SIDE BY SIDE: 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Champion KYLE REGAL & 4-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion TYLER BOWERS

Why do people always say the whoops are so tough in Arenacross? How are they different than Supercross whoops?

KR: The whoops are so tough in AX because they are much larger and closer together and 90% of the time it’s a flat turn going into them and it’s hard to bring enough speed into them.  In SX they are 90% of the time coming out of a bowl turn or jump and the whoops are smaller and spaced further apart.

TB: Arenacross whoops are often times a lot larger than supercross whoops. They are usually taller, and there is a bigger gap between each one. On top of that, they are usually pretty difficult because they are immediately out of a flat corner, so a lot less room to set up for them, and also end directly into a corner. 

Arenacross is hyper aggressive. What is your most memorable block pass, either that’s happened to you or you did to others?

KR: I am all for block passes, as long it doesn’t put a riders health in jeopardy. In AX you have to be aggressive, but I would have to say 100% the most memorable block pass (if you want to call it that) was at the final in Las Vegas. The championship came down to the final main event of the series and I was down 1 point after crashing in the first main event. I knew in order to win the championship I had to finish two positions in front of the points leader. The championship was on the line and I knew I needed a good start! The gate drops in the second main and I go into the first turn third or fourth on the outside we were heading down the tunnel and out of nowhere a “kawi” hits me so hard on the left side it throws me into the wall/tuff blocks and I bounce off the wall and somehow save it and bounce back into the same guy that just hit me, he hits me again and I bounce off the wall and save it, we are now headed into the whoops and I had a good drive through them where there wasn’t a chance anyone could make a pass on the inside of me in the next corner, but I was wrong! I got cleaned out harder than I have ever gotten cleaned out before! When I hit the ground and looked up I saw the “kawi” “#2” bike blow a big cloud of smoke out of the side of it. I got up as quick as I could and just started making passes, I knew it was a matter of time that his bike was going to end up blowing up and I just rode smart the rest of the race knowing that the AX championship was in my hands.

TB: I don't know, I have been in the middle of a few incidents of course over the years in arenacross. Regal and I had a pretty good one in Tulsa one year when he plowed into me in the tight corner after the whoops. I was able to keep it up and get him back in the next turn. I wasn't sure why he did it, I thought maybe I was too slow in that corner? Then after that race, he roosted me while we were going off the track. Needless to say there was some drama in the pits afterward. I of course have done some things to bring this on myself before, yet this one I was never able to figure out why it went down, and he was so angry at me after I was the one who got ran into! 

What is your most memorable experience with a fan?

KR: Most memorable experience with a fan is tough because there are so many…but giving gear to the kids at the races or a simple picture with them is memorable for me just seeing how pumped they are to get them, I think back how I use to get that stuff and how excited I was. One of the times that stands out is when in opening ceremonies I used a ladder to climb up and give some random little kid my helmet, he was so surprised and in shock, but that smile on his face said it all, stuff like that I really enjoy doing.

TB: I have had a few memorable experiences with fans. In arenacross especially we had so much interaction with the fans. I always love getting the kids in the post race autograph line who are just so riled up after a crazy night. I have had a few that ask me to sign their forehead. I always thought that was funny.

What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while racing AMSOIL Arenacross?

KR: Well I would have to refer you back to the second question, after seeing the full Go Pro footage, I am actually thankful that I was able to even come out of that without any major injuries.

TB: The craziest thing that has ever happened to me in AMSOIL Arenacross would have to be one of the many crazy incidents I have been in with some riders. Arenacross is always action packed, and close racing on tight tracks makes for some heavy contact. My list of aggressive racing is practically endless haha. Also one year, while I was trying to wrap up my first title, I got a little squirrely coming out of a turn before the rhythm section, and I launched my rocketship Kawasaki 450F into the whoop section lane heading the opposite direction! I remember having to try to choose which whoop I thought I could downside backwards. Then picking myself and my bike up having to look out for, and dodge, guys coming wide open into the whoops and me facing the wrong direction. 

What is your favorite city/venue to race in in the AMSOIL Arenacross Championship? Why?

KR: My favorite stop of the AX series was Colorado Springs where I got my first win, so when you do real good someplace it always makes it more special. It’s also a bonus that I like to snowboard, so I actually stayed a couple days and hit the slopes.

TB: My favorite venue for obvious reasons was probably Rupp Arena in Lexington Kentucky. Just 30 minutes from my hometown, but on top of that, the Arena was actually really nice, it also had a large floor space so we had a track with plenty of room, and the dirt was pretty good. Rutted up but didn't break down too fast. I wish I was able to hit some of the venues they had this passed year though. Would have been nice to hit some warm venues like Tampa, or have some fun out in Nashville or New Orleans!

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

KR: There isn’t a lot that nobody know about me or think they know, lol but one thing I enjoy doing is training kids how to ride and help them get ready for the amateur nationals.  

TB: I'm ticklish :)

Do you think you could have beaten the other in the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Championship?

KR: I think this would be a fair question if I had just won my 4th AX championship, lol but it’s racing.  2014 was my first year in AX so I didn’t have the experience and the aggressiveness to win races, but I learned a lot from Tyler by just watching him. I carried what I learned into 2015 and eventually brought home the championship. On some nights when I didn’t make any mistakes I for sure felt like I could beat him or be close, but like I said it’s tight, aggressive racing and you never know what might happen. 

TB: Oh definitely! The guy practically threw it away on his own at the final round! Plus I smoked him when I raced against him in 2014!  For real though, it would have been tough to win the 2015 season. There was a lot of talent in there this year, as well as a few loose missiles you have to watch out for. Kyle did well at braving the storm and no matter how dark it got, he kept chugging away and never gave up until the checkered came out. Most people would have gave up and threw a fit after going down in the second turn and having to come from dead last. They would have thought it was the end of the title hopes and gave up, but Kyle got back on quickly and tried his best damage control, and was rewarded for it.