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Kyle Regal on his First AMSOIL Arenacross Season

| 6 March 2014 7:22 pm

Rider Interview: Kyle Regal
AMSOIL Arenacross Series

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by ShiftOne Photography
AURORA, IL, MAR. 6, 2014

A dramatic start to the 2014 Race to the Championship of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, produced a shakeup in the standings after a wild night of racing. While Babbitt’s Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Zach Ames emerged victorious, it was PBR/ TiLube/ TUF Racing Honda’s Kyle Regal who took advantage of the opportunity.

The 2014 season signified Regal’s rookie campaign in AMSOIL Arenacross, even though he’s been racing professionally since 2009, including a stint in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Despite being a novice in the discipline, Regal was hardly a rookie, and it showed immediately. He aligned with the highly respected championship-winning TUF Honda squad led by Dave Antolack, and he has put forth consistent results throughout the season.

Entering the Race to the Championship last weekend, Regal sat as the fourth seed, but he walked away from Tulsa second in the championship, just seven points out of the lead.

Here, Regal shares his thoughts on contending for the title in his first full season of AMSOIL Arenacross.

Kyle Regal.

Kyle Regal.

You’re one of the more experienced riders in AMSOIL Arenacross, having competed full time in other major championships, including Monster Energy Supercross. Do you think your experience in various disciplines has worked to your advantage this season?
Yes and no. Supercross is a completely different style of racing than arenacross, and I didn’t realize that until I got out on the track. It took me a few rounds to get used to it, for sure! This is also the first time I’ve been full time on a [250cc] bike. I never gave it a real chance in supercross.

In your opinion, what makes AMSOIL Arenacross so unique, and what are the challenges presented in this discipline?
Arenacross is so unique because of the way the tracks are laid out. They create a super-aggressive style of racing, whether you’re in first or last. There’s a fast line and a slow line, usually, around the whole track, so it gets tough to pass.

What ultimately led you to make the decision to race in AMSOIL Arenacross this season with one of the sport’s most successful teams, TUF Honda?
The decision all started when I wanted to give the [250SX class] a chance in supercross. I’ve only done two races in supercross on a 250, and I wanted to get race time on that bike under my belt before returning to supercross. Fortunately, a few weeks before the arenacross season started, I talked to Dave Antolak at TUF, and we put something together at the last minute. The rest is history.

When you decided to commit to AMSOIL Arenacross, what were your hopes and expectations for 2014?
My expectations were to just get my feet wet, get used to the bike and the style of racing until the points restarted for the Race to the Championship. From there, just be consistent, up front, and competing for race wins!

How would you describe your season up until this point?
I’d describe it as a pot of water on the stove. I started super cold and I’ve just been getting warmer and warmer, waiting for it to boil. (He laughs.)

2014 0306 AX Int Kyle Regal PHOTO B

With your first opportunity to compete in the Race to the Championship, can you describe the change in atmosphere and the level of intensity on the track last weekend in Tulsa?
The intensity was definitely up, and I felt good all day on the bike after a good week of testing suspension with Jim [Lewis] at Merge Racing. All the riders in the Race to the Championship were close in times, and it felt like everyone kicked it up a notch, including myself, just as I anticipated.

Were you expecting to leave Tulsa in such a strong position in the Race to the Championship? How does being second change your approach, if at all?
It doesn’t change my approach at all. I’ve just got to be up front each and every night! To be where I want to be, I have to win this championship.

Your teammate Jacob Hayes has also been strong this season. Has his success helped step up your game as well?
Before he was on the team [earlier this season], I was solo under the tent. Ever since he’s been here [in late January], it’s been awesome, because we can talk about the track and how the bike is. It seems like we almost run the same setup! This week, he came back to Texas and we were able to ride and train together, which was pretty cool.

With three rounds remaining in the season, what do you think it’s going to take over the final five nights of racing to potentially emerge as AMSOIL Arenacross Champion?
Consistency, mainly – and be smart.

You’re first full season has been successful. Have you enjoyed racing in AMSOIL Arenacross this season, and do your foresee becoming a regular competitor in years to come?
I’ve had a blast racing in arenacross and have met a lot of great people, but this whole season I’ve been trying to get my feet wet again on a 250cc bike. Arenacross provided the perfect avenue for that, because it has helped develop my technical skills on the smaller bike to prepare me for that move. I came from supercross, so I want to get back racing there. My hope is to be back there when arenacross is over to race the last few rounds.

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Category: Arenacross, Interviews, National, POV, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV

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