AA Racing in Chicopee, Massachssetts would like to announce the formation of Team Chaplin Kawasaki / Performance Tuning.

The team will be fielding a fuull-time two-man team with Gavin Gracyk and Les Smith to competing in the 2011 AMA 450 National Motocross Championship Motocross Series.

In addition, John Dowd of Ludlow, Mass will be competing in select events as well as working on the development of the riders and team.

Gavin Gracyk will be making a comeback to the AMA Nationals after a year layoff due to injuries. Gavin has been working hard and is now 100 percent ready to make his return to the 450 class and picking up where he left off a couple of years ago. With strong performances resulting in several top 5 finishes as well as 9th overall for the series.

Les Smith of York, South Carolina, is a three-time amateur national champion in his second full year of professional racing. Les rode for the Honda of Troy effort in 2010, finishing 10th overall at the season finale in Pala, California. He is currently riding the 250 East Supercross series where he has recorded three top ten finishes in a row.

John Dowd will be back at Southwick. Photo: Kawasaki.

John Dowd is an American motocross legend, former Yamaha and Kawasaki factory rider, multi-time national event winner and 1998 AMA 125 Supercross champion. John finished on the podium at the 2009 Southwick National at 43 years of age. John is excited to be working on the development of the team with his long time mechanic, Brian Berry.


With over 60 years of experience between them, the core infrastructure of the team will be made up of Phil Alderton (team manager), Brian Berry (assistant manager) and Kenny Germain (senior tech).

Phil Alderton is the founder of the legendary Honda of Troy and Yamaha of Troy race teams. Phil led his teams to 8 outdoor wins, 40 supercross wins as well as four AMA 125/250F East/West Supercross championships. He was most recently the team manager for the returning HOT motocross team during last year’s outdoor series.

Brian Berry, from Ludlow, Mass is a former Team Yamaha and Suzuki factory mechanic. Brian worked with John Dowd for many years and helped him win the 1998 125 West Supercross championship.

Kenny Germain, or Kenny “G” is a former YOT and Honda factory mechanic who worked with Ernesto Fonseca during his professional career. Kenny was instrumental in the development of the Yamaha 250F and helped Fonseca win two 125 Supercross championships in 1999 and 2001. Kenny has recently relocated back to Massachusetts where he has been busy building “Kenny G’s Performance Tuning.” Performance Tuning ( is located in Chicopee, Mass. And specializes in race modifications for all off road motorcycles as well as servicing street bikes and ATV’s. Kenny can be reached at 413-348-5714.

Alex Adams is also from Massachusetts and is the official team owner. Alex is a long time enthusiast and at 22-years-old is one of the youngest team owners in the history of the sport.

Chaplin Kawasaki is owned by Kenny Ives. Kenny is also a long-time enthusiast and his dealership is one of the largest and most successful in New England. Chaplin Kawasaki has sponsored John Dowd for the last couple of years and has decided to increase their involvement with the sport in order to bolster their mail order and Internet parts business. Dealer inquiries and information can be directed to Kenny Ives at 860-455-1233 or

Sponsorship opportunities and information: Phil Alderton can be reached at 310-704-4506 and / or [email protected]. Or Brian Berry can be reached at 321-302-6129 and / or [email protected].

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