in Taft, the course developed lots of square-edged chop which made conditions both tricky and physical for the riders to push the pace for the full two-hour pro race. Another factor at Taft is the roost, and though the terrain isn't rocky in nature, the consistency of the dirt when watered makes for thick clumps which can cause some serious pain when shot off the rear wheel of a leading motorcycle.For Chaparral Motorsports, Precision Concepts, Kawasaki team rider Zach Bell, the goal was to get his WORCS season back on track. An unfortunate DNF at the first round had left him with a big deficit in the championship. Meanwhile, Bell's teammate, JP Alvarez, was looking to build off of his first-round performance of second place in Pro 2 Lights.Zach Bell — 4th place ProZach was lined up further outside than most of his competitors on the start line. As the gate dropped and the line of 450 pro riders roared into the first turn, Zach funneled his way into fourth place. On the first lap, Bell shadowed series leader Taylor Robert, looking for a route past. Unfortunately, Zach got caught in a rut that he didn't see in time and crossed up. The soft rut instantly pulled his front end to the ground, sending he and bike cartwheeling. Zach was able to remount, but his front wheel was damaged in the crash, forcing him to come into the pit to change it.Following the pit to change the front wheel, Zach put in an incredible charge. The KX450 pilot was the fastest rider on course for much of the race, allowing him to reel in the main pack of riders inside the top-ten. Bell was able to pass all the way up to fourth place with just a few laps remaining. Though he'd closed the distance on the podium positions, Zach ran out of steam at the finish and had to settle for a hard-earned fourth place."My race started off decent; fourth place off the start, but it wasn't a great gate pick. I wanted to be a little closer to the inside! From there, I was behind Taylor for third and I just went into a water truck rut. It stuck my front tire and I went down pretty good. That ended up trashing the front wheel and it took a while for the bike to start. It was a rough start to the race. Then, I had to make a pit to change out the front wheel. I played catch up from there and worked my tail off that race. I really wanted it today! It's tough to have these races, but looking back at it, I did everything I could do. [The effort] shows that I've been working hard and really want to win, but it is what it is today. We'll work harder on putting ourselves in a better position."JP Alvarez — 4th place Pro 2 LightOn the Pro 2 Lights line, JP spun heavily off the concrete start. Though he was mid-pack through the first turn, Alvarez was quick to push his way up to fifth place behind series leader Tyler Lynn. Early on the first lap, Lynn got off balance and came right across the front of JP down a high-speed straightaway. Alvarez could do nothing to avoid Tyler, as his front end was taken out and he was sent straight the ground with force. After getting his breath back and remounting, JP built into the race and was able to begin picking off a few riders as he closed in on the top-ten.By the halfway mark, Alvarez had climbed to sixth place, but there was quite a gap to the riders ahead. Over the final laps, JP continued to click them off consistently, which saw him close on the fourth- and fifth-place riders. As the white flag came out, Alvarez put in a fantastic effort and was able to pass both riders to salvage a fourth place finish on the day."I kind of spun off the start on the concrete, but got going about tenth off the gate and got to the top-five through the first few corners. Tyler [Lynn] and I were battling for a little bit, but he got a little squirrelly and came into my line and I went yard-sailing. My side was hurting a lot [from the impact], so it was hard to get that out of my mind. I was just trying to put in solid laps once I got going. I was probably dead-last and made my way all the way up to fourth, so that was a great, but I definitely wish I could have done a little better."

