Friday, October 29, 2010

Something For All The Honda VFR750R/RC30 Fans: AMA Superbike Retro & Hat's Off to RC30 in Canada

The Commonwealth Camel Honda AMA Superbike team of #16 Tom Kipp and #68 Mike Smith can be seen in the hotpit lane at Mid Ohio in the summer of 1992. Armed with the Honda VFR750R RC30 machines, the Martin Adams' owned/run team was one of two teams in those days representing Honda/HRC in the AMA Superbike Championship Series, Two Brothers Racing with riders Freddie Spencer and Steve Crevier also campaigning Honda RC30s.
Kipp can be seen speaking with his head wrench while Smith, sitting on the pitlane wall/armco railing is talking with someone else just behind Kipp. Eventual '92 AMA Superbike Champion and '93 World Superbike Champion Scott 'The Screaming Chief' Russell can be seen walking along the right side of the shot with his head tuner, the late Merlyn Plumlee (who would later work for Honda beginning with the move to the RC45 and Smokin Joe's as the team's sponsor moniker.)
Kipp and Smith both won multiple championships in WERA, Formula USA and the top-dog AMA Road Racing Series, but never stood on the top spot of the podium in the premier AMA Superbike Championship. Both made numerous appearances on the box, taking a handful of 2nd and 3rd places, and both scored AMA 600 Supersport and 750 Supersport wins (and championships in Kipp's case) throughout their years in the series.
To this day I still feel that both of these gentlemen were the best of the best to NEVER win an AMA Superbike event, having graced the series for years on top-level machinery as well as top-notch talent. Let alone all-around nice guys and great reps of the sport.
A gentleman out of Canada by the name of Rick sent me an e-mail a couple of weeks ago who had seen a couple of my Steve Crevier and Freddie Spencer shots, with them on the Two Brothers Racing Honda RC30s from back in the early '90s. Turns out Rick runs a VERY cool site that has an abundance of general and specific information on the Honda VFR750R/RC30, the machine that is probably best known to U.S. readers as the bike that took '84-'86 AMA Superbike Champion Fred Merkel to the initial '88 World Superbike Championship and the '89 WSBK Championship while riding for Team Rumi out of Italy.

The Honda VFR750R/RC30 was well represented on U.S. shores by Martin Adams' Commonwealth and Camel Honda teams, as well as the Erion brothers with their Two Brothers Racing team in the AMA Superbike Series. It is well-known that '95 AMA Superbike Champion Miguel Duhamel won his and Commonwealth/Camel's first Daytona 200 as a 'fill-in' on the Camel team for injured rider, the late Randy Renfrow. Probably one of Two Brothers/Spencer's most memorable wins to some AMA Superbike fans was the Miami street race, which was televised on CBS Sports back in the day. Spencer won out in the debacle that was, and usually is street racing in the United States.

Rick has put together a great site that pretty much covers it all on the V4/RC30 World Championship-winning machine. And he has been kind enough to post a few of my shots on his site as well. You can check it out here, but you better bring a towel to wipe off all that drool that is about to start flowing from your mouth:

Thanks to Rick at RC30 up north for posting some of my shots! You can check those out here along with some other very cool pics of RC30's in action and up close:
I just threw this link in for good measure. Dean Adams at the bitchin has these shots in Monza at a rally of RC30 enthusiasts in 2007. Worth the look!
Honda Japan/HRC has this promotional video of about 8 minutes of one of their RC30's being assembled and then presumably being made race-worthy on the track:
And just for sh..s and giggles, this great video of multiple Isle of Man Winner Steve Hislop taking you for a spin on the 37 3/4 mile Isle of Man course on a Honda VFR750R/RC30. Hang on tight:

MotoGP: Rain Washes Out 1st FP Session in Portugal, Saturday Schedule Re-Mixed

Nicky Hayden comes into the turn nine area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the first free practice session for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP in September of 2008. The weekend not only saw rain on opening day, but the remnants of Hurricane Ike that caused cancelations, postponements and 60 MPH+ winds that toppled the Yamaha tent in the infield, blew trash and anything that wasn't tied down out onto the track surface.
The MotoGP race was shortened for safety purposes, and the 250CC race was called off altogether as a result of the weird weather weekend. Saturday's qualifying sessions were all run in near-perfect 80+F degree weather,which helped keep the fan's spirits up and the weekend from being a completely damp one as well.
The Kentucky Kid took his Repsol Honda to a 2nd place finish on Sunday during the hurricane leftovers, a little over 5 seconds in arrears to eventual winner and '08 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi on his Yamaha Factory M-1. Rossi's team mate Jorge Lorenzo rounded out the podium for the first motorcycle race held at IMS in almost a century.
After the 2008 season, Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP World Champion, left Honda after six seasons to ride for the Marlboro Ducati team. Rossi will be joining #69 for the 2011-12 seasons on the Ducati team, after having been teamed together with Honda, before Vale split for Yamaha.
Nicky was second in the session this afternoon in Portugal behind 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo on his Fiat Yamaha. Rossi was 3rd, followed by '07 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner and 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Ben Spies on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
With what has been a relatively dry season for the MotoGP traveling circus, the stars of the elite World Championship kicked off the penultimate round in Portugal this morning with torrential rains, thunder and lightning that washed out free practice session one, and keeping all but two riders in their respective garage areas. Only Hiroshi Aoyama on the Interwetten Honda and Carlos Checa, in one of two 'guest' appearances on the Pramac Ducati, attempted to circulate the track in extremely dire conditions. The fifteen other riders in the series sat the entire 45 minute session out.

As a result of the all-but-complete wash-out from this morning's session, and free practice session 2 not being run under prime conditions, Dorna has extended tomorrow morning's free practice session 3 to 60 minutes from the standard 45 minutes. Portugal and Valencia (next weekend's final 2010 stop on the MotoGP season) were given an extra practice session to help the teams to better utilize optimum time on the track, but all sessions were also cut-back from the 'old' 60 minute timed sessions to 45 minute sessions.

With the 2010 MotoGP World Championship having been decided two rounds ago in Malaysia, the final two rounds are all about 'who else finishes where' in the other top spots for the season. Ben Spies sewed up the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year title after the last round at Philip Island, but the remaining spots in the top ten in the series are still up-for-grabs with the rest of pack. And those final numbers will be tantamount in establishing the rest of the hierarchy for the 2011 MotoGP season, on AND off the track.

You can read up on today's activities, the changes for tomorrow's schedule and the times for the MotoGP race at Estoril below.
Here are all of the links to today's on and off track action in Portugal for the MotoGP weekend, all thanks to David Emmett at his excellent

Free practice 1 was all but a total wash out due to torrential rains in the area, thunder and lightning all around the track in Estoril:
Free practice 2 went much better especially over half-way through the session at the Portugal round as the track was drying. Both Portugal and Valencia (next weekend's final round for the season) were given an extra session due to lack of quality track time that the teams weren't getting over the weekend, but session times were reduced from 60 to 45 minutes:
Tomorrow's free practice 3 session has also been extended to an hour to give the teams a little bit more time to help find the right set-up with today's first session being a total loss. Here is the updated schedule for tomorrow in Portugal:


As always, you can follow all of the race action this weekend on MotoGP's official site, Here is the link for not only the schedule but the link to MotoGP's Live Timing as well:

Keep in mind that Portugal is +1 GMT or 5 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time. The MotoGP race will be shown 'live' on Sunday October 31 (Happy Halloween!) at 0900 EDT on SpeedTV.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Joe Kopp Talks Family, Flat Track and the Future

After winning the second semi at the Springfield Mile to qualify for the National main event, Joe Kopp smiles for the cameras as AMA track announcer Barry Boone gets ready to interview him on September 5. The #3 Latus H-D/American Agip/Lloyd Bros/MotoConcepts-backed Ducati 1098-based rider came within 20 points this season of adding to his 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship, but a series of late-season problems encountered by the team caused him to just come up short to eventual champ Jake Johnson.
Smokin Joe didn't have a bad year, though, when you look at the big picture of things. Winning the Yavapai Downs Mile in May for Ducati's first ever AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Twins Series win in itself was the break out story of the year, and then Kopp added wins on the half miles at Lake Odessa and Hagerstown while riding the Latus H-D XR, to total 21 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship wins for his 'full-time' years in the series.
The possibilities are pretty good that we will see the #3 back on the track next year, just not at every race. Joe has said he plans to run a few select events in the future, which is great news for all of us Joe Kopp fans. Those races can't get here fast enough to see him back out there wringing it out again!
Joe Kopp may have announced his 'full-time' retirement from the great sport of AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship racing, but the chances are still pretty good we will see him around the track in 2011 and beyond. The 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion had stated throughout the 2010 season that this would be his last full-time year in the series, no matter the outcome in the championship in which he was a very solid part of throughout the season. He made the 'official' announcement at the year-end banquet awards ceremony in Arizona on October 9 and we covered that story last week. You can find the link to that story below.

