Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green™ converged in the beautiful resort town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., for the Monster Energy Mammoth MX which ran from June 16-26. This unparalleled event is located at more than 8,000 feet above sea level, and nestled high in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, presented riders and fans alike with an experience unmatched by any other motocross event in the nation. After ten days of intense competition, Team Green riders emerged with eight championships, five second-place finishes, and three third-place finishes. Surrounded by breath-taking views of snow-capped mountains, the unique motocross track wraps through the beautiful Inyo National Forest almost like a natural roller-coaster. Racers of all types and sizes showed up throughout the week to put their skills to the test on the challenging track. Team Green’s amateur racers got the week started racing their mini-bikes on Tuesday and the event finished up with the nation’s top professionals competing in a range of classes from 2-stroke bikes to 450cc four-stroke machines.
The Green Ninja
Justin Hill came up to Mammoth and let nothing keep him off the podium. He raced back-to-back main events to secure championships in both the Open Intermediate and Schoolboy classes after 14-consecutive hot laps on Friday. On Sunday, Hill destroyed the competition on his KX™450F, winning the 450 Intermediate class by over 16 seconds. Over the course of the event, Hill diced the track like a ninja, throwing down lap times that rivaled the top pros. His ability to find the fastest lines and maintain his momentum throughout the track made him the winningest Team Green rider of the event. He left the event with three championship bear trophies and a smile that stretched from ear to ear.
“This event is one of my favorites,” said Hill. “The town of Mammoth Lakes is a really touristy kind of place and it’s a lot of fun. I always have fun when I’m up here and I have always loved this track. Although the track has changed a lot since 2003, it’s still all about the corners. Line choice and how you approach the corners is so important on this track. You really have to pick the right angles to get through the corners with the most momentum. Once I find a good line I try to get into a groove and stick with it. To prepare for this event I got here a week early so I could adjust to the altitude. I’m so happy I took the time to adjust and train at this altitude because that’s what made the difference when I had to race back-to-back motos on Friday. Although I didn’t get the best starts every moto, I was able to work out to the front and stay on my line. My plan was to put down three sick laps, go as fast as I could, then pace myself through the finish. Overall it was a great week for me.”
Adam Cianciarulo had never seen snow until coming up to Mammoth Lakes. Growing up and racing most of his life in Florida, at or near sea level, he wasn’t sure how the altitude would affect his performance. Once again, Cianciarulo proved he truly is one of the best amateurs in the world, no matter where he competes. He showed impressive speed around the challenging track, grabbing the holeshot and gapping the field in every moto. He swept the Supermini class with commanding leads in four straight motos to secure two championship bears.
“This was my first time at Mammoth and I really enjoyed it,” said Cianciarulo. “Usually all of the amateur nationals feel kind of similar, but this event feels completely different. I enjoyed everything about this place, and it really felt more like a vacation than a race for me. It was a lot of fun staying at Mammoth village and getting to hang out there when I wasn’t at the track. Most of the other nationals are in the middle of nowhere so I thought it was really cool to have so much to do when I wasn’t racing. Everyone told me the bike would run really slow at this high altitude, so I set my expectations low, but I thought it actually ran great. The track was really cool, it had a neat combination of elevation and corners. I think getting a good start and connecting the corners smoothly is the key to success on this track. If you miss connecting just one corner, you’re pretty much messed up for the next half of a lap. It’s so important to carry enough momentum through every corner to get to the next and to be able to connect the entire track. I had such a great time out here, both with racing and just hanging out.”
Worth His Weight
Mark Worth came up to Mammoth MX determined to take home a couple championship bears. Even though he knew the track would present challenges he was not accustomed to, he gave it everything he had and came out on top. He swept the 85 Open to16 years class on both days to take home two championship bears after four commanding wins. He finished fourth overall in the 85 12-13 class on both days as well.
“Mammoth is great, it’s such a super-fun event,” said Worth. “The tube-cross in the snow was so much fun. I came to this event looking forward to having a good time and hanging out with everyone. The track isn’t really my favorite, because it’s not the most technical track and there are not too many lines. Also, the altitude kind of robs you of a little horsepower so you have to really work hard to stay out front. I just went out there and rode as hard as I could. I made sure my bike was dialed and gave it 110 percent on the track. My overalls were okay and I was able to grab a few championship bears. Overall this event was pretty awesome.”
