Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Rickey Gadson captured his ninth-career championship in the Supersport class at the final round of the AMA Dragbike
Series at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga. Gadson secured the championship after his first run, then topped off the season with a win in the class. In just his first year running the popular Pro Street class, Gadson steadily improved throughout the year, finishing the year with his best qualifying effort of third.
Gadson had already achieved his ninth championship with
Ricky Gadson launches the Monster Energy Kawasaki ZX-14 down the 1/4 mile to victory.
his consistent effort in the Supersport class, but he didn’t stop there. He took his fourth win of the year against Kawasaki’s
Jeremy Teasley in the finals. The “holeshot win” was decided at the start with Gadson’s quick reaction time outing Teasley’s slightly quicker elapsed time.
“It was so close when we got down to the quarter mile mark,” said Gadson. “I was doing everything I could to stay ahead of him. It was so much fun and awesome to win the last race of the season.”
Although he knows what it feels like to win a championship, it had been several years since Gadson won his last title. Since the hiatus, the ninth felt just as good as the first.
“I have been without a championship for a while,” said Gadson. “It felt really good to come back and capture this one. I felt like the underdog in this class because of my size. I was going up against guys who were sometimes 50 pounds lighter than I was. So it definitely feels great to win this championship.”
Ricky Gadson and his team celebrate the win and the championship title at the final AMA Dragbike round in Georgia.
In the Pro Street class, Gadson and his crew chief Coby Adams faced a steep learning curve in the highly competitive class, but by the final race were showing what the ZX-14
was made of. In qualifying, Gadson scored an impressive 7.251 ET at 202.09 MPH to qualify third. In his first and second runs, Gadson continued to put up great numbers, going out in the second round with an impressive 7.287 ET at 204.17 MPH.
“This class has been a learning experience, but in the end I think we showed them that Kawasaki is capable of running with the best. This class is one of the most anticipated each round and we have definitely showed what we can do. I expect good things for this class next year.”
With seven races this year, Gadson made every round count in both classes he competed. He overcame a major weight difference in the Supersport class and proved that the ZX-14 was a fierce competitor. Gadson also adapted quickly in the Pro Street class to finish the season turning heads to what the ZX-14 could do.
“The season has been tough, but we didn’t give up and we had a great final round,” said Gadson. “This season has taught us a lot and I can’t wait for the next season to start.”
AMA Dragbike Supersport Results
South Georgia Motorsports Park - Valdosta, GA
Round Win/Loss Driver R-Time E-Time Speed
Final (W) Ricky Gadson (Kawasaki) 0.106 8.964 155.69
(L) Jeremy Teasley (Kawasaki) 0.112 8.958 156.21
Round 2 (W) Ricky Gadson (Kawasaki) 0.079 8.931 156.17
(L) Danny Payton (Suzuki) -0.009(R) 9.080 159.66
(W) Jeremy Teasley (Kawasaki) 0.110 9.053 154.67
(L) Kenny Poppell (Suzuki) 0.114 9.050 156.66
Round 1 (W) Ricky Gadson (Kawasaki) 0.109 8.930 155.97
(L) Dave Gebhardt (Kawasaki) 0.067 9.513 149.60
(W) Jeremy Teasley (Kawasaki) 0.152 9.014 155.13
(L) Jason Angela (Suzuki) 0.137 9.193 153.67
(W) Kenny Poppell (Suzuki) 0.034 9.131 155.92
(L) Joey Gladstone (Suzuki) 0.103 9.072 157.50
(W) Danny Payton (Suzuki) 0.030 9.054 156.52
(L) Farlie Hall (Kawasaki) 0.114 9.058 155.29