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Feb 10, 2020

2020 NGPC Round 2 - Taft

Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki rider Zach Bell continued his winning ways this past weekend in Taft, CA as he won his second straight National Grand Prix Championship race of the year. Meanwhile teammate and newcomer to the team, Jake Alveraz looked to build off of his third place finish at Round 1, but an unfortunate mistake early on in the race would ultimately hinder his final result, crossing the finish line in sixth place at Round 2. Zach Bell — 1st Place ProWhen the green flag waved, releasing the line of Pro class racers to thunder down the start straight, it was Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki's Zach Bell who was quick to pull an advantage as his KX™450 rocketed down the opening straightaway, giving him command of the first turn. From there, Bell instantly pulled a gap and laid down an unmatchable pace. Once he opened up a comfortable margin over the field, Bell was able to strategically manage the remainder of the race to take his second win of the season in the NGPC series.In His Own Words"I knew the start would be crucial, so I was really aggressive off the line. My KX450 got me off to a really great start and I was able to put in my sprint laps. The class was going really fast today, so I knew I had to be on it. After putting in the sprint laps, I was able to just manage. Taft has more of a moto-like layout and with my background coming from there I am really able enjoy racing each time we race here. Being really precise with line choices and slowing your mind down to get through the rough sections of the track is important. My KX450 bike was really working perfect today. Actually, I want to slow down the bike a bit, it's still a little too fast for my little butt. But, it was a really good day, so I'm excited."Jake Alveraz — 6th Place Pro IIAs the row of 250cc Pro II riders went screaming down the starting line, Alvarez was mid-pack off the start. The KX™250 mounted rider showed good race craft, ducking inside the pack through the first turn. From there, Alvarez battled back-and-forth with numerous riders over the first lap, all jostling for track position. Alveraz was able to climb up to third place as the opening lap wound down. During Alveraz's pit stop-cycle, he momentarily took the lead. However, a slight miscue at the pit entrance and a quick stall while refueling cost enough time to drop Alvarez back to fourth place. Over the next twenty minutes, Alvarez was able to maintain his intensity and close back up to the second- and third-place riders. He made an aggressive out-braking maneuver around the outside to take over third place just before the white flag came out. On the last lap, Alvarez was able to close up to the rear tire of second place. Alveraz was just a couple seconds behind, but wasn't able to close in enough to make an overtaking attempt. Though Alvarez crossed the line in third place, his miscue entering the pits was deemed illegal and worthy of a two-minute penalty. The sanction pushed Alvarez back to sixth place, officially.

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Jan 28, 2020

2020 WORCS Round 1 - Primm, NV

Primm is a popular destination on the off-road and grand prix circuit. So, in a bid to change things up, the WORCS crew made two distinct adjustments for the season opener. First, they didn't touch up the majority of the course after Saturday's racing. This left the track quite rough and choppy, especially by the time the pro race got underway. Second, WORCS added a pro-only section where riders had to hop over two sets of K-rails. The section received quite a bit of attention and mixed opinions, though there was a longer alternate option for those riders that didn't want to attempt the steep obstacles.Chaparral Motorsports, Precision Concepts, Kawasaki team rider JP Alvarez was looking to continue his NGPC momentum and start off his WORCS Pro 2 Lights championship bid on the podium. Though he was one of the few kick-start bikes on the Pro 2 Lights line, JP's KX250 fired first kick and he screamed down the start-straight inside the top-five. From there, Alvarez used his early-race intensity to pass up to second place by the time the course turned into the K-rail area. As the leader took the alternate, JP was left with clear course ahead. JP lead the next lap, but as he came back around to the pro section, he was momentarily held up. Alvarez had committed to one of three K-rails, but the rider ahead had briefly stuck himself on top. In that delay, JP lost the lead, but he set out hard to take it back. He succeeded in that pursuit within a few minutes, as the leader made a small mistake and allowed Alvarez to motor past.After taking the lead, the Kawasaki-mounted rider would race with Tyler Lynn for the point position. From there, the two showed great pace, distancing themselves from the rest of the Pro 2 Lights field. Over the next hour of racing, Lynn was just able to edge away from Alvarez. Still, JP put in a great effort to cross the line in second, getting his 2020 WORCS campaign off to a great start.

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Jan 20, 2020

Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki - 2020 NGPC Adelanto GP Race Report

