Irvine, Calif. (December 22, 2005) ¿ Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. and Pro Circuit Racing, Inc. have developed one of professional motocross racing¿s most successful partnerships in recent years and the 2006 season won¿t be any different. Leading the charge for Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki for the 2006 AMA Supercross and Motocross campaigns are defending AMA East Supercross Lites Champion Grant Langston, along with New Zealand¿s highly-touted Ben Townley, rookie sensation Ryan Villopoto, SX/MX up-and-comer Troy Adams, and Chris Gosselaar.
Langston, 23, is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and appears to get better with every race. A six-year AMA Motocross racing veteran, Langston became the first rider ever to win three separate championships in the same category, Supercross, Motocross and FIM World competition, after clinching the AMA East Supercross Lites Championship last March. Langston continued his momentum straight into the AMA Motocross Lites season and racked-up four overall motocross wins to finish fourth overall in the series. This year, Langston will compete in the eight-race AMA West Supercross Lites Series and 12-race AMA Motocross Lites Championship riding the new 2006 KX¿250F.
Riding alongside Langston in the AMA West Supercross Lites Series will be rookie sensation Ryan Villopoto. The 17-year-old from Poulsbo, Wa., showed lightning-fast speed during his amateur career and was recently awarded the AMA¿s Horizon Award. This award is given annually during the AMA Amateur National Championships to the top amateur rider on the verge of a professional career. Villopoto also captured a second overall finish in his third start as a pro last year during the final AMA Motocross Lites race of the season at Glen Helen Raceway Park.
The next member of the team is 19-year-old rising star Ben Townley. In 2004, Townley took home top honors in the FIM World MX2 Championship, and has proven his abilities this year by finishing third overall in the FIM MX1 series. Townley recently amazed those in attendance at the 2005 Motocross Des Nations by posting a second place overall finish. Townley returns to Kawasaki equipment after honing his talents as a ten-year member of New Zealand¿s Team Green amateur program. He will compete in the seven-race AMA East Supercross Lites Series and 12-race AMA Motocross Championship.
Rounding out the Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki roster is popular SX/MX rider Troy Adams, who will again be aboard Kawasaki equipment after three years of pro competition. Adams, 22, from Brooksville, Fla., was a Team Green amateur rider for many years before turning pro in 2002. Adams recently finished the 2005 East Supercross Lites season in sixth-place and his highest motocross finish to date was at Steel City in 2004 where he earned his first AMA Motocross Lites podium finish placing third.
Although Adams was favored to fair well against the competition, a fractured right femur has forced Adams to refrain from riding for three months, and required the team to look to 24-year-old Chris Gosselaar as a Supercross Lites replacement. Gosselaar is well known amongst the Supercross Lites community and is eager to compete in place of Adams during the AMA East Supercross Lites Series.
Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has amassed an impressive total of 14 AMA Championships during its 13-year tenure with Kawasaki, which is more than any other factory-supported race team. Mitch Payton serves as both team owner and manager and oversees the daily activities at the team¿s headquarters in Corona, Calif.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and sells at wholesale Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft and utility vehicles through a network of more than 1,500 independent retailers, with an additional 8,400 retailers specializing in power products and general purposee engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 2,400 people in the United States, with more than 350 of them located at the Irvine, California headquarters.
Kawasaki¿s tagline, ¿Let the good times roll.¿¿, is recognized worldwide and the brand is aggressively carrying its heritage of leading-edge power, performance and exhilaration into the 21st century. Information about Kawasaki¿s complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.