With a three-moto format to decide who was crowned champion, Kitchen impressed with a sweep of both the 250 B Limited and 450 B Limited classes. The Yamaha Rock River bLU cRU Amateur Motocross Team rider’s dominant performance also earned him the accolade of AMA Amateur Rider of the Year in addition to the two national titles.
“It was awesome,” Kitchen said. “Five out of six holeshots, six-for-six on moto wins, and both championships! I really couldn’t ask for anything more. It went perfectly. That’s what happens when you work hard. I got good starts and just put it all together. I’m so thankful to get the AMA Amateur Rider of the Year award and come away with two titles. I’m going to go home for a little bit, relax and hang out with some family, and we’ll see where it takes me.”
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s LeBlanc also took home the number-one plate in both of his championships. In the 450 B class, he rebounded from a disappointing third-place finish in the first moto to take victory by nearly four seconds in Moto 2 and entered into the final tied for the lead. Cool under pressure, he worked his way up front and built a comfortable gap on the competition to score his second-straight title in the class. Leblanc got off to a great start in the stacked 250 B class, taking the win by a healthy margin in the first moto and a solid second-place finish in Moto 2. With a four-point lead going into Saturday’s final, consistency proved to pay off as a fifth-place finish sealed the deal for his second title of the week.
“It was pretty good,” LeBlanc said. “I came into the 250 B class thinking that I was going to win, but there were a lot of heavy hitters there. You’ve got like five or six dudes that can run the same lap times the first half of the moto, so it just comes down to who can do it at the end. The first two motos, I did what I had to do so it just set me up for the last moto and I got it done with a 5th. In 450 B, I didn’t get a good gate pick the first moto but I still went 3-1-1. Not the best finishes, but I’m walking away with two championships. I’m going to move up to A class next year and then we’ll probably go pro after that.”