HURRICANE MILLS, TennesseeâThe fifth and last day of 40 Monster Energy AMA National Amateur Motocross Championship wrapped up a memorable week of racing at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. The remaining 17 classes contested their third and final races, as a total of 33 different runners became WADA National Champions in the 2021 event.
After the races were over, each newly crowned champion was celebrated for their outstanding efforts at the awards ceremony. One of the most important accolades of the evening, the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award 2021, went to Levi Kitchen of Monster Energy / Star / Yamaha Racing, who won the championship titles in 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport and has been recognized as the most promising amateur runner in the country because of it.
Open professional sport
The flagship race of the final day featured one of the tightest championship battles of the 36 classes at Loretta Lynn, as Open Pro Sport saw a three-way tie at the top of the overall standings between Kitchen, Chance Hymas of Monster Energy Kawasaki. Team Green and Bar X / Chaparral / ECSTAR / Preston Kilroy from Suzuki Racing.
As the door fell on the third and final round of this hotly contested division, it was Honda rider Luke Kalaitzian who caught the Stacyc Holeshot, only to be quickly overtaken by Hymas. The Kawasaki rider was well aware of the importance of the moment and wasted no time trying to establish a gap on the field, as Kilroy placed second and Kitchen battled for a spot in the top five.
Hymas set the pace for the field on the first lap and took advantage of a several length lead over Kilroy, but the Kawasaki rider fell and gave up first place. This saw Kilroy take first place, followed by Jace Kessler and Kitchen of JMS Performance Yamaha, while Hymas moved up to fourth. Kilroy was comfortable up front and managed a lead of several seconds until the first half of the race when Kitchen, who had passed for the second, came in close and took on a challenge.
As the race reached halfway, Kitchen went on the attack and was able to catch up with Kilroy a few times, but the Suzuki rider reacted and withstood the pressure. As he re-established a few lengths of the bike above Kitchen, Kilroy’s hopes were dashed in an instant when he chocked his bike as he cruised around a bend. As Kitchen took the lead, Kilroy struggled to relaunch his Suzuki and continued to lose many positions.
With the lead in hand, Kitchen took advantage of a double-digit lead over Hymas in second and Kessler in third. The sailing went smoothly for the Yamaha rider from that point on as he took the motorcycle victory and the Open Pro Sport title with his second consecutive motorcycle victory. Hymas was second, Kessler third. Kilroy eventually recovered and finished 10th.
Open Pro Sport Moto 3 results
- Kitchen Levi, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha
- Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Kawasaki
- Jace Kessler, Eagle Michigan, Yamaha
- Luke Kalaitzian, Sun Valley, California, Honda
- Cullin Park, Clermont, Florida, Honda
Kitchen’s 3-1-1 scores gave him a single point advantage over Hymas for a sweep of the Pro Sport division, where he won the league title in the 250 and Open categories.