Gold Futures Up
The Monster Energy Kawasaki Off Road professionals came up to Mammoth MX to cross-train prior to their season’s kick-off at the ESPN Summer X Games. On Saturday, Taylor Robert raced his KX™250F in the 250 Open Pro class and finished seventh overall after going 4-7 on the weekend. Robert got good starts in both motos, and was running around third place, but got tangled with other racers several times which cost him the podium. On Sunday, Justin Soule’ raced his KX450F in the 450 Pro class and finished seventh overall. He was able to get decent starts and maintained a fast pace through each moto, but found it difficult to loosen up on the tight track. Even though this event didn’t afford either of them any points toward their WORCS or EnduroCross seasons, the event helped them on their path as they continue to train for X Games gold.
“This event is really cool,” said Robert. “We came up here to do some training, but it still feels like I’m on a vacation. I got to snowboard Mammoth ski resort with some friends which was pretty fun since its pretty much summer everywhere else. The track up here is definitely unique. It’s pretty tight, there aren’t too many lines, and it’s pretty slick in some places. The corners are the most critical sections of the course where you need to maintain your speed. Since WORCS is still very motocross influenced it was good to come up here and work on my raw speed and finding lines. I have been training hard for the upcoming EnduroCross season. In a month I take my KX250F to the X Games and get to go for the gold.”
Thomas Covington, an Alabama native who currently resides in Southern California, has been progressively moving up through the amateur ranks. Although he has raced on many different types of tracks around the nation, the ever-changing track at Mammoth presented new challenges to this talented young racer. On Friday, he finished second overall in the Schoolboy class, just behind teammate Hill. On Saturday, Covington put his KX250F to work and flowed through the track with smooth precision to take home the championship in the 250 Intermediate class.
“Mammoth is such a sick place,” said Covington. “There is so much to do up here when you’re not racing. You can go fishing, snowboarding, mountain-biking, and all kinds of other fun things. The track is really cool up here too. I really like all the elevation changes, the banked turns, and how it all links together. It’s really important to get a good start and then stay smooth through the corners. As the day progresses the track gets kind of rough, so to get around it fast you really have to stay out of those big, loose berms. I just focused on getting a good start, riding smooth, and keeping it on two wheels through the slick corners. Because of the elevation, you start feeling it after the fifth lap, but you just have to keep pushing until the finish. This is definitely one of my favorite nationals. I can’t wait to come back and do it again next year.”
Putting On a Charge
Brandy Richards is one of the hardest working amateurs in the industry. Only halfway through the WORCS season, and with five-wins already under her belt, she is only one win away from securing the number-one plate in the Women’s A class. She came up to Mammoth and competed in the Supermini class, alongside the guys, and finished 19th overall Tuesday and 18th overall on Wednesday. In the Supermini LCQ on Wednesday she grabbed the holeshot and set a fast pace which left all the guys scrambling to catch up. She also competed in the Women’s amateur (up to 250) class on Friday finishing second overall after going 1-2.
Hardest Working Guys Off the Track
The Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green support crew kept busy throughout the entire event to ensure everyone’s bike was performing at its best despite the extreme elevation. They took time to jet every carburetor and adjust EFI map settings for every bike that rolled into the pit. Over the course of the week the team barely had enough time for a lunch break since every few days a new wave of bikes from low altitudes would roll onto the paddock. In true Team Green tradition, not a single bike was turned away and the number of Kawasaki bikes that reached the podium was a clear testament to their hard work and dedication throughout the course of the event.
Even though the Monster Energy Mammoth MX is considered one of the biggest amateur national events in the nation, the kids still considered it more of a vacation than a race week. After their races wrapped up on Tuesday, Team Green and several other competitors headed up to Mammoth ski resort to compete in the first annual Monster Energy tube-cross. The kids donned their waterproof clothes, jumped on inner tubes, and slid down a snowy tube-cross course setup by Monster Energy. Justin Hill went 1-1 for the event to take the tube-cross championship, which set the tone for his dominating performance that followed on the race track only a few days later.
Monster Energy Mammoth MX
Mammoth MX – Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
June 18-26, 2011
Adam Cianciarulo– Supermini (Tuesday)
Mark Worth– 85 Open – 16 years (Tuesday)
Adam Cianciarulo– Supermini (Wednesday)
Mark Worth– 85 Open – 16 years (Wednesday)
Thomas Covington- 250 Intermediate
Justin Hill- Open Intermediate
Justin Hill- Schoolboy
Justin Hill- 450 Intermediate
Darian Sanayei- 85 14-16 years (Tuesday)
Darian Sanayei- 85 14-16 years (Wednesday)
Darian Sanayei- 85 Open – 16 years
Brandy Richards- Women Amateur (up to 250)
Thomas Covington- Schoolboy
Stilez Robertson- 65 6-8 years (Tuesday)
Darian Sanayei- 85 Open – 16 years (Tuesday)
Dillan Epstein- 250 2-Stroke