Babbitt's Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Zach Ames in Sacramento during the 2014 Arenacross season.
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Zach Ames has been the most consistent racer through the first six rounds of AMSOIL Arenacross
, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross. As a result, he sits atop the Arenacross Class standings even though he has just one overall win in the 2014 season.
The 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross Season Debuts on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, Feb 16th at 11am EST
With the added depth of talent in the championship, consistency has become paramount, and no rider has done a better job of doing so than Ames. In 18 Main Events, Ames is averaging a finish of 4.1 and has been on the podium nine times. Even on nights when he’s experienced adversity, Ames has minimized the damage to remain atop the standings for the bulk of the season. As the Race to the Championship looms in two weeks, Ames is in an enviable position and if he continues his consistent ways, he very well could claim his first AMSOIL Arenacross title.
AMSOIL Arenacross caught up with Ames to get his thoughts on the season so far and the upcoming Race to the Championship for this installment of “10 Questions.”
1. What is the toughest part about leading the points?
The toughest thing about leading the points is that now I have a huge target on my back. People are gunning for you in every corner because you have the red plate.
2. You’re consistency has been impressive this season. Considering how many riders, including yourself, have had some up and down nights, what has been the biggest key to keeping yourself at the front of the field?
The biggest key is to not get worked up when something happens. There is a lot of action happening at all times out there, so there is no time to break. The laps aren't very long and the races don't last long, so I have to pass whoever is ahead of me. I worked real hard this year with not settling in a groove and to just keep moving forward.
3. The competition this season is tougher. What adjustments have you had to make in order to deal with the added depth of talent?
Yeah, there is a lot of new guys coming in and having some good rides. I just have to buckle down during the week training and riding, and just do my program. I feel what Tyler [Bowers] and I have going on is good.
4. Ironically, you have just one overall win and one Main Event win this season. Is that how tough it’s been to win this season?
Yeah the numbers don't say "win," but I've been up front basically every race. And I feel that most of the problems with me not winning have come from the inversions between Main Events.
5. Do you feel that having your consistency outweigh your wins allows you to fly under the radar this year a bit? Do you feel like this could work to your advantage once the Race to the Championship starts?
I do feel like I'm under the radar a bit, but when the Race to the Championship starts there's no replacement for wins. You have to win because everyone restarts in the top 10 and only 5 points separate. So, you have to knock out some wins fast.
6. You and Tyler Bowers are great friends off the track and train together. Does that work to your advantage on race weekends being the top two riders in the series?
Yeah, I feel that our program is above all the rest of the competitors and we are mentally and physically prepared each weekend night in and night out. We work really well together.
7. You were the early points leader in the Race to the Championship last season, but ultimately finished third in the end. What did you learn from that experience that you have applied this season and will apply once the Race to the Championship begins?
I learned that you can't have a bad race in the Race to the Championship. There's only four rounds left and you need every point you can get.
8. What has been the most challenging thing for you this season?
The most challenging thing for me this season is dealing with the tracks. We prepare on some really difficult and highly technical tracks, so adjusting our motorcycle to the track conditions when it isn’t always as tough has been hard.
9. With two rounds remaining until the Race to the Championship begins, how do you plan to approach this weekend in Nampa and next weekend in Reno?
I am going to approach these next two weekends the same as any other weekend. I need to win. That's why we're all here doing it. We want to win. If I do what I need to do and win, then the points will be there. I just have to get my job done.
10. Who will be your toughest competitors over those final four rounds when the Race to the Championship begins?
There are a couple guys who are going to be tough. Obviously defending champion Tyler Bowers will be tough. Mike McdDde will be there. Cory Green is turning it up there lately. My other teammate Colt Nichols, once he finds his groove he will be battling for wins. There are a few guys out there that will be tough.
This weekend’s seventh round action from Nampa, Idaho, begins Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.
The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season will air on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on FOX Sports 2.
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About AMSOIL Arenacross
AMSOIL Arenacross is sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association. The AMA sanctions more amateur motorsports events than any other organization, as well as Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. For more information about AMA-sanctioned competition events, see www.americanmotorcyclist.com/racing.
About Feld Motor Sports®
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®. Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.
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About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA honors the heroes and the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.