Irvine, Calif. – Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers arrived at Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nev., looking to get a lock on the AMA Arenacross Class championship. Bowers did all he could to wrap up the title early by winning both nights, but came up just shy and now holds a 24-point lead. Teammate Chad Johnson started the weekend with a fourth-place finish on Friday, but could not replicate that performance on Saturday. Johnson finished ninth, but remains comfortably third overall in the championship points. Kawasaki privateer Zach Ames had another great finish, taking third on Saturday and currently sits fifth in the points standings.
Going into Reno, Bowers had an 18-point lead and was hoping to wrap up the Arenacross Class Championship a weekend early. The battle began early on Friday in the heat race as Bowers was pressuring for the lead and the racing started to get aggressive. He decided with the championship almost a wrap, he’d save his energy for when it counts in the main event. Bowers grabbed another great start on his KX™250F and it was game on. He battled wheel-to-wheel both nights giving the fans some of the best racing of the season.
“On Friday, I tried to pressure the leader into a mistake, but he wasn’t cracking,” said Bowers. “So about halfway through the main, I was able to do a couple sprint laps to get by him and sprint away to get the win. On Saturday, I slept on the gate and came out of the first turn barely within the top ten and had to chase down the leader. I made my way through the pack quick and tried to force the leader into a mistake. He bobbled at the end of the whoops where I got around, but he stayed close behind. All I could do was win the race and see if it was enough to wrap up the championship.”
With 12 wins under his belt, Bowers now has a 24-point lead and only needs to qualify for the main event next weekend to win the championship.
With two wins this season, Johnson was looking to climb back on top of the podium this weekend. He got a mid-pack start and started making his way forward on the longer than average track. Friday, he got within striking distance of a podium finish, but had to settle for fourth. On Saturday, Johnson had some issues adjusting to the higher elevation of Reno, Nev., but had everything sorted out for the main event.
“I got a pretty decent start on Saturday, but I put myself on the ground a few laps later,” said Johnson after a ninth place finish. “I made my way up into fifth and ran to shove it to the inside of the next guy and lost my front end. This week I’m really going to concentrate on starts so that I can stay out of the chaos and ride upfront.”
Usually the riders only have to worry about the track and the competition when they show up for a race. Livestock Events Center not only provided a longer, more challenging track, but Reno’s elevation of over 4,500 feet was an additional challenge for the riders and teams.
“This weekend we had a supercross triple which normally we’d be able to do no problem, but because of the elevation it made everything a bit tougher,” said Johnson. However, the elevation did not affect all riders adversely as Kawasaki KX250F rider Zach Ames got himself a podium finish on Saturday night, taking third.
Next weekend the AMA Arenacross Series heads to the final round at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., where Bowers will look to once again be crowned as Arenacross Champion.