Corona, CA – Though long-term planning and organization is usually imperative for racing in Baja, the THR Motorsports / Monster Energy / Precision Concepts Kawasaki team, presented by Hoosier Precision Machining, didn’t have that luxury for the 28th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 on Saturday, March 1st, in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
Irvine, Calif. – From Reno, Nev., Round 8 of the AMA Arenacross series decided on Saturday who would be eligible for the four-round Race to the Championship. Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers flexed his three-time champion muscle finishing third overall on Friday and first overall on Saturday to take the points lead and establish himself as the leader going into the Race to the Championship. Zach Ames, who held the points lead for the majority of the season, had an off weekend finishing with a sixth and a seventh overall but will sit second going into the final four rounds. Rookie Colt Nichols finished eighth on Friday but bounced back with a consistent 4-4 finish for second overall and secured his place in the Race to the Championship.
Irvine, Calif. (February 24, 2014) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki continued their dominance of the 250SX class in Atlanta by capturing their fourth straight main event win on Saturday. In front of his hometown crowd at the Georgia Dome, Martin Davalos became the third consecutive rider to achieve his first professional win following Justin Hill in San Diego and Adam Cianciarulo in Dallas. Cianciarulo bounced back from qualifying through the LCQ to finish second and remain in the points lead, while Blake Baggett fought through the field to finish fifth. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto led nine laps of the 450SX main event but a mistake with five laps remaining dropped him to finish in second place.
IRVINE, Calif. – Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) has announced that Masafumi “Masa” Nakagawa will succeed Takeshi “Tak” Teranishi as president of the company, effective April 1. Nakagawa, who spent six years at KMC’s Irvine headquarters in the late 1990s, will transition to his new position when Teranishi, who joined KMC in 2009, leaves to assume the presidency of Kawasaki Motors Corporation Japan.
Irvine, Calif. – The seventh round of AMA Arenacross saw two nights of racing at Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho. Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers raced to his fifth overall win on Friday by tying with Zach Ames. Bowers was rewarded the overall by winning the second main event and the head-to-head bracket races for additional championship points. Saturday night saw Ames win the first main event and finish third overall with a 1-5 score, while Bowers stayed consistent to take second overall finishing 2-3. Colt Nichols held his spot in the top-10 championship standings by finishing sixth on Friday and eighth on Saturday. Vicki Golden joined Team Babbitt’s in Nampa and qualified for both the Arenacross and Arenacross Lites class and scored her first point.
Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill earned his first career Monster Energy Supercross victory on Saturday night at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Hill rode smooth all day and withstood the pressure of leading late in the race to capture his first victory on his KX250F™. Hill took over the lead when Dean Wilson crashed on the second lap and damaged his bike. After some quick work in the mechanics’ area to get back out on track, Wilson finished 21st.
Irvine, Calif. (January 29, 2014) – Round 4 of AMA Arenacross filled Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday where Kawasaki dominated the field. The main event wins were split by Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes and Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Colt Nichols. Hayes’ 1-2 score beat Nichols’ 3-1 to give him the overall win at his hometown race, the first of his career. Completing the Kawasaki sweep of the podium was Michael McDade who finished 5-3 on his KX™250F. Current points leader Zach Ames finished sixth overall to retain the points lead while reigning champion Tyler Bowers followed up his teammate with seventh overall.
Taft always has been, and probably always will be, a challenging place to hold a race. The terrain is a combination of hard-pack dirt, which just for giggles offers about as much traction as ice when the slightest bit of water touches it, and powdery white silt, which sneakily conceals one- and two-foot square edges from the riders who are unlucky enough to slam into them. Personally, I rather enjoy racing there. I feel it’s a test of a rider’s limits, which can be fun, but if things aren’t clicking smoothly, it can definitely be quite frustrating and sometimes slightly scary.
Irvine, Calif. (January 20, 2014) – Round 3 of Monster Energy Supercross returned to Angel Stadium in Anaheim to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the sport on Saturday. Two-time supercross champion and Kawasaki mounted Chad Reed powered his KX™450F to his 42nd career supercross win, and his first in nearly two years. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto worked his way into second place before a mistake dropped him to finish fifth. Jake Weimer charged to overcome a poor start and a late-race crash to finish 10th.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill was consistently fast throughout the day and into the night program on the retro-theme course. Hill finished second behind his teammate in his heat race and went into the main event confident. His KX™250F rocketed out of the gate and nearly had the holeshot before his back end stepped out, sending him to the ground. From last position, Hill charged forward to finish an impressive fifth. Teammate Dean Wilson battled for pole position in qualifying for the third consecutive week and dominated his heat race. In the main event, Wilson was up front until he caught a tuff block and went down. He remounted to charge back to seventh place. Darryn Durham suffered a crash in practice and was forced to sit the night out.
The start to my 2014 season officially kicked off at the Best in the Desert Parker 250 in Parker, AZ. The race is made up an eighty-plus mile loop that competitors are required to complete three times. I’ve always enjoyed the terrain there; the Parker desert offers an entertaining mix of high-speed, flat-tracking roads, intimidating rock gardens, fast sand washes, rolling whoop sections and this year came with the added bonus that the temperature first thing in the morning would be above freezing meaning there was an above average chance that I’d be able to feel my fingers ten miles into the my ride.