AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 15: South Point Arena
Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Josh Rud/ ShiftOne Photography
LAS VEGAS, NV, MAY 1, 2015
AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, brought the 2015 season to a dramatic conclusion on Friday night with its first-ever season finale inside South Point Arena. The sixth and final round of the Race to the Championship featured a tie atop the points standings coming into the evening, between Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes and Husqvarna/ TiLube/ TUF Racing’s Kyle Regal, making this the closest title fight in the sport’s history.
When all was said and done at the conclusion of two Arenacross-class main events, Regal emerged with his first career AMSOIL Arenacross championship. In the inaugural Arenacross Lites-class East/West Shootout, Preston Plumbing Yamaha’s Ryan Breece took the first win of his career with a wire-to-wire performance.
Season Finale Broadcast Alert: The Las Vegas broadcast will premiere on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday, May 10, at 10 a.m. PDT/ 1:00 p.m. EDT.
The evening’s action got off to an exciting start with stellar competition in the RMATV/ MC Head 2 Head Challenge, in which Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke edged out Regal for the win and the pivotal championship bonus point, giving him momentum heading into the main events.
As the Arenacross-class field launched out of the gate for the first of two main events, a handful of riders got tangled together and went down, including championship contenders Goerke and Husqvarna/ TiLube/ TUF Racing’s Gavin Faith. Getting a clean start out front with the holeshot was Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Chris Blose, with Regal tucked in close behind. Motosport.com/ Haeseker Racing KTM’s Gared Steinke was third, fending off the early advances of Hayes, in fourth.
Hayes wasted little time getting around Steinke, and he moved into third on lap one. He then slowly closed in on Regal for second, and just after the duo crossed the line to start lap four, Hayes attempted to make a pass on the inside, only to have Regal close the door. At that point, Regal picked up his pace and pulled away from Hayes while subsequently closing in on Blose.
On lap six, Blose bobbled coming out of the whoops and crashed right in front of a hard-charging Regal, taking him to the ground as well. That allowed Hayes to slip past both riders and take control of the main event, with ThermoTec/ FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry moving into second. Regal managed to quickly remount in third. Blose was unable to continue.
Knowing he needed to keep pace with Hayes, Regal put on a charge to pass Kiniry for second on lap 10 and continued that push over the final laps to close the deficit to Hayes. The two were just a couple of bikelengths apart coming to the white flag, and Regal put on a last-lap surge through the whoops to get alongside Hayes in the final corner. Regal didn’t have the momentum to make the pass, and Hayes took a crucial main-event win that ensured he would earn a season-ending tie breaker, if necessary. Regal followed in second, with Kiniry third, Steinke fourth, and TZR Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell fifth.
Another pileup out of the gate started the second main event, which allowed Steinke to claim the holeshot, ahead of Faith and Slaka Wear KTM’s Steven Mages. Both Regal and Hayes emerged unscathed as well and were nose to tail as the field settled in.
Before they were even able to begin the first lap, the championship took a major turn when Hayes made heavy contact with Regal in the turn, forcing him to the ground. While Regal was left to pick up his bike and salvage the best finish he could, white smoke billowed out of Hayes’ bike as he crossed the finish line. The Kawasaki rider rode around for a few laps until a broken water pump officially ended his night – and his hopes of a championship.
Out front, Steinke had to keep both Faith and Mages at bay, as the top three were separated by about a second for much of the early portion of the race. Faith attempted to make an inside pass on Steinke as they came to the line to start lap four but lost traction, allowing Mages to take over second. That slight bobble allowed Steinke to open up some breathing room.
Faith put the pressure on Mages over the next lap and was able to get back by Mages for second. Faith kept Steinke honest, but the KTM rider rode a clean and consistent race to earn his second main-event win of the season. Faith was second, with Mages third. Regal stayed out of trouble and brought home a ninth-place finish, securing the title.
Check out this video interview with new champion Kyle Regal…
The wild night of action ultimately produced the seventh different overall winner of the 2015 season, as Steinke’s 4-1 results garnered him his first career overall victory in AMSOIL Arenacross, capping off a career-best night for the rider from Temecula, California. Regal’s 2-9 finishes gave him the runner-up position to go along with his championship, while Mages (9-3) rounded out the top three.
When the final points were tallied for the Race to the Championship, Regal edged out Hayes by just four points – one of the closest margins in AMSOIL Arenacross history.
Faith’s strong night allowed him to move from fifth to third (-17), while Babbitt’s Online Suzuki’s Cory Green moved up from sixth to fourth (-18). Goerke rounded out the top five (-19).
“It was crazy on that first lap,” recounted Regal, who sat one point behind his rival heading into the final main event of the season. “I knew Jacob [Hayes] was close, but I came into the corner before the finish and just got taken out. I’ve never been hit that hard in my life. I just tried to get up as fast as I could and went to work.
