More racing equals more fun and excitement for the fans and the racers alike. So when the AMSOIL Arenacross series replaced the dash-for-cash with the head-to-head bracket races it was a welcome change.
However there were some racers and skeptics who thought these races would be nothing more than glorified drag races because they are only two laps. Everyone knows the holeshot is extremely important in all forms of motocross racing and it becomes more important as the tracks get smaller and the confines become tighter. Then when the race is shortened because of less laps the holeshot becomes the majority of the race, right? Well that has not been the case so far this year.
Take the head-to-head racing at round two in Baltimore for example. The first match up was Michael McDade and Dave Ginolfi. McDade gets the holeshot over Ginolfi but after their first time over the catapult Dave dives inside McDade and makes a pass. Ginolfi's lead was short lived however because as Dave was cutting off the berm to make his pass McDade was using the berm to sling shot his momentum down the start straight and back into the lead.
Then the second match saw Steve Roman take the lead over Babbitt's Kawaski's Zach Ames who pulled alongside Steve in the corner after the whoops on the last lap. It looked as if Ames was going to be able to cut in and make a block pass right before the checkers but Zach lost a little traction while making his move and Steve Roman moved onto the next bracket.
In the third match up last year's champion, Tyler Bowers, was up against last year's runner up, Jeff Gibson. Jeff took the holeshot only to have Bowers' aggressive move in the corner before the rhythm section put him on the ground which enabled Tyler Bowers to cruised onto the next bracket race.
The fourth match was Bowers' and Ames' teammate and younger brother of Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto, Tyler Villopoto against Gared Steinke. This race was what most expected a two lap race lasting 44 seconds to be. Holeshot and lead the other to the finish. That is exactly what Tyler Villopoto did to move himself onto the next bracket.
Then you had the winners of bracket races one and two go head-to-head which put the two PA riders, Michael McDade and Steve Roman together. With both of these rider being from Pennsylvania this race not only was one to move onto the next bracket but a battle for bragging rights as the faster AX rider from PA. At least the fastest out of two laps.
Even though McDade is doing better in the championship points Steve Roman wasn't intimidated and pulled out the early lead. He lead the entire first lap and part of the second but McDade was not to be denied as he set up Roman for a textbook block pass at the end of the whoops moving himself onto the final bracket race.
The next match up placed Babbitt's Kawasaki's teammates Tyler Bowers and Tyler Villopoto side by side to duke it out but unfortunately Villopoto didn't have much for Bowers after the start. This meant the one extremely valuable championship point was going to be fought over between McDade and Bowers in the final head-to-head battle.
If you watched the Speed TV's coverage of this round you already know who received that point and you don't need to watch the attached video. But what you might not have realized was how much racing is involved in the short head-to-head bracket races that led up to that valuable point. In that case you will want to watch the video associated with this article to see how it all played out.
Also, don't forget that AMSOIL Arenacross comes to the Mohegan Sun arena in Wilkes Barre, PA for round 6 of this championship series next weekend February 8-10 where you not only get to see two nights of Pros along with Sunday's amateur races you'll see two nights of head-to-head bracket racing.