Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Pomona Half-Mile Season-Finale Video From Dirt Illustrated

Round 6 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series kicks off the Twins Series part of the schedule for the season at the Springfield Mile with heat one in the rain-delayed program getting ready to roll for the day.  In what would normally have been a top-4 go to the main event race, the top-6 were guaranteed a spot in the National on this sunny Memorial Day weekend afternoon due to the revamping of the program, with AMA Pro Flat Track dropping the semi races in order to get the show in for the day. 

In what would end up being the fastest heat of the day, eventual-Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Brad Baker took the #12 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/TeamHurtByAccident.com/Foremost Insurance/ENI USA-sponsored Ducati 1098 to the win over defending and eventual-repeat AMA Grand National Champion Jake Johnson on the #1 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer's H-D/Boughner Racing/Arai-sponsored H-D XR750.  Johnson would finish the day in 3rd, while Baker fought a handling problem that saw him fight for a very strong 5th place finish.

The duo finished the season at Pomona 1-2 in the main, with Johnson taking his 4th win of the season and second-in-a-row to end the season, while Baker would hound The Champ as much as he could in the final to come home 2nd, his best finish of the season and his very young Expert career.  Even with the two re-starts, there was no touching Johnson on his day.

Rob 'Bugs' Pearson would bring his #27 American H-D/Matt Reecy/RPM/WKR-sponsored XR home in 3rd in heat one, and would eventually go on to finish 10th in the main.  The Morton, IL. resident took another turn on the USC/Universal City Kawasaki at Pomona and took the 650R-based machine to a 6th place and very promising finish in the season-finale, and ended the season ranked in the 11th overall spot in the championship.

Johnny Lewis' year saw the #10 Scott Powersports/Dubach Racing Development/Triple J Racing/Saddlemen-backed and Kawasaki 650R-mounted rider move up three spots in the championship chase in a year that started with his 4th-place finish in heat one back in May and an eventual 8th place finish in the National main.  The Pennsylvania rider garnered his first AMA Grand National Twins podium at Hagerstown and also led his first laps in a Twins event at the Springfield Mile II round over Labor Day weekend.  JL10 wrapped up his excellent year with a 4th place finish at Pomona that also saw him finish 7th in the overall championship for the year.

Californian Jimmy Wood (behind Lewis) debuted his new #37 Southland Racing/M.E.H. Corp/Race Tech/Hostility Clothing-backed Kawasaki 650R-based Twins machine at Springfield, and although he missed the main still showed promise on the machine with two top-10 results at Hartford and Brainerd.  Wood missed several rounds due to his Peoria crash, but still finished the season ranked in the 13th spot after finishing 14th at the Pomona round.

Luke Gough played double-duty all year in the Twins class, debuting the #62 Digger/Dick Ford/KK Cycle/Eaken Racing-backed Kawasaki 650R at Springfield in late May.  Swapping back and forth between the Ricky Howerton-built and Danny Ingram-tested Kawasaki and the team's XR, Gough finally made the main with the team's new mount at Sacramento (9th) and again at Springfield II (15th.)  But a 4th place finish at the penultimate round at Calistoga was his and the bike's best-ever finish to date.  The former Australian flat track champion finished the season ranked in the 16th spot and swapped-back to the XR at Pomona to finish 13th in the season-finale.

JR Schnabel, Jr. in all likelihood had a year he would probably like to forget (except for his fine 3rd place finish at the Springfield TT after also winning the Dash event.)  But the rider of the #33 Werner-Springsteen Racing/Monster Energy Kawasaki/Cedar Creek Motorsports/Wossner Pistons-sponsored Kawasaki 650R-based mount never seemed to 'get the feel' so-to-speak for the little Twin, and by the Peoria round in late August was out from under the Werner-Springsteen camp and the rest of the season.  Missing the first  Twins race of the season, the long-time contender in the AMA Grand National Championship only scored points at the Lima round afterwards, and ended the season ranked 21st.

Brandon Robinson ended the first Twins event by finishing 5th in heat one, and taking his #44 Action Motorsports/Big Dawg Racing/Arai/Power Bar-sponsored XR home in the 13th spot of the National main at Springfield I.  Only contesting a partial schedule this season, BRob44 ended the season ranked 20th after having an off-year while still recovering from several surgeries early in the year from his Lucas Oil Indy Mile crash in August of '09.

Chad Cose and the #49 Waters Auto Body/Bell Helmets/Arlen Ness Products/D&D Power Sports-sponsored KTM/Suzuki team struggled to get the team's KTM into the field during the Twins events this year, although they did score a 16th place on the Suzuki at Lima.  Gerit Callies used his Pro Singles provisional to put the KTM in the Pomona main, and finished 16th in the season's final outing.  Cose finished the year ranked in the 18th overall position.

And after having his bike burned from the team's transporter fire earlier in the day, Jesse Janisch on the #45 Weirbach Racing/General Engineering/Jerry Wilhelmy/Arai Helmets-sponsored Suzuki failed to make the main at Springfield.  Janisch and the Weirbach team did a remarkable job even getting the bike ready for the heat earlier in the day from when this shot was taken.  Janisch finished the season ranked in the 30th position.

So take another look at the season's final round from the Pomona Half-Mile as we all get ready for the long lay-off until the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season kicks off in mid-March at Daytona.  A big thanks to Dirt Ilustrated.com for some outstanding footage of round 20 at the Pomona round!

Take a look at this high-speed video from the great folks at Dirt Illustrated.com (thanks guys!), where we see season-finale highlights from round 20 of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com at the Pomona Fairplex:


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