It’s not very often the sequel is better than the original, and it is tough to beat the adrenaline of opening a brand new championship. but when part two of the AMA Arenacross opening weekend premiered in Boise, Idaho those theories were both blown completely out of the water. The Rotten Tomatoes would definitely be giving this show a rating off the charts. Let’s run through the cliff notes from the Kicker AMA Arenacross Championship second round.
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If you finished in the top five in the series last year and are not named Kyle Peters it was a very rough night in Boise. A storybook ending in 2024 is looking a lot less likely for these racers.
#5 – Preston Taylor | When the highlight of your weekend is making a couple of dollars in the Race Tech B-Main on Friday night you know it was a tough one. Typically a strong starter, Taylor may have been having some difficulty adapting to the grates they are using in Arenacross this season. Zero points on the weekend.
#4 – Izaih Clark | Clark came out a season ago on fire putting heavy pressure on Peters and even stealing a win away. The youngster moved to train day-in and day-out battling Peters during the off-season and reports were promising until an injury. When it was causing issues leading up to the race, a last minute surgery was performed and Clark’s goal was to make it through the first two weekends and salvage points before using the Christmas break to heal up completely. An okay night one left him nine points back from the lead, but Anthony Rodriguez dug a hole for both riders less than a lap into night two when he took Clark and himself off the track and to the ground. After missing qualifying positions in the Semi they would line up together in the winner-take-all LCQ and finish first and second. A-Rod would head to the main events while Clark would leave battered, bruised, and pissed off with no points on the night. Zero points on the night and 39 points behind the series leader.
#3 – Aaron Siminoe | Siminoe started the night off taking advantage of the carnage with A-Rod and Clark heading straight to the main event out of his heat race. He would end the night being involved in his own carnage with A-Rod rounding the first turn of Main Event 1. When A-Rod bounced right in a left hand turn he hooked onto Siminoe taking them both off the track. Unfortunately Siminoe met the edge of the arena and eventually was taken off to receive medical attention. We hope Aaron checks out okay and will re-join the series soon. Zero points on the night and taken away for medical treatment.
#2 – Kyle Bitterman | The number 3 ride of Siminoe wasn’t the only one of last year’s contenders to receive medical treatment. A battle with food poisoning overnight and into the morning left Kyle Bitterman feeling crappy… literally. Kyle received an IV and toughed it out to try and continue his title fight. Crashes in Main Event 1 would hold him back to a 10th; however, Bitterman was able to fight back in Main Event 2 for a fourth to salvage some points. He leaves opening weekend 18 points back from Kyle Peters.
Massive Plot Twist
A battle of two warriors raged all weekend long inside the Ford Center as four-time champion Kyle Peters worked to use his experience and race-craft to snag wins from a wickedly-fast Ryan Breece. It was Peters on a 250 versus Breece on a 450, Honda versus Yamaha, the factory supported champ versus the privateer local shredder.
Blow after blow it was hard telling which rider was going to come out on top at the end of the weekend. That all looked to change with only a few laps to go at the end of Main Event 1. Breece finally pulled the trigger on the pass he’d been so patiently setting up and hoped to set sail for the win over Peters. Less than 20 seconds later the red flag flew as they approached the finish line to allow medical attention to reach Aaron Siminoe. AMA rules state that the race is over and results will be based off the previous complete lap of the race where Peters had retained the lead. Breece was stripped of the win and more importantly for a privateer like himself, the prize and bonus money that comes with topping the podium.
The hearts of the Idaho fans were definitely ripped out. Luckily in Arenacross they get to line up and do it all over again. Breece would manage a decent start from row number two, make some quick passes, and race up to the back wheel of race leader Bryton Carroll.
With hair flowing like an ’80s rocker out the back of his helmet, Carroll was jammin’ and had the place lit up with his loose style. Well… he did, until someone yanked the chord and it sent Carroll flipping off the tabletop like a stage dive without his YZ250f. Breece was able to navigate around Carroll and cruise to the Main Event 2 win.
Kyle Peters on the other hand? Many times throughout the weekend Peters wasn’t the fastest guy but he was always right there. He’d manage the race, turn it up when he needed, and put himself in position to take advantage when opportunity presented itself. It’s the same strategy that Buddy Antunez used to snag five championships, the same goal Peters has on his mind for this season. Never off the podium, Kyle Peters leaves Idaho carrying the red plate.
A Star is Born
First American Idol, then The Voice, and now AMA Arenacross. If you give undiscovered talent a microphone and point the camera at them you may capture gold. After Friday night’s race I talked about the rookie Crockett Myers performing on the race track by going straight to the Main Events out of his heat in a stacked field. This time we will talk about Crockett stealing the show on the microphone when he brought more energy than the Red Bull factory. After missing out on the Main Events, Myers blasted out front in the Race Tech B-Final before amping up the crowd again with his post race interview. One thing is for sure, Wes Kain better hope Myers makes a career out of racing or he will have some competition for the best Arenacross Hype Man on the Planet!
Austin Politelli was very fast all weekend and grabbed a heat race win, the 1 v 1 + 1 victory, a podium in Main Event 1, and was looking strong in Main Event 2 until he went down and finished 10th.
Robbie Wageman seemed to get better and better each time out on his Heartbeat Hot Sauce/Team Solitaire Yamaha. In the final main event Peters actually passed him in the sweeper before the finish line early in the race. A couple laps later Wageman used the exact same line to setup an identical pass back on Peters, went by Bitterman right after and cruised to a second place finish.
A-Rod brought a mix of speed and aggression to his Arenacross debut. His first laps with the Rock River team were practice on Friday. Unfortunately the ping-ponging off other riders would end up knocking him out of the action one turn into Saturday. Hopefully he’s healthy and ready to return next weekend in Madison.
We are only one weekend in and we’ve seen the script flip, the plot twist, underdogs rise up and heroes fall down. The show rolls on and the gate drops again next Friday night, December 8th in Madison, Wisconsin. If you’re lucky like me you’ll be in the seats taking in all the action, but if you can’t make the trek be sure to log on to ArenacrossAllAccess.com or change the channel to MavTV to stream it live!
Saturday Night Results
Points Standings After Round 2
Main image: Arenacross