The official news hit the web this week as it was announced that Brandon Robinson AMA Grand National #44 had decided to split from his 2013 team of TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki. Although the cat was let out of the bag to me back on December 18, I took the high road that I always try to take in putting out news and info to let both TJ and Brandon make their respective announcements before I would divulge what I had been let in on.
RRob44 will be going it alone along with his 2013 tuner James Hart as James Hart Racing/USC will pursue their 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track efforts on their own Kawasaki EX650-based Twins.
After a stellar season in '13, Robinson ended the season ranked as the 3rd-place rider in the season-ending standings after having a breakout year campaigning the Burnett Farms Kawasakis in the Twins and Singles classes. BRob's first big win came just two races into the new season when he took the team's KX450F to the Daytona Short Track II win in March, and then did what virtually has been impossible-largely due to scheduling-and stole the doubleheader at the Springfield Mile Labor Day weekend marathon round some 5 1/2 months later. Robinson's stat line was a stuff of AMA Pro Flat Track legends that also included six podium finishes, seven top-5 finishes and nine top-10 finishes to go along with those three big wins on the year. Worst finishes of 17th (Hagerstown) and 18th (Peoria) and a DNS at Castle Rock kept him from what could have been an even better career year.
In the shot above, Robinson awaits the first practice round at the Indy Mile on the #44 TJ Burnett Farms/USC/James Hart Racing Kawasaki during round 8 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship on August 17. Tuner and then-fellow TJ Burnett Farms Racing team member James Hart can be seen walking up behind BRob44, with part time team mate JD Beach #95 in the background. Weirbach Racing's Rob Pearson #27 sits to Robinson's left, while Burnett team wrench Billy Gruwell holds the starter motor for the #44 team.
According to TJ Burnett, while attending to some health and family issues, some changes and decisions had been made that he was unaware of that led to the split with his team. However, Burnett promises to come back as strong as ever as he will be campaigning a Pro Singles Championship team for Pacific Northwest rider Davis Fisher, whom Burnett has been watching and working closely with for some time, grooming the youngster for his Pro debut coming up at Daytona in mid-March.
In the shot above, proud team owner TJ Burnett smiles as his rider, Robinson, suits up for the first practice session of the Springfield Mile II during round 11 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season on September 1. Robinson had just stolen the show in front of a packed house on one of Burnett's rockets at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and several hours later would be smiling even more as his riders would again place 1-3 (with Beach taking a second 3rd-place finish over the weekend) in what was the team's home race. Burnett hails from Opdyke, IL. located approximately 30 miles east of Du Quoin, another flat track mecca over the decades. At the end of the weekend the Big Man was close to tears after having taken wins in the biggest event of AMA Pro Flat Track's long history, and deservedly so.
In the rough and tumble world of The Rolling Thunder Show, the most competitive and greatest form of racing on two wheels in the world, it's very hard to duplicate the success as a complete team, let alone after switching teams from one year to the next. History tells us that in order to continue with that same level of success, teams and riders that stick together over the course of their careers have the best chances of maintaining, let alone replicating or bettering their levels of success.
But with the level of talent that the TJ Burnett Farms Kawasaki team put together for the 2013 season, 2014 and beyond should look extremely bright-with all things being equal-for all members of this strong group of people. With Robinsons's last couple of season having grown stronger not only when riding for Bill Werner/Jay Springsteen team in the 2012 season and then again with the TJB team last year, plus the tuning talents of James Hart in his corner, #44's season should be large and bright.
And the same can be said for TJ Burnett and his young protégé, Davis, who has shown the level of talent that would befit an owner such as the Burnett Farms team to take him under his wing to further progress him along the ranks of and as a Pro and future Expert-ranked rider. Keep an eye peeled for what this now-even younger team will and should do come March in Daytona, as this Burnett has a great eye for talent and could be ushering in the likes of a new Brad Baker, Ryan Wells or Jeffrey Carver, Jr. in terms of potential greatness.
You can check out the full press release below from Brandon Robinson, which actually came out early this last week announcing his teaming up with James Hart and USC as they go it alone for the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season. And we here at Stu's Shots wish all members of both entourages the very best of luck in the coming season and in the future, and we'll be there to root them all on and shoot the stuff that we, and you, want to see from them all. Go get 'em guys!
Press release courtesy of: Promos By CTex || DAOapparel.com
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