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Levi Kitchen – late bloomer and statement win!

Levi Kitchen – late bloomer and statement win!

Levi Kitchen took the unusual step of leaving what many believe the the best bike in the 250 class in the States, the Star Yamaha to sign for Mitch Payton’s Pro Circuit Kawasaku team in the off-season. It was a risk but it is a risk that is paying off after his dominating win in Seattle, his home supercross, proved.

Kitchen is now the man to beat on the West and, after showing potential and race-winning capabilities in the last couple of years, he appears to be putting the whole package together now, including decent starts that surprisingly eluded him on the Yamaha at time.

“Tonight was pretty much perfect, there is no other way to put it. Starts are dialled and the bike feels good,” offered a succinct Kitchen in the press conference about his race.

Kitchen has it going on right now and he admits the win was a big step in front of a fervent home support. “It was definitely big for me. It was a little nerve wracking when I came around the first lap and it was like super loud. But yeah, it kind of feels like my first one because I’ve only won Triple Crowns. So, to do that in front of all the fans and stuff was pretty awesome.”

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And Kitchen admits this success is something he wouldn’t have predicted for himself as an amatuer: “I definitely wouldn’t have thought I’d be in this position. Probably not until things started clicking when I was like 20. But I don’t know, it feels really good, and I knew that this is always what I wanted to do. I’m just stoked and pretty grateful to be in this spot.”

And on why he switched to Kawasaki? “I just wanted things to be a bit different for myself and training and stuff. It’s nice, I’m living the life I always wanted and so far it’s paying off and I’m really happy.”

When your championship rival RJ Hampshire admits: “I mean, just the reality was, I did not have the speed to win, Levi clealy had me covered all day. After the heat race, like, I haven’t had that feeling where I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t go that fast.’ Like that’s literally where I was at! He was going ridiculously fast, and I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that,” you know you just put in a statement ride.

His calm nature is suiting his championship run, there are no extreme results like some of his competitors and he now seems to have the confidence that champions need. Levi Kitchen looks like he is taking the the next step in his career and is going to the next level.

Article: Jonathan McCready

Images: Randy Preston