2017 AMSOIL Arenacross Atlanta

The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team flew into the seventh round of the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series as a part of the first inaugural Motofest, slated to kick off the action on Friday evening as a part of a three-day dirt bike extravaganza. The Georgia Dome would play host to the racing action, providing a shared track between all three days of racing. 

The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, duo was feeling the flow from the get-go on the more wide open SX style track, as exemplified in qualifying with both riders clocking times within the top five; Chris Blose grabbed the number one spot a couple of positions ahead of Matt Goerke in fourth. 

The pair of Yamaha riders were both seeded into the second heat race as the racing action began to get underway in the Georgia Dome. It was a tale of two races for the team; Blose shot out of the gate like a cannon on his blue emblazoned rocket ship and secured an early lead, but Goerke didn’t get the most advantageous start and ended up hitting the ground in the first turn. It was a fairly processional affair for Blose at the front of the field as he clicked off the laps one by one ahead of a trio of Kawasaki machines, setting an unrivaled pace as he began to build a gap in the lead. Meanwhile, Goerke was forced to battle back from the rear of the field as he used his veteran race craft to make moves forward. Blose was able to take an uncontested victory and earn himself a place in the RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge, but unfortunately Goerke couldn’t get into a transfer position and would be forced to make his way to the LCQ. 

It was only a matter of time until the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team won a RMATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge and that time finally came as Blose absolutely dominated the competition throughout the high intensity, short burst racing. His Yamaha looked as if though it was another level coming down the start stretch as he was able to put himself at an advantage almost immediately in all three races. The Arizona native was able to overcome challenges from Daniel Herrlein and Ben Lamay in order to earn himself a spot in the finals against the man to beat, Jace Owen. Blose didn’t have the advantage on the opening lap, but he was able to make his way around the Honda rider before the final rhythm section to secure an extra two points in the championship and win his first Head 2 Head Challenge of the season. 

Goerke was forced to find his way through the LCQ after the unfortunate circumstances in the second heat race left him out of a transfer position. The Florida native did exactly what he needed to do as he sped out of the gate to a top three start, immediately making a couple of hard moves to put himself in the lead. He showed blinding speed and consistently set the fastest laps of the race which helped to build his confidence heading into the mains, eventually greeting the checkers with a healthy six second gap in hand.

The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team started the main events off with a bang as both riders shot out of the gate to a top five start. Blose had the advantage as he sat in second position, stalking Gared Steinke throughout the first lap. He wasted no time in getting to the front as forced his way past the Team Babbitt’s rider and overtook the lead, immediately charging forward toward the victory. Simultaneously, Goerke was working his way back from fifth position after making some hard moves on the opening lap; he stuffed his way past Jace Owen on the very first lap, moved by Josh Osby on the next, and subsequently found himself in a heated battle with Steinke — the two of them were bar-to-bar for the next couple of laps in succession, but Goerke was eventually able to make a pass stick coming down the start straight and into the first corner. From that point forward, the two Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, teammates paced one another for the latter half of the race, matching one another’s lap times as they finished in first and second position. In the second main event, the drop of the gate didn’t favor them as much as it did in the first as both riders ended up slightly outside of the top five on the opening lap. They were completely undeterred by their starting position as they began to streak through the pack in tandem with Goerke leading the way. The Floridian worked his way from sixth to fourth in a matter of just five laps, making his way past Daniel Herrlein and Gared Steinke in the process. Blose was closely in tow, mirroring the moves of his teammate. As the last main event continued, Goerke was making significant time on the leaders as he was the only rider to blitz the whoops section. He made multiple passes through the treacherous section, most notably on Gavin Faith with only two laps to go. Once Blose settled into fourth position, he was able to ride cautiously and comfortably with the overall in mind, but his teammate had a different approach. Goerke closed in on the rear fender of Owen on the final lap and made one final charge through the whoops, but he just barely missed out on the victory by merely a bike length. 

“Yeah, I felt really good today. You know, we’re here in Atlanta for Motofest and we’re riding the supercross track. I’ve raced supercross for a long time so I felt right at home coming into this race. I ended up getting the heat race win — felt great, and won the head to head racing. I was looking forward to the main events. I got a decent start in the first main event and was able to make a couple quick passes and got the first main event win. But, I had to refocus ‘cause we’ve got two main events back-to-back, and I got off to a horrible start in the second main event. I made a lot of quick passes on the opening lap and just kept my head down and started charging. My teammate Matt Goerke, Jace Owen, and Gavin Faith were all riding really good tonight, so I just tried to click off laps and stay consistent; the whoops were pretty tricky tonight, so I just tried to do those clean every lap and push everywhere else and it seemed to pay off. I knew I had the overall, so I just knew to ride clean laps and not fall down,” said Blose. 

Scott Donkersgoed, Blose’s mechanic, commented “We rode some press on Thursday and tried to set the bike up then and went right to it in practice; we topped the times in practice, won our heat, won the Head 2 Head, won the first main, and suffered from a bad start in the second main. We were able to salvage what we could to take the overall.”

“The day went good today. Over the last seven rounds we’ve learned a lot, we’ve put all that into play and it’s paid off here tonight. We went 1-3 with the team and we’re looking forward to the next round,” said Goerke’s mechanic, Steve Simms. 

Goerke commented “In the heat I fell in the first turn and the last lap I was catching up and then someone took me out in the whoops, so I had to go to the LCQ and I didn’t get the points for the Head 2 Head. I got a 2-2 in the mains, I had horrible starts; I passed a lot of people and had I done the Head 2 Heads, I think I would have got the overall. My speed was good, but my starts could have better in the mains.” 

All in all, it was a spectacular night for the team as racing subsided with both riders on the overall podium; Blose in first and Goerke in third. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team will be aiming to continue their successful run of form as the series heads to the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi for the eighth round of action.