The Adelanto Grand Prix has recently become the kick-off event for the new off-road racing season. Held at the Adelanto stadium, the event gathers much local interest, which brings in additional race entries, spectators, and gives the event a grander feel. Though the race track is somewhat simple—winding and twisting through the surrounding flat desert—the volume of racers breaks the sandy terrain down rather quickly. As a consequence, the course develops a blanketed mixture of deep holes, rolling whoops and sharp chop. Over the course of the 90-minute pro race, the rough terrain will most certainly take its physical toll on the riders.The Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki team was looking to start off the year on a positive note. After numerous dominating displays in the NGPC series Pro class in 2019, Zach Bell continued to carry that momentum into 2020. In the Pro II class, Clay Hengeveld was looking to put the injuries of the latter part of 2019 behind him. Though his wrist still wasn't back to 100% coming into the weekend, he was excited to get back to racing. The newest team addition, Jake Alvarez, had his sights set on being a podium contender. He showed flashes of speed at the 2019 season finale and was looking to turn that into a solid result to start the season.With a deep field of pro riders, getting a good start would be ideal in terms of energy conservation on a demanding course. When the green lights lit to signal the start of the pro race, Zach hooked up well and entered the first turn with the lead. He instantly began opening up a gap over the pack of chasing riders, finishing the first lap with over fifteen seconds advantage. From there, Bell continued to stretch away lap on lap, though his race wasn't a perfect one. Just past the halfway mark, Zach was entering a high-speed, sandy right-hand corner when the berm gave way. Bell hit the ground fairly hard, but was able to remount quickly without losing much time. After the fall, he was able to maintain smooth pace to the finish to take a comfortable win and get the season started in the best possible way. "My race was good. I got off to the holeshot and put in my three sprint laps. That got me a really good lead. Then, I actually couldn't tell if I saw 'pit next', or 'pit now' [on the pit board]. I was a little scared I missed it. So, I came in the next lap and it was good. Other than that, I had a little tip over, but I was able to recover from that and secure my first win here at Adelanto. The course was tough, especially trying to get out of the main line. It all funneled into one [line] and if you got out of that main line, it would set you up badly for the next section. That made it rough, but I like it rough. It was good to see where my fitness was and test my riding. Overall, it was a good start to the season, and for the team, with Jake [Alvarez] getting third [in Pro II]. Hopefully we can see Clay rebound and get stronger. Looking forward to the next one." - Zach BellJake Alveraz's 2020 Pro II campaign could have gotten off to a little better start. After spinning off the start, he was dead last heading into the first turn. Alvarez was quick to charge forward, however, and came around the first lap just at edge of the top-five. Continuing his push to the front, Alveraz was able to get into third place by the close of the second lap. From there, the two leaders had opened up a gap and without that tow, Alvarez couldn't quite find the pace to make up ground. He had opened up a sizeable cushion over the rider behind, though, and was able to ride smooth, consistent laps to cross the finish line third, getting his season off to a positive start. "I was a little anxious to get going and spun off the start pretty bad. I believe I was dead last, but was able to work up to fifth by the end of the first lap. Then, I settled in a little bit and made a couple more passes. Towards the end, I was able to just ride it out and get third. There were a lot of close calls out there. The course was a little beat up, a lot of hidden holes, but I felt strong the entire time. The bike felt awesome; the suspension, tires, everything was working perfectly."

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Jan 15, 2020

Kawasaki Team Green™ Racer Rewards Program Offers More Than $10 Million in Total Rewards for the 2020 Race Season

Foothill Ranch, CA (January 15, 2020) – Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. 2020 Team Green™ Racer Rewards (contingency) program continues to set the bar in support of amateur and professional Kawasaki racers. For the 2020 Program year, the program remains unrivaled as the total rewards available increases to over $10 million, available to eligible racers at more than 500 racing events throughout the year. In addition to its unmatched trackside support and traditional Racer Rewards support for motocross, off-road racing, road racing and flat track, new for 2020 Kawasaki is extending its Racer Rewards Program to select side x side events. The new side x side Racer Rewards Program coincides with the release of the all-new Kawasaki Teryx® KRX™1000 side x side, and offers rewards at more than 40 side x side racing events with nearly $300,000 available for racers. The rewards don't stop there as racers competing on a wide variety of Kawasaki Ninja® models are also eligible to earn green, when they race green. For 2020, Racer Rewards will be available at more than 140 road racing events with over $2 million waiting to be claimed. In addition, the Team Green™ Ninja® Racer Support Program offers up to $2,000 for approved racers on their next purchase of a 2019-2020 Ninja® ZX™-6R, Ninja® ZX™-10R and Ninja® ZX™-10RR sportbike through qualified Kawasaki dealerships. Racers competing in select racing events for a chance to earn their share of the payout can head to www.Kawasakisalesrewards.com to enroll. Once enrolled, racers will receive a prepaid Kawasaki Racer Rewards MasterCard® (debit card) that can be used at Kawasaki dealerships or anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Enrolled and eligible racers who earn Racer Rewards will enjoy: Kawasaki Racer Rewards MasterCard can be used wherever MasterCard is acceptedRacer Rewards funds credited when race results are verified by KawasakiOnline account balance and account tracking (24 hours)Easy profile updatesATM Access (Pro riders only)Toll-Free customer service support at 1-866-535-2544For details on Racer Rewards event schedules and payouts, please visit: https://www.kawasaki.com/racing/team-green/racer-rewardsAll participating Kawasaki racers must activate their Racer Rewards account and submit a W-9 form each calendar year. More information is available online at https://www.kawasaki.com/racing/team-green/racer-rewards

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