Industry News 3/18/2015

B$Z: Tensions High as 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Race to the Championship Gets Underway Saturday Night

The bumps, bruises and other potential injuries suffered by the top-ten riders in AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, since January has come down to this as the season-ending Race to the Championship commences this Saturday, March 21, inside New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. Fresh off a two-night sweep in Southaven, Mississippi, last weekend, Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Kyle Regal will lead the top-ten into action, which is set to kick off at 8 p.m. EST /7 p.m. CST/ 5 p.m. PST.

The Race to the Championship has arrived!

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

After the checkered flag flew last Saturday night in Southaven, the championship point standings in the Arenacross Class were reset to reflect the Race to the Championship. The top-ten riders in points secured their place in the season-ending, playoff-inspired showdown. They will each have an opportunity to earn the coveted AMSOIL Arenacross title when the championship comes to a dramatic conclusion from Las Vegas' South Point Arena on Friday, May 1. For the first time ever, fans will have the chance to watch champions be crowned in both AMSOIL Arenacross and Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, on the same weekend, in the same city. It's the ultimate showcase of off-road motorcycle racing.


With the Race to the Championship points reset, Regal holds a slim one-point lead over Team Babbitt's Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Matt Goerke in second, two points over Team Babbitt's Jacob Hayes and ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha's Bobby Kiniry, three points over TZR Woodstock KTM's Travis Sewell and Team Babbitt's Chris Blose, four points over his Husqvarna teammate Gavin Faith and Racing KTM's Gared Steinke, and five points over Slaka Wear KTM's Steven Mages and Babbitt's Online Suzuki's Cory Green. With just a handful of points separating first from tenth, the opportunity is there for any one of these riders to step up and make a run at the title.

The entire Race to the Championship field will be gunning for points leader Kyle Regal.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

While Regal's advantage over the field has been dwindled down to single digits, he still carries a tremendous amount of momentum into New Orleans as a result of his dominance in Southaven and the two-race winning streak he brings into Smoothie King Center. Regal had never led the championship standings in his AMSOIL Arenacross career until Southaven, but with the red number plate on his bike for the first time he's peaking exactly when he needs to and is undefeated as the points leader coming into New Orleans.


Undoubtedly, Regal's most formidable challengers will be the Team Babbitt's tandem of Goerke and Hayes. Between them these three riders have claimed the most overall victories in AMSOIL Arenacross and have controlled the point standings for most of the season. However, they won't be alone in their hunt to win the Race to the Championship.

Just five points separate Regal (4), first in the championship standings, from Green (5), tenth in the championship standings.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

Now that the points have been reset, both Blose and Faith are in a prime position to throw their names into the mix. Blose has a pair of overall wins to his credit in 2015, while Faith's five Main Event wins ties him for the second most. The only reason this duo was not more of a fixture in the weeks heading into the Race to the Championship was due to the fact that they each missed multiple races from injury or some other misfortune. With the Race to the Championship, the past is all but a distant memory for Blose and Faith, and they have all the talent to make this a five-rider battle for the title. Lurking as a potential dark horse in the Race to the Championship is Kiniry, the only other rider inside the top-ten who has an overall win to his credit.


With such few points separating the field heading into New Orleans, no one can be counted out from having a shot at winning his first major professional title in the states. Sewell, Steinke, Mages and Green have been fixtures in the top-ten for most of the 2015 season and if they can be consistent over the final six rounds, they will be sure to have a shot at walking away with a championship in Las Vegas.

Goerke (36), Hayes (2), Kiniry (116) and Blose (63) have each claimed an overall win this season and are expected to be prominent contenders in the Race to the Championship.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

While New Orleans will serve as the opening round of the Race to the Championship, it will also be the penultimate stop of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship. College Hunks Moving Junk/Spinechillers Racing KTM's Dave Ginolfi, who has won two Main Events and been on the podium in seven of nine races, captured the second Arenacross Lites Class title of his career last weekend, but bragging rights are still on the line heading into Smoothie King Center.


The tenth round of AMSOIL Arenacross and the opening round of the Race to the Championship gets underway this Saturday, March 21, inside New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. Racing begins at 8 p.m. EST /7 p.m. CST/ 5 p.m. PST.

Newly crowned Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Champion Dave Ginolfi will look for added success this weekend.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography