The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team stormed into the fifth round of the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series aiming to put both riders back up on the box. Freedom Hall Arena would play host to the intense indoor action on display for the fired up Louisville crowd.
The Yamaha duo set off to a solid start as they qualified in symmetry with the previous round of action; Matt Goerke set the sixth fastest qualifying time and Chris Blose ended up clocking the second fastest time, just behind the Tilube / Jack Link’s / Honda of Ben Lamay.
The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, pair both contested the first heat race, as they banged bars right from the get go for the fourth weekend in succession. Goerke got the start that he has been hoping for so far this season, shooting out to an early lead by way of the holeshot and immediately laying down a gap between himself and the competition. Blose wasn’t as fortunate off the line and ended up coming around the finish line for the first time in fifth position. The Arizona native put the hammer down throughout the early laps, making one pass after another until he settled into second place. He was able to keep Gared Steinke and Daniel Herrlein firmly at bay after overtaking the spot, but was never able to mount an attack on his teammate for the lead. Goerke and Blose finished out the heat race in first and second place, respectively, giving them a bundle of confidence heading into the RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge.
In the RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge, Blose was pitted against the current points leader, Jace Owen, in the fourth heat race and the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, rider wasn’t able to progress to the next round. Goerke was able to outperform the North Carolina native of Keith Tucker in the third heat race, propelling him to the second round against Owen. The Floridian attempted to exact revenge for his teammate on the Honda rider, but Owen ultimately came out on top with the victory after Goerke suffered a get off in the whoops section.
The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team got off to a stellar start in the first main event as both riders pulled a start within the top five; Goerke came around the finish line in third position with Blose only a couple of positions behind. Blose was able to work his way past Keith Tucker into fourth position, shortly thereafter knocking on the door of the podium. The Yamaha duo rode in tandem throughout the entire main event as they spread out evenly in their respective positions. It was a solid performance from both riders as they put together a consistent main event and scooped up some valuable championship points heading forward. Goerke was close to replicating his start in the second main event as he rocketed into the first corner within the top five. Unfortunately, Blose didn’t get the best jump down the stretch and was forced to settle for seventh position on the opening lap. Goerke was determined to make up the positions that he wasn’t able to in the first main event, immediately setting his sights on Ben Lamay ahead of him. He overtook the Alaskan for third position on the fifth lap, transitioning his focus to the battle for the lead. Meanwhile, Jace Owen dropped back into second position and consequently into the clutches of Goerke. The Yamaha rider was able to mount an attack and steal second place away from the points leader, but the lead was just out of his grasp. Simultaneously, Blose worked his way through the field — making his way up to fifth position by the midway point of the race. He found himself entrenched in a battle with Steinke and Lamay, but ultimately came out on top and held onto fourth place until the checkered flag.
Scott Donkersgoed, Blose’s mechanic, commented on the evening “Things went fairly well, we qualified fast and rode consistent all night. Things are slowly coming together, we’re working hard all week to keep progressing on the weekends.”
Goerke’s mechanic, Steve Simms, said “Louisville was another big learning day for the entire team. Every time we have hit the track this year we have learned something and put it into motion to better ourselves, this weekend was no exception. We keep putting our heads down and digging and it’s showing with our best overall of the season with a second. We are just one step away and it will come. The entire team has been working extremely hard and we’d like to extend a huge thanks to them all…Scott Donkersgoed, Kerry King, Brad Ewen, Andre Laurin and Dave. The work does not go unnoticed.”
AMSOIL Arenacross will take the first weekend off of the 2017 season and return to action in Kansas City, Missouri on February 18th. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team will be taking advantage of the break to dial the bikes in a little bit further to take their results to the next level at the Sprint Center for the sixth round of racing.