The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team came into the eleventh round of the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series with Chris Blose looking to continue his consistent form of podium finishes and Matt Goerke looking to step back up towards the head of the field. The chase for the Ricky Carmichael Cup is officially underway as the season has moved into the closing stages, quickly approaching the final round at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas a little over a month away.
The first night of action produced some solid qualifying results for the Yamaha duo as Blose ended up clocking the second fastest time with Goerke not far behind in seventh position.
The Yamaha pair were both seeded into the first heat race in which they produced positive results. Blose rocketed out of the gate to a second place start behind the Ohio native of Daniel Herrlein and followed him for the majority of the race, eventually sticking his Yamaha underneath the KTM and subsequently stealing the heat race win just before the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Goerke got a fifth place start and was able to work his way past Josh Osby up to fourth position where he would finish, securing himself a spot in the RM ATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge.
In the RM ATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge, Goerke was matched up against the defending champion, Gavin Faith, and unfortunately lost out to the Team Babbitt’s rider. Blose was pitted up against Chris Howell and managed to progress out of the first round as he bested the Husqvarna rider. In the second round, Blose and his Yamaha came out on top yet again which put him in contention for the pair of points with Gavin Faith — the two of them duked it out in the final race, but Blose just missed out by a hair and was forced to settle for second.
The main events got underway in the Livestock Events Center and Chris Blose led the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team out of the gate; the Arizona native shot out to a second place start behind Faith and immediately stuck to the rear fender of the Kawasaki. Meanwhile, Goerke experienced some misfortune on the opening lap and was stuck back in fifteenth position, forcing him to come through the pack. Blose and Faith were able to build a decent advantage at the head of the field and the two of them set off into the distance in a battle of their own for the entirety of the race. They were running the same pace throughout all fifteen laps, matching each other’s times and swapping fast laps back and forth, but Blose was never able to make a move for the lead. Meanwhile, Goerke spent the entire moto carving his way through the field and did his best to salvage an eleventh place finish. As the gate dropped for the second main event, it was a carbon copy of the first at the front of the field — Faith led from Blose and the two of them attempted to break away, but this time they were followed closely by Jace Owen. Blose was able to set the fastest lap of the race a third of the way through the fifteen lap race, but it wasn’t enough to set himself up for a pass on the leader. Goerke got out to a decent start just outside the top five in seventh position, but he wasn’t able to make any inroads on those ahead of him. Blose finished up the main event with another second place finish and Goerke ultimately rode to a lonely seventh place finish.
The second day of racing kicked off with timed qualifying practice on Saturday and Blose was able to better his qualifying position by putting his Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, in first position. Goerke also bettered his position from the previous day and ended up laying down the sixth fastest time heading into the night show.
Goerke led the team into racing action in the first AX class heat race of the day and got out to a solid third place start. The Floridian held firm in third for the opening half of the race until he became engulfed in a battle with Travis Sewell and Challen Tennant. The trio swapped positions for the remainder of the race, but Goerke was able to fight his way to fourth and keep himself in contention for the RM ATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge. In the second heat race, Blose continued his form of exceptional starts and shot out to an early lead ahead of Team Babbitt’s Gared Steinke. Blose laid down a searing pace from the front of the field and slowly checked out on the competition, setting the fastest lap of the race and cruising to an uncontested victory.
In the RM ATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge, the Yamaha teammates were seeded into the first round in a battle against one another and Blose came away with the advantage. He carried the momentum into the next round and was able to best the Team Babbitt’s rider of Travis Sewell. It was a flashback to Friday night as Faith and Blose met each other in the final yet again, and the result was the same as the defending champion came out on top.
As the first main event of Saturday began, both Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, riders got out to a decent start within the top five. Blose quickly worked his way from fourth to third past Sewell and set his sights on Owen and Faith at the front of the field. Unfortunately, Goerke experienced a bit of misfortune that would put him out of action for the remainder of the night, forcing him to come back swinging next weekend in Sacramento. Once Blose worked his way into third position, he attempted to track down the leaders and place himself in the battle for the victory, but they had already established a gap too large to bridge. In the second main event, Blose found himself in third place at the end of the first lap yet again. It was the usual suspects at the head of the field and it stayed that way for the entire race as Blose was not able to make a move on either of the leaders. He put in a solid performance after putting himself in a good position early on in order to come away with a third overall and keep himself in contention for the Ricky Carmichael Cup.
Team Manager, Steve Simms, concluded the weekend with “The second and third round of the chase proved Chris is in the hunt for the championship. He rode great both nights and rode smart on the soft, technical track. Matt had another rough weekend, coming in a little banged up and had some more bad luck, and then on night two we had an unfortunate mechanical. We look forward to this coming weekend to keep doing battle for the title. We can’t thank all of our passionate sponsors enough for their continued support and for all the dedicated crew working hard behind the scene; Chris, Scott, Brad, Andre and Keith.”
The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team had a weekend of ups and downs in Reno, Nevada, but solid finishes from Blose have kept their championship hopes alive as the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series winds down. The action heads to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California as the chase for the Ricky Carmichael Cup really begins to heat up.