Champ Tyler Bowers leads Babbitt's Kawasaki three-rider lineup in AMA Arenacross
January 03, 2013
The following is an industry press release...
AURORA, Ill. (January 2, 2013) – For the past three seasons of AMSOIL Arenacross, Featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross competition, one team has emerged as arguably the most formidable effort in the championship. With three consecutive titles to its credit, including back-to-back championships with Tyler Bowers, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis is prepared to continue its reign atop AMSOIL Arenacross with a young three-rider lineup for the 2013 season.
Bowers returns to the team as its most experienced rider and captain. In just three seasons of arenacross competition, Bowers has ascended to the top of the highly technical discipline, capturing the last two championships and enough wins to rank him third on the all-time wins list. Joining him under the Babbitt’s tent will be a pair of new faces, including longtime friend Zach Ames in addition to rookie Tyler Villopoto.
“We our very optimistic about what our three-rider lineup can achieve this season,” said Babbitt’s Team Manager Denny Bartz. “We know what Tyler (Bowers) is capable of, and both Zach and Tyler (Villopoto) are extremely fast. Together with their own experience and desire for success, I think some great results are in store.”
A familiar face on the Babbitt’s team that will not be competing in AMSOIL Arenacross for 2013 is veteran rider Chad Johnson. After a highly successful career in which he claimed a pair of AMSOIL Arenacross titles, Johnson is stepping away from the sport he loves.
“The loss of Chad definitely leaves some big shoes to fill in our team,” said Bartz. “Everyone in the arenacross community loves Chad and has so much respect for him both on and off the track. He’ll definitely be missed but we’re doing our best to bring the most talented lineup we can to this season’s championship.”
As one of Bowers’ closest friends off the track, Ames has shown consistent improvement with each season that goes by, surely thanks to the motivation he receives from his new teammate. Now that the pair will be training together on a full-time basis, expectations are even higher for Ames, who has aspirations of becoming a champion and potentially dethroning Bowers.
“Zach is a strong starter and has always run well,” added Bartz. “He and Tyler will train out in California and I think it will only benefit Zach’s performance out on the track. He’s on a really good bike and his confidence is high.”
Villopoto is the younger brother of reigning back-to-back Monster Energy AMA Supercross FIM World Champion Ryan Villopoto. While he is a relative unknown in the professional racing world, the junior Villopoto brother comes from a winning family and garnered considerable experience while racing full time in the Canadian Motocross Nationals this past summer. In the early stages of his racing career, Villopoto competed in arenacross events in his native Pacific Northwest, which should help his transition to AMSOIL Arenacross.
“Tyler and Ryan grew up racing arenacross, so I think Tyler will adjust well to the premier level of AMSOIL Arenacross,” said Bartz. “He’s very fast and I think if he just works on his sprinting ability that he can find success this season. We’re excited to give him the opportunity and be tied to such a respected name in the sport.”
The AMSOIL-backed Babbitt’s effort will surely be a team to watch in 2013, with one of the most dynamic mixes of riders in the series that features youthful exuberance, veteran experience, and raw talent.
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2013 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com.