Livingston, CA. (January 9, 2017)- The 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team kicked off the Supercross season with 250 stand out Tyler Bowers joining the team alongside returning 51FIFTY rider Hayden Mellross.
Rolling out of the holidays and into Supercross season, 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha was ready to go at ANA 1. The 51FIFTY fan activation zone, Virtual Reality 360 headsets, sponsor give-aways, rider Meet/Greet and an interactive photo studio set an electric vibe for the riders as they prepped for the first race of season. Both Bowers and Hayden put in strong qualifying times and would race together in the first Heat of the night.
The #52 (Bowers) and #64 (Mellross) 51FIFTY Yamaha YZ250F’s lined up for the first gate drop of the 2017 season. Both riders would come around the first turn nearly side by side toward the front half of the pack. Mellross clicked off lap after lap in 5th position while Bowers would battle it out for 7th. Both riders easily advanced in the first Heat and headed back to the team transporter to prepare for the 250 Main.
As the gate dropped for the 250 main, the 51FIFTY riders entered the first turn neck and neck crossing the holeshot line inside the top 10. Hayden showed aggression and determination right away as he battled into 3rd after the first few corners.
While holding down 3rd, Hayden Mellross’ #64 machine suffered an electrical malfunction, forcing him out of the race. The #52 YZ250F of Tyler Bowers stayed consistent as the race progressed, crossing the finish line just one spot outside the top 10 to finish 11th. The final results were not acceptable to either rider; however, while coming up short of race result goals, as a Team, everyone remains confident moving into San Diego next weekend.
“Consistency is key in my book,” remarked Bowers. “I don’t feel I rode anywhere near as fast as I’ve been riding leading up to Anaheim. No excuses, it just was not my night and know it’ll be a different story in San Diego.”
“It was great to finally be out there racing and see where my speed actually was against that stacked West SX field,” said Mellross after the race. “I felt great all day and the bike was working amazing in qualifying and the heat race. I put the 51FIFTY Yamaha up front early; was pumped to be inside the Top 3 and felt I had the speed to stay with the lead pack. It was a freak issue with the bike when it just died. I was frustrated for few seconds but have already put it behind me. I rode solid, my speed was there, and I was up front. Wish San Diego Supercross was tomorrow night.”