The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team approached the ninth round of the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series raring to go at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The team was set to take the stage one rider down as Matt Goerke decided to sit the round out in order to grab some rest and recovery for an upper leg injury heading into the chase for the championship.
Chris Blose got off to a picture perfect start in qualifying as he topped the timing sheets as the lone representative of the team, clocking a lap time almost three tenths faster than the defending champion, Gavin Faith.
He carried that momentum into the second AX class heat race of the evening as he transformed it into an exceptional start, coming out of the first corner in second position. Blose followed closely behind Jace Owen for the first half of the race, matching his lap times and showing the leader a wheel whenever possible. In the waning stages of the race, Blose made a move within the blink of an eye and promoted himself to the lead, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. He was able to put a small gap into the Honda rider behind him and cruise to the heat race win by almost a full second.
Blose continued his exceptional run of form in the RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge as he swept all three of his races in exceptional fashion, taking the win and the subsequent pair of points. He was pitted against Josh Osby in the first heat and Blose had no problems besting the Kawasaki rider, sending him into the second round against Jace Owen. He wasn’t able to get the jump off the line, but he forced his way past the Honda rider on the second and final lap, setting the fastest lap of the pair while doing so. Blose pulled off another come-from-behind victory in the final race of the RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge, starting behind Gavin Faith in the final race. He stormed past the Team Babbitt’s Kawasaki rider with only a couple of corners to go and stole the checkered flag in the final breath of the race
Blose got off to a decent start in the opening main event on his blazing fast Yamaha, settling into fifth position as the opening lap antics came to a close. He was involved in some unfortunate circumstances on the second lap that consequently dropped him back to fifteenth position, forcing him to battle through the pack for the rest of the race. The Arizona native took a couple of laps to get back into the swing of things and close the gap to the rest of the pack, but he wasted no time once he did — he managed to move up three positions in just as many laps and eventually moved into the top ten on the tenth lap. Blose was able to force his way past Cade Autenrieth and take advantage of a Gavin Faith mistake at the head of the pack in order to move into eighth position. The gap to the riders ahead of him had grown too large at the beginning of the race, forcing him to settle for eighth and move onto the next main event. The gate dropped on the second AX class main and Blose shot off the line with revenge on his mind. He sat in third position behind Travis Sewell and Ben Lamay, quickly taking advantage of the Honda rider and moving into second position. Blose set a fiery pace as he pressured Sewell lap after lap, setting the fastest time of the race and keeping the Team Babbitt’s Kawasaki rider squarely within his sights. Unfortunately, Blose experienced some more misfortune with only a couple of laps to go and was not able to finish the main event, demoting him to a tenth place finish and subsequent ninth overall.
Although the overall finish was below the team’s expectations, Blose was easily the fastest rider throughout the day anytime he put his wheels to the dirt. The Arizona native will be content with his speed and be able to carry that momentum into the tenth round of the series at the Moda center in Portland, Oregon where Goerke will make his return to racing action. It will be a pivotal round in the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross season as the chase for the championship is set to get underway.