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Kitchen, Romano Take Top Honors for Yamaha bLU cRU at Loretta Lynn’s

Kitchen, Romano Take Top Honors for Yamaha bLU cRU at Loretta Lynn’s

Yamaha’s bLU cRU riders enjoyed another successful outing at the 40th annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s, claiming six National Championships last week at the iconic venue in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. In addition to their titles, Levi Kitchen and his Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing teammate Nick Romano were also awarded AMA Specialty Awards for their standout performances.

Kitchen continues to impress, adding two more National Championships to his resume in two of the most hotly contested classes: 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport. He got off to a great start with the holeshot and a win in the first 250 Pro Sport moto but was later credited with a third-place finish after a penalty. The Washington State rider rebounded to win Moto 2 and then secured the title in the final moto in dramatic fashion. He was in the lead early but then had a tip-over, rejoining the race outside of the top 10. Undeterred, Kitchen made a heroic chargeback to second to take the number-one plate.

It was another hard-fought battle for the Open Pro Sport title. After a 3-1 result in the first two motos, Kitchen went into the final with a three-way tie for the lead. Battling inside the top five after the start, he put his head down and chased down the leader by the halfway mark, and capitalized on the front runner’s mistake to claim the lead. He went on to score his second-straight win by a healthy margin and secure the class championship. In addition to both titles, Kitchen was awarded the coveted 2021 Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award which recognizes the most promising amateur racer in the discipline.

“Man, what a week in Tennessee! I’m very happy to leave Loretta’s with both championships and also get the Horizon Award,” Kitchen said. I had a few come from behind rides that I was very proud of and I know it will only help me heading into the Pro Motocross National this weekend at Unadilla.”

Romano got off to a great start in the final 250 B moto with his third holeshot of the week. Although he was shuffled to the runner-up spot, the New Yorker kept pushing and reclaimed the lead after the halfway mark and went unchallenged to sweep the class and take the title. He also showed strength in the Schoolboy 2 class taking commanding victories in the first two motos. Unfortunately, a couple of crashes in the final moto put him third overall (1-1-8). Romano’s impressive performance over the week earned the up-and-coming rider the accolade of AMA Amateur Rider of the Year.

“It was a great week at Loretta’s,” said Romano. “Five moto wins out of six and winning the 250B was pretty awesome. I’m also happy to be named the AMA Amateur Rider of the Year. It’s a great achievement with all of the riders out there.”

The young Carter Schutte also had a dominant performance, winning all three motos to take the 51cc (4-6) Shaft Drive Limited Championship for the ATVs and More Club MX FXR team. In the 250 C class, Owen Motorsports’ Brandon Bollino finished strong with a win in Moto 3 to secure the title with a 2-2-1 tally. Rallye Motoplex MotoX Compound’s Schofield also left with a number-one plate, scoring a pair of podium finishes (3-2-5) in the 450 C Championship.

NSA Rock River Yamaha’s Gage Linville had a solid week, finishing second overall (8-1-2) in the 250 B Limited class and third overall (2-2-4) in the 250 B class. EBR Performance Yamaha’s Ben Garib finished second in the Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C overall standings with a 4-3-3 tally. Cason Pinkston scored a pair of wins for the Performance Factory Fly team, finishing second overall (1-3-2) in the 125 C class and fourth overall (1-7-7) in the 250 C class.