AMA Arenacross Interviews Steven Mages

February 23, 2012
Courtesy of Arenacross Media
AMA Arenacross Series

Just a couple days remain before the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season comes to a dramatic conclusion from Minneapolis’ Target Center. Champions will be crowned in both the Arenacross Class and Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, but one rider will be looking for his own success while his counterparts battle it out for the title.

Two rounds ago in Fresno, Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Gateway Cycles Kawasaki’s Steven Mages grabbed his second Arenacross Lites Class victory of the season. Mages was a full-time competitor in the Eastern Regional Championship that concluded a few weeks ago, finishing fourth to eventual champion Michael McDade, and grabbing one win along the way.

While most of his focus has been on the Arenacross Lites Class, Mages has also been competing in the premier Arenacross Class, gaining valuable experience along the way. With the support of Spinechillers Racing, Mages will look to end the season on a high note, and get the ball rolling in the right direction going into the offseason.

Arenacross: Steven, the AMA Arenacross Series enters its final weekend of competition this weekend in Minneapolis. Give us some insight into how your season has gone this year.

Steven Mages: Going into the last round, I’ve gotten a lot of podiums and I’ve got two wins (in the Arenacross Lites Class), in addition to a few top-10 efforts in the premier class. Everything has been going really good this season.

AX: You picked up a win a couple weeks ago in Fresno to go along with your win from earlier this season. How tough has the competition been in the Arenacross Lites Class this season?

SM: Well this year, the competition has been twice as hard. Last year, I didn’t really notice it, but this year I can tell it’s twice as hard. Last year, podiums came a little easier and wins could come a little easier. This year is my first ever getting a win though, so that’s been awesome. But in general, the competition is way harder.

AX: You finished fourth in the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Championship, picking up a win along the way. What were your expectations coming into the season, and what are you looking forward to next year based on how things have gone?

SM: This year, I planned on winning East Coast Lites, and in the beginning, it was looking really good. I was running first at the opening round and had it sewed up with a couple laps left, but lost the front end in the whoops, and that kind of changed the direction of getting that championship. I’ve had a lot of trouble on hard-packed tracks, so I definitely need to figure that out for next year. I did really well on the soft tracks. Other than that, just a few bad races kept me from getting the win.

AX: You’ve gotten a lot of help from the Spinechillers Racing team this season. They are very well known in the AMA Arenacross Series and are always running up front. What is it like to have the support of such a respected team?

SM: They’ve helped me out a whole bunch, as far as getting out front and making things easier on me. I think that’s what really made me start getting on the podium almost every weekend. That’s also help me get some wins. It just takes a load off me and what I have to worry about by getting my bikes ready. They help me with my sponsors and stuff as well, so they’ve been a huge help this season and hopefully next year I’ll have something good going with them.

AX: What are your expectations going into Minneapolis this weekend? What are you looking forward to going into next season?

SM: Well, I was watching the Dayton race last night (on TV), and I really want to come in and win the Lites Class this weekend. Hopefully, I can get a top five in the (premier) class. It’s been kind of hard, because the Lites Main Event is 18 laps, and then I have to go right into doing a 25-lap main event in the premier class. Lately, I’ve been trying to pace myself in the Lites Class and not get too burnt out for the premier class.

I’ll be racing Loretta (Lynn’s) this summer, racing both A classes, and then I’ll come back to Arenacross next year racing both Lites and premier classes. We’ll see how it goes at that first race.

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