Livingston, CA. (January 17, 2017)- The 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team rolled into San Diego on Military Appreciation weekend decked out with patriotic themed DeCal Works camo graphics and Shift Racing themed red and blue gear. Even mother nature smiled in honor with sunshine after a week of rain in California.
With practice cancelled the day prior, it was straight into two timed qualifiers. Mellross and Bowers set respectable times and felt solid throughout each session recording times of 11th and 12th fastest. It was back to the pits to relax and also participate with the fans in the 51FIFTY #LiveTheMadness Experience interactive zone before heading out for the night show.
The #64 of Mellross lined up for the first heat of the night with a solid gate pick from his qualifying time. He started up front and immediately began mixing it up with seasoned vets. The valiant Australian didn't back down from a challenge but an aggressive block pass from a Nut-ty* rider would leave him on the ground. Unfazed, Hayden remounted and easily qualified in 6th position.
Heat 2 would see the #52 of Bowers ride calm, cool, and collected for the 5 minutes plus one lap. Tyler used his smooth riding technique to figure out the developing track, and executed smart lines for a 5th place finish and direct transfer to the Main.
Both 51FIFTY Yamaha machines lined up for the 250 main event with their sights set on improved finishes from the season opener. When the gates dropped, the pack bottled up inside the first corner, leaving little room for movement. Hayden #64 got slammed off the track and was forced to find a safe place to re-enter in 19th place. Bowers on the other hand used his veteran experience to push towards the front.
Tyler Bowers would continue to battle for positions inside the top 10 eventually settling into a solid pace for most of the race. Hayden charged from the back making passes on multiple riders and near the end of the race, both 51FIFTY Yamaha riders found each other jockeying for positions! When the checkered flag waved, Mellross crossed the line in 9th, and Bowers in 11th.
"I definitely had more juice in the tank this weekend," remarked Bowers. "I rode well in the heats and showed what I had for a few laps in the main when I was battling with some of those guys. Just need to work on holding that intensity and there's no reason I can't run up front like that. Definitely a good weekend to build on along with a lot of positives we can take into this coming week."
"Mate, I feel good after that one," said Mellross after the race. "All day the bike was working great and I put together some solid laps in qualifying and was pushing myself in the heat. I didn't back down and ended up hitting the deck, but it's no big deal. A bit of a bummer being bumped off in the main, but I was happy with how I rode all the way until the end. I didn't give up and was able to put in a career-best 9th."
Look for the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha riders next weekend on Saturday night at Anaheim II as well as Friday during the Supercross Press Day (12-2pm).
Posted on 01/17/2017 at 12:00:00 AM