FRESNO, Calif. – official release — Josh Rud/ShiftOne Photography photo —
AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, made its lone visit to California on Saturday, hosting the penultimate round of the season from Save Mart Center.The fifth round of the Race to the Championship saw Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes take his second consecutive overall win.
In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, College Hunks Hauling Junk/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Dave Ginolfi posted a dominant wire-to-wire victory.
Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke appeared to be the rider to beat in the opening Arenacross Class Main Event of the evening, grabbing the holeshot ahead of Hayes and ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry. Goerke established himself as the leader, but Hayes was able to keep him within striking distance.
Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing’s Kyle Regal, the Race to the Championship points leader, started fifth in the Main Event and was solidly in contention with the lead group throughout the first half of the 15-lap race. Regal passed Kiniry to begin his attack on teammate Faith for third. On Lap six, Regal made a mistake while closing in on his Faith and went over the berm after the whoops, dropping to 15th.
Out front, Goerke maintained about a second advantage over Hayes, which carried through to the finish. After fending of the initial pressure from his teammate Regal, Faith brought home a third-place finish. Blose was fourth, with Preston Plumbing Yamaha rider Ryan Breece third. Regal finished 11th.
Matt Goerke’s win in the first Main Event ultimately allowed him to finish second overall, giving Babbitt’s Kawasaki a 1-2 sweep of the podium over back-to-back weeks.
Goerke’s victory meant he had the opportunity to select the inversion for the second Main Event. With the help of the Fresno crowd, Goerke selected the case with zero, meaning no riders would be inverted.
As the second Main Event got underway, Regal and Kiniry headed into the first turn side-by-side before Kiniry lost traction and slid out. Regal was able to come away unscathed, but the incident with Kiniry also collected Goerke, Blose and several more riders. Faith and Hayes also avoided the incident and battled for second, with Hayes making an aggressive move for the position that took Faith off the track. Breece worked his way into third after a solid fourth-place start.
While Regal sat comfortably out front, Hayes and Breece engaged in a thrilling battle for second, going side-by-side for most of the race. Behind this battle, Goerke overcame his involvement in the first lap incident to slot into eighth, one spot ahead of Blose. Regal took a much-needed win, with Hayes holding off Breece for second. Babbitt’s Online Suzuki’s Cory Green was fourth, while Ginolfi was fifth.
Hayes’ 2-2 finishes were enough to put him on top of the overall podium on what ended up being a big night in the points. Goerke’s resiliency in the second Main Event landed him second (1-7), while Breece enjoyed a career night in third (5-3).
Regal entered the night with his largest points lead of the Race to the Championship with eight, but Hayes’ strong, consistent effort combined with Regal’s misfortune in the first Main Event erased the deficit. The two winningest riders of the season now sit deadlocked for the top spot in the Race to the Championship with one race remaining.
The Metro PCS Blazing Fast Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event saw Ginolfi take the early lead, from which he never looked back, leaving the battle for the remaining spots on the podium to his fellow competitors.