“After a few laps,” he continued, “I passed Jacob as he was rolling the jump, so I knew something was wrong with his bike. I knew that was the championship right there, but I had to make sure I put in 15 laps to take the checkered flag and make it official – and here we are. Not necessarily the way I wanted to win it, but I’m just so happy and can’t thank my team enough.”
The first-ever Arenacross Lites-class East/West Shootout saw Mages capture the holeshot, ahead of Western Regional Arenacross Lites-class Champion Daniel Blair, on his Motosport.com/ Haeseker Racing KTM. Just after the finish line, Blair made the pass for the lead, but a crash behind him in the rhythm section collected nearly half of the field, bringing out the red flag and forcing a restart.
When the field got under way again, Breece grabbed the lead, with Blair in second once again. A&Y Racing Honda’s Daniel Herrlein slotted into third, with Mages fourth and Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites-class Champion Dave Ginolfi rounding out the top five aboard his College Hunks Hauling Junk/ Spinechillers Racing KTM.
Breece was able to pull away to a comfortable lead, while Blair fell into the clutches of Herrlein, who made the pass for second on lap four. Not long after, Blair lost third place to Mages.
As Breece encountered lappers in the late stages of the race, Herrlein was able to close the gap and got to within just over a second, but time ran out and Breece raced to the first AMSOIL Arenacross win of his career. Herrlein finished in the runner-up spot, while Mages completed the podium.
“I’m just trying to make a name for myself, so I decided to come out here and battle with these guys in AMSOIL Arenacross,” said Breece, who finished third overall in the Arenacross class last weekend. “I got a great start and I was able to just ride a consistent main event. It feels awesome!”
South Point Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada
Results: May 1, 2015 (Round 15 of 15)
ARENACROSS MAIN 1: 1. Jacob Hayes (Kaw); 2. Kyle Regal (Hsq); 3. Bobby Kiniry (Yam); 4. Gared Steinke (KTM); 5. Travis Sewell (KTM); 6. Daniel Herrlein (Hon); 7. Willy Browning (KTM); 8. Cory Green (Suz); 9. Steven Mages (KTM); 10. Matt Goerke (Kaw).
ARENACROSS MAIN 2: 1. Gared Steinke (KTM); 2. Gavin Faith (Hsq); 3. Steven Mages (KTM); 4. Cory Green (Suz); 5. Chris Blose (Kaw); 6. Daniel Herrlein (Hon); 7. Willy Browning (KTM); 8. Travis Sewell (KTM); 9. Kyle Regal (Hsq); 10. Bobby Kiniry (Yam).
ARENACROSS OVERALL: 1. Gared Steinke (4-1); 2. Kyle Regal (2-9); 3. Steven Mages (9-3); 4. Cory Green (8-4); 5. Gavin Faith (11-2); 6. Daniel Herrlein (6-6); 7. Travis Sewell (5-8); 8. Bobby Kiniry (3-10); 9. Willy Browning (7-7); 10. Jacob Hayes (1-14).
RMATV/MC HEAD 2 HEAD CHALLENGE: 1. Matt Goerke (2 points); 2. Kyle Regal (1 point); 3. Chris Blose (1 point); 4. Cory Green (1 point); 5. Gavin Faith (1 point); 6. Ryan Breece (1 point); 7. Jacob Hayes (1 point); 8. Steven Mages (1 point).
ARENACROSS LITES EAST/WEST SHOOTOUT: 1. Ryan Breece (Yam); 2. Daniel Herrlein (Hon); 3. Steven Mages (KTM); 4. Dave Ginolfi (KTM); 5. Daniel Blair (KTM); 6. Axell Hodges (Kaw); 7. Jake Locks (KTM); 8. R.J. Wageman (Yam); 9. Jonah Locks (Kaw); 10. Scott Zont (KTM).
AMSOIL Arenacross Series Final Points Standings
RACE TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP (After Race 6 of 6): 1. Kyle Regal (164/ 2 main-event wins); 2. Jacob Hayes (160/ 3 main-event wins); 3. Gavin Faith (147); 4. Cory Green (146); 5. Matt Goerke (14/ 2 main-event wins); 6. Chris Blose (140/ 3 main-event wins); 7. Travis Sewell (131); 8. Bobby Kiniry (119); 9. Gared Steinke (118/ 2 main-event wins); 10. Steven Mages (102).
ARENACROSS CLASS (After Race 20 of 20): 11. Dave Ginolfi (215); 12. Willy Browning (209); 13. Daniel Herrlein (132); 14. Cody Van Buskirk (104); 15. Brandon Glenn (76).