Arenacross

Consistent Night Gives Kyle Regal Second Overall Victory of 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Season

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The sixth round of the 2015 season of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, featured the championship's inaugural visit to Amalie Arena on Saturday night.

After a pair of wild Arenacross Class Main Events in which many of his championship rivals were faced with adversity, Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Kyle Regal relied on a pair of runner-up finishes to earn his second overall victory of the season. In the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class, Motosport.com/Haeseker Racing KTM's Daniel Blair grabbed the win.

Prior to the start of the opening Arenacross Class Main Event, Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Gavin Faith, a winner this season, was unable to start his bike, ultimately retiring from competition before the gate event dropped. When the race did get underway, the Team Babbitt's Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki duo of Matt Goerke and Chris Blose came out of the first turn off the start side-by-side.

Blose seized control of the lead as the field crossed the line but in the next rhythm section he came up short on a jump and crashed, handing the lead over to Goerke. That same lap, misfortune also hit the third Team Babbitt's rider, Jacob Hayes, who crashed out of fifth after making contact with another rider and dropped to the tail end of the field.

Goerke was able to sprint away early and open a small lead on Regal, who also started inside the top three, while Slaka Wear KTM's Steven Mages locked down possession of third. On Lap 4 Regal began to put pressure on Goerke and appeared to be setting up the Kawasaki rider for a pass, but a bobble in the whoops caused him to lose ground. In his effort to try and make up for that lost time, Regal lost his front end at the start of Lap 10 and went down, dropping to fifth.

That same lap Mages fell just after the whoops after moving into second, allowing Motosport.com/Haeseker Racing KTM's Gared Steinke and ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha's Bobby Kiniry to take over the remaining podium spots. Goerke dominated out front and cruised to the win while a hard-charging Regal managed to claw his way back into second on the final lap to steal the runner-up spot. Kiniry finished third while Hayes recovered from his early troubles to salvage sixth.

Excited about the chance to win in front of his home crowd, Florida native Goerke relied on the fans to select the inversion for the second Main Event, with the chosen case ultimately revealing an eight meaning half the field would be inverted.
Jacob Hayes retained control of the championship battle with a runner-up effort. - Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography
As the second Main Event got underway, with Blose absent following his get off in the first race, Kiniry took advantage of a good start to grab the holeshot ahead of Babbitt's Online Suzuki's Cory Green and Mages.

All three of the main title contenders - Hayes, Goerke and Regal - came away with solid starts, but Goerke soon encountered misfortune on Lap 2, falling to the ground while trying a make a charge to the front and falling to 11th. Green found himself on the ground as well just a few feet ahead of Goerke. Hayes took advantage off their trouble to take over second from Mages on Lap 3, with Regal following into third just a couple laps later.

Once in second Hayes methodically closed in on leader Kiniry, making up considerable ground in the whoops. On Lap 6 he moved to within a couple bike lengths of the lead and on the following lap was able to set up a pass coming out of the whoops. Once out front, Hayes pulled away and Kiniry soon came under fire from Regal, who made the pass for second on Lap 12 and assured himself of victory. Hayes recovered from his tough opening Main Event to claim the win, with Regal and Kiniry following in second and third. Goerke recovered to finish fifth.

Regal's consistency on the night (2-2) landed him on top of the overall classification, while Hayes' win in the second Main Event combined with his victory in the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge allowed him to earn second overall (6-1) in what ended up as a three-way tie for the spot. Kiniry ended up third overall (3-3), with his better finish in the second Main Event giving him the tiebreaker over Goerke in fourth (1-5). College Hunks Hauling Junk/Spinechillers Racing KTM's Willy Browning rounded out the top five (7-4).

"I think I was one of the most consistent guys in the whoops and I think it paid off tonight. I'm pumped," exclaimed Regal. "We'll do some more work this week and be ready to get back at it next weekend."

By virtue of his tie with Goerke, Hayes' lead in the championship remains at 14 points. Regal gained ground on his rivals in third and now sits 20 points out of the lead and just six points behind Goerke.

"I'm not sure what happened in the first Main Event. I made contact while battling for position there early and I got the worse end of it. It was just one of those things that happens in arenacross," said Hayes. "But we came back strong and were able to get a win the close out the night. It feels good to keep points lead."
Daniel Blair took an impressive Main Event win in the Arenacross Lites Class. - Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography
The start of the MetroPCS Blazing Fast Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event saw points leader Dave Ginolfi grab the early lead aboard his College Hunks Moving Junk/Spinecillers Racing KTM ahead of ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha's Kyle Bitterman and Blair.

On Lap 2 Ginolfi bobbled in the whoops, allowing Bitterman to take over the lead. Just two laps later, Bitterman crashed hard out of the lead and the race. On the ensuing lap, Blair was able to make the pass on Ginolfi for the lead before the red flag came out for Bitterman's incident. When the race resumed, Blair maintained his lead over Ginolfi while TZR Woodstock KTM's Cody VanBuskirk slipped past Link MX Graphics KTM's Dylan Rouse for third on Lap 12.

Just two laps later, VanBuskirk crashed out of third, handing it back over to Rouse. Blair got heavy pressure from Ginolfi on the final lap, but he was able to fend off the late challenge and win by about a bike length. Rouse maintained control of third for the first podium result of his career.

Ginolfi, who carried a comfortable 23-point lead in the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship coming into the evening, added to his points lead and is now 38 markers ahead of Hillview Motorsports Suzuki's Steve Roman. TZR Woodstock KTM's Scott Zont sits third.

"I'm not thinking about the championship. It will happen when it happens, and if it does that's great," said Ginolfi. "Right now I'm going to take it race by race. I was a little behind rhythm and Daniel [Blair] got by me, then I just got caught up in pacing him. I put on a charge at the end but came up a little bit short."

The 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season will continue next weekend with the seventh round of the championship on Saturday, February 28, from Kansas City, Missouri, and Sprint Center
Tampa area native Ricky Carmichael was on hand to watch the riders do battle and did a special hot lap for the fans to kick off the night. - Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography
Arenacross Class Results - Overall (Main Event Finishes)
1. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (2-2)
2. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (6-1)
3. Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha (3-3)
4. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (1-5)
5. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (7-4)
6. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (5-6)
7. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (4-7)
8. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (9-10)
9. Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM (10-11)
10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (8-13)

Arenacross Class Points (Race 9 of 20)
1. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki - 240 Pts
2. Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki - 226 Pts
3. Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna - 220 Pts
4. Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha - 188 Pts
5. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM - 178 Pts
6. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM - 177 Pts
7. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki - 175 Pts
8. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM - 156 Pts
9. Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM - 138 Pts
10. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna - 131 Pts

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results:
1. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
2. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM
3. Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM
4. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
5. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki
6. Lorenzo Locurcio, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
7. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM
8. Dave Blanchet, Quebec, Canada, Kawasaki
9. Logan Pfleiderer, Galion, Ohio, Yamaha
10. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 7 of 10) 1. Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM - 103 Pts
2. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki - 65 Pts
3. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM - 61 Pts
4. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 56 Pts
5. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasak - 47 Pts
6. Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM - 44 Pts
7. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki - 42 Pts
8. Dave Blanchet, Quebec, Canada, Kawasaki - 41 Pts
9. Darian Sanayei, Orting, Wash., Kawasaki - 35 Pts
10. Mitchell Harrison, Cairo, Georgia, Kawasaki - 33 Pts

Top Image: Consistency was the key to Kyle Regal's success in Tampa.

Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

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