Feb 13, 2019
Kawasaki Off-Road Teams Podium from Coast to Coast
The Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy®/Kawasaki team made its off-road racing debut this weekend at the opening round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series at the GTR Complex in Gaston, South Carolina. Defending series champion, Josh Strang took on the 12 different tests over the two days of racing and was able to land on the podium in second place overall.On the first day of racing, Strang finished out the day in fourth place and on Sunday he was able to edge out his closest competitor by four seconds giving him the overall on Sunday. His combined scores from Saturday and Sunday put him in second place overall on the weekend. Jordan Ashburn also made his debut this weekend on his new KX™450. Ashburn finished three minutes off of first place which resulted in seventh place overall in the Pro class. Also new for 2019 is Team Green amateur supported off-road racer, Grant Davis, competing in the Supermini class aboard his KX™100. Over the two days of racing, Davis scored a 2-1 overall result, which resulted in second place overall for the weekend in the Supermini 12-15 class.
Josh Strang – 2nd Place (Pro)
"The first round went well, it's always hard to tell where you stand speed wise until we go race. I started a little unsteady on Saturday but felt good in the afternoon and then all of Sunday. My Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy®/Kawasaki KX450 was working good all weekend long. I am really happy with the setup and to get second overall is a great start to the year."
Jordan Ashburn – 7th Place (Pro)
"I was so excited for my first race on the KX450. The Babbitt's Online team and I learned a lot from this first round and we're looking forward to applying that to the next round. We're all excited for this season and can't wait to show off our progression throughout."
At the second round of the AMA National Grand Prix Championship this weekend in Taft, California, all three Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki Team Green riders found the podium in their respective classes. Zach Bell led the way by winning the Pro Main Event, with teammate Blayne Thompson joining him on the podium in third place. Young gun Clay Hengeveld finished second overall in the Pro 2 Main Event. Bell didn't waste any time getting out to an early lead on Sunday's Pro Main Event and never looked back. Bell finished in first place with nearly a two-minute gap over second place. Thompson aboard his KX450 rocketed off the line to a third place start. Thompson lost time during the race to his teammate Bell and another competitor but was able to close the gap on second place just before entering the pits. After an extremely successful pit stop, Thompson had closed in within 10 seconds of second place. However, an unfortunate crash would eventually set the Kawasaki rider back. Thompson remounted on his bike and managed to hold on to a podium position for third overall. An early downpour made for an eventful race in the Pro 2 Main, which wreaked havoc on the riders vision, forcing Hengeveld into the pits twice for goggles. The Team Green rider was able to recover from the nearly one-minute deficit at the halfway point to move inside the top-3 and make a last lap pass, just two corners before the finish line. The pass moved Hengeveld into second place overall and finished just 11 seconds behind the leader.
Zach Bell – 1st Place (Pro)
"The conditions were perfect all weekend. I got a good jump off the start, but was forced to go outside before banking off the wall and then shoot back down to take the lead on the first tabletop. It was pretty smooth sailing from there!"
Blayne Thompson - 3rd Place (Pro)
"The weather created a perfect course, which was nice and tacky. Overall, I felt like I rode pretty well. I got off to a third-place start and then had a small crash, but I was able to get back up and finish with a third."
Clay Hengeveld - 2nd Place (Pro2)
"The track was a little bit different than previous years, it was a bit tighter, which kept the racing close. I got off to a pretty good start and came to the first corner in third. Later, I ran into some issues with my goggles and had to pull into the pit to get a fresh pair, but the rest of the race went pretty well. I'm glad to leave Taft with a second."