In just two races, reigning three-time AMA Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers proved that he was the right choice for Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad to fill in for an injured Dean Wilson and Justin Hill. Since joining the team for the closing stages of the Monster Energy Supercross Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship. Bowers has provided a surge of momentum for Pro Circuit since coming on board just two weeks ago.
Finding His Fitness - Since capturing the AMA Arenacross title about a month ago, Bowers spent little to no time on a bike. However, when the call came to ride for Pro Circuit he returned to the track and wasted little time getting back into race shape. In a matter of days, he was able to compete at the front of the field in Houston, but spent the week leading into Minneapolis continuing to acclimate to the larger tracks and longer races of Monster Energy Supercross.
Inside the Metrodome, it was clear that Bowers was faster and in turn was able to ride more offensively. As a result, he set a goal to get Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki back onto the podium.
It’s All About Consistency - In his debut race in Houston the previous weekend, Bowers showed he had the potential to be a wild card by posting the third-fastest lap overall in practice. During his first heat race of the season, Bowers posted a strong runner-up effort, which translated into an impressive performance in the main event where he was the surprise story of the night in fourth.
In Minneapolis, Bowers improved in practice and his increased comfort on the Kawasaki KX250F landed him second overall. When the night show began, he duplicated his heat race result from the week prior by once again finishing second. In the main event, Bowers put himself into podium position early by making an aggressive pass for third on Blake Wharton. Unfortunately, Wharton returned the favor with a more physical approach that ultimately took Bowers to the ground. He was able to get back on the bike quickly and return to action no worse for wear and fought his way to a fifth-place finish.
“I’m definitely not happy with how things went down, but I’m happy I was able to avoid injury and still grab a top five finish,” said Bowers. “I know Wharton was trying to get me back for the pass I made on him earlier, but I think he took it a little too far and he could have easily ended both our nights. We’ll move on from this, but I know what to expect from him now.”
Punching a Ticket to Vegas - Bowers was only expected to compete for the two rounds of the East Region that remained prior the break leading to the final race of the season in Las Vegas. However, thanks to his strong performances over the last two weeks, Bowers is already 21st in the championship standings with 34 points.
With Las Vegas providing a showcase of the two respective regions of the 250SX Class, only the top 20 riders in the East and West are invited to compete at the season finale. However, with several injured riders ahead of him in the standings unable to compete, Bowers will have the privilege of making the trip to Sam Boyd Stadium on May 4 after all.
“I never expected to even have a shot at going to Vegas, but I’m definitely excited about the opportunity,” said Bowers. “I really want to get my first career podium in supercross, so I’m glad I’ll have one more chance to do that. I’m also happy I can keep riding the Pro Circuit bike because it’s so fast.”
With the final main event of the Eastern Regional Championship and the annual East/West Shootout on tap for Vegas, Bowers will have two chances to make up for the heartbreak in Minneapolis and achieve his goal of getting Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki back on the box.
“I definitely feel like there’s a little unfinished business after what happened last weekend and I don’t want to end this opportunity of a lifetime with anything less than a podium,” Bowers concluded. “I feel like that would be the best way to tell everyone at Pro Circuit thank you.”
Looking Ahead, The West Region Returns - The Eastern Regional Class Championship will take a break from competition for the next two weeks, giving way to the return to the Western Regional Championship. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Martin Davalos and Tyla Rattray have not been in action since San Diego in February, and have eagerly awaited the upcoming Seattle round for two months.