Leading the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship overall point standings for the better part of the year, the wheels on his championship season slowly started to fall off of his and the Lloyd Brothers team efforts as the series was just hitting the stretch run. With multiple errors that plagued the overall great year the team had, the final straw was not only losing the chain in Minnesota, but the rain-out at Knoxville. With just one season-ending event to decide the overall championship, the Lloyd Brothers Ducati rider found himself in a position that was too much to come back from. And not to take anything away from 2010 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Jake Johnson and the Zanotti Racing team, either, which seemed to be running strong on all cylinders all season long.

Most of you know Larry Lawrence as the guy who had covered AMA Flat Track racing for the now defunct, hardcopy version of Cycle News for the last few years. As well as the great 'Archives' column that featured great looks back in motorcycle racing history which he had penned for them for the last 4-5 years as well, and also his super site The Rider that debuted in June of 2009. Larry got in touch with Joe Kopp in the last few days to talk with the 2000 Champ and get his views on hanging up the steel shoe and what the future holds for him. Being a great family man, one of Joe's main topics of discussion were his family. And he also states that although the full-time racing is over with for him, he does still plan to run some select races in the future, as well as wanting to get involved with racing or the motorcycle industry in one form or another.

Here is the link to Larry's interview with Joe which is a must-read and a very cool listen! Kick back for about 20 minutes and listen to what Smokin Joe has to say about the year, why he chose the #3, and what the future holds for him and his family:
Poppa Wheelie has these great shots from Joe's win on the Ducati in Arizona in May:
Check out Joe Kopp's website here to keep up with his news and race reports. He still shows an AMA EnduroCross event on his schedule coming up on November 20 in Las Vegas. That is the same weekend as the AMA Banquet and Hall of Fame ceremony as well. Kopp was scheduled to run the EnduroCross at Indy but decided to sit it out since the championship run was heating up. Joe ran an event late last fall in the EnduroCross series and ended up on the podium. This would be a great way to see him racing in one form or another:
This is the link to last's weeks post on Joe Kopp announcing his retirement from full-time AMA Pro Flat Track competition:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AMA Flat Track: 2010 AMA Pro Singles Year-End Review and Awards


AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles podium celebrations are just getting started at the Gas City/I-69 Speedway stop of the tour back on June 19. AMA track announcer Scotty Duebler interviews 3rd place finisher Brian Tapp, rider of the #37C Honda CR450 backed by WKR/West Coast Hot Shoes. Tapp finished 24th in the 2010 AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Championship with 31 points, with Gas City being his best result on the year.
2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver stands behind his event-and series-winning #24P YZ450 Yamaha, which is backed by Vans/Yamaha Motor Corp/GYTP/Carvers BBQ. Carver won five events, came home 2nd four times, and also carded two 3rd place finishes on the year to have the championship sealed before the season ending race in Arizona, where he finished 4th (his second of the year) and totaled 293 points to win the title over 2009 Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker, with 267 points.
James Rispoli can be seen talking with Carver after a fine 2nd place finish at Gas City, and 4th place in the Pro Singles Championship on the year with 160 points while riding the #71B Honda sponsored by Cycle Dynamics/ANT-Racing/Vadnais Machine. Rispoli also split time in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series running in the AMA SuperSport East Series where he finished 5th in the year end standings.


Rider intros are underway at the Springfield Mile round of the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Series on September 5. Eventual event winner Michael Toon is being introduced to the the crowd by AMA track announcer Barry Boone as his #22L Honda sponsored by Price Truck Line/Kennedy Tires/Woody Kyle Racing is held at the ready for him.
Toon was victorious on the day, beating out #81C Zakk Palmer by .020 seconds with 2009 Pro Single Champ coming home 3rd on the day just .051 seconds back from Toon. Toon finished the year 9th in the Pro Singles Championship with 104 points.
Behind Toon is eventual 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver alongside his #24P Van's Yamaha. Carver came home 5th at Springfield, just .335 seconds behind winner Toon. The Champ also had another 5th place finish on the year the night before on the Springfield Rodeo Arena Short Track. Carver was awarded his ceremonial #1 plate for winning the championship at the season ending banquet, and was also awarded National #23 from Kevin Atherton, which he will wear in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series.
Rider #2oT is Mikey Labelle, alongside his Honda sponsored by WeirBach Racing/General Engineering/Barnett Clutches. Labelle finished 4th on the day at Springfield just .122 seconds back from winner Toon. He also won his first-ever AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles event at the season ending round in Prescott Valley, to finish the year 5th in the season ending standings with 139 points. He dedicated that win to rider Jesse Phibbs, who died the week before from injuries sustained at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 28.
These Pro Singles events are serious business with multiple-bike battles and close racing at it's VERY best, doing a great job to highlight the up-and-comers into the great sport of AMA Flat Track Racing. You can tell from the time differences shown in the few shots I have posted and results shown that they are a pretty exciting affair, to say the least. AMA Flat Track has done a super job of using this series to showcase it's future in racing, and you always see the very best of racing with these young men wringing the heck out the 450s, especially on the mile tracks!


Lima Half Mile round podium celebrations are underway in the AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles class as AMA track announcer Scotty Duebler reads off 2nd place finisher Chaz Springsteen's list of sponsors. Chaz, the nephew of 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen, rode his #29J Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner & Springsteen-sponsored Kawasaki EX450 to his only podium of the year at Lima, and finished out the season 7th in the Pro Singles Championship with 130 points. He also scored two 4th place finishes in the May Arizona Mile and at the Minnesota Mile for the year.
Lima winner, and 2009 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker is all smiles behind his #1 Honda, backed by Rod Lake/Mike Velasco/Brothers Powersports. Baker also scored three other wins on the year (Arizona Mile in May, Calistoga on the half mile, and Springfield on the short track) to finish 2nd in the year end standings behind Carver, 293-267 points. Baker also carded two 2nd place finishes and five 3rd place finished on the year for a super year. As part of AMA Flat Track's ladder program, Baker was also able to run three Grand National events in the Twins Class at Lake Odessa, Calistoga and the season ender at the Yavapai Downs Mile. Look for Brad in 2011 in the bigs, too, possibly alongside Carver. Having raced together for the championship in the Pro Singles Series now for two years, these guys are pretty familiar with one another and should also put on a super show as 'rookies' in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. 3rd place finisher at Lima was #20T Mikey Labelle, who is mostly obscured in this shot, but has been talked about in the previous shot rundowns.

With the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Championship having been decided before the season ending round at Yavapai Downs, Jeffrey Carver, Jr. ended up winning the title over 2009 Pro Single Champion Brad Baker by a margin of 26 points, 293-267 in the final tally. Both of these fine young men will be moving up to the Expert GNC Class for the 2011 season, showing that the current ladder/growing system for the sport is working quite well in bringing new talent into the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. Between these two hard chargers, they won 9 of 16 events on the schedule (Carver's 5 to Baker's 4) and accounted for 22 podium spots on the year as well.

The AMA Pro Singles Class was brought in new for the 2009 season, taking the place of the old Pro Expert Twins Class that preceded it. Needless to say this change has been instrumental in bringing AMA Flat Track fans some of the most exciting race action that AMA Flat Track has had to offer over the years, and even decades. The racing is as close as you can get, and some of the most exciting that each event has to offer. All entrants race DTX production-based 450s so it makes for some VERY close action and thrills.
Personally, one of THE best races of the year was watching eventual champ Jeff Carver start on the back row (due to a false start) in his heat race at Indy in August to power his way around the outside of everyone to win in only six laps. And then to come off the back row again to finish the main in 3rd place, only because I think not only he was worn out, but so was the rear tire on his #24P Van's Yamaha.

Some of the best racing on the year came out of the Pro Singles races I witnessed. And the talent pool looked great this year, and very promising for the 2011 season as well.

You can catch up on a couple of interviews and photos in the links below. And we congratulate 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver for a great year, as well as all of the participants in the 2010 Pro Singles season. What a ride and what a great year for these young men. Great job to all and thanks for the memories of a super season in AMA Flat Track!

2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Pro Singles Year End Top 10 Point Standings:

1. Jeffrey Carver, Jr. 293 points (5 wins, four 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes)
2. Brad Baker 267 points (4 wins, two 2nd place finishes, five 3rd place finishes)
3. Michael Avila 194 points
4. James Rispoli 160 points
5. Mikey Labelle 139 points
6. Michael Martin 137 points
7. Chaz Springsteen 130 points
8. J.D. Beach 118 points (four wins on the year, moved to Expert GNC Class at Springfield)
9. Michael Toon 104 points
10. Jake Shoemaker 90 points

This is AMA Pro Flat Track's official release on the