Riverside, CA (January 9, 2008) – The Cernics Kawasaki Racing Team entered the first round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series with high hopes. Cernics Kawasaki rider Jeff Gibson started the season off right by taking the lead out of the gate and leading the first six laps of the season. Gibson led the field of factory riders and former Supercross champion, Chad Reed until Reed made a pass with two laps remaining. Gibson easily qualified for the main event with a fourth place finish.
“I knew my bike could get the holeshot,” exclaimed Gibson after his heat race. “Last year, our bikes were very good, but this year Pro Circuit did a great job with our motors and it has a lot of power. Getting a good start in these conditions is so important and I just rode a smooth race.”
The main event didn’t start as well for Gibson as a first turn pileup put him at the back of the pack. The track conditions weren’t very good from all the rain in Southern California and passing was very difficult. However, he continued to charge and worked himself up to sixteenth position. His bad luck continued after the midway point of the race and he crashed in one of the whoop sections. He continued to race through the pain to finish in twenty-first position to earn one championship point.
“Gibson rode great in that first heat,” said team owner Billy Whitley. “The team was pretty ecstatic and I think that will help Jeff’s confidence in the future. Obviously, the main event didn’t go as planned but with the track conditions being so bad we aren’t too disappointed.”
Gibson’s teammate, Kyle Mace was a last minute replacement for injured rider, Dusty Klatt. Despite only being on the bike for one week, Mace showed signs of speed during the shortened qualifying practice. The weather-limited schedule did not help Mace since he didn’t get that extra seat time on the bike. He suffered from a bad start in the heat race and got tangled with a group of other riders at the start of the last chance qualifier. He was unable to get his bike restarted quickly and did not qualify for the main event.
The Cernics Kawasaki Racing Team will travel to Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ next week for round two of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series on January 12, 2007.
Cernics – Kawasaki Motors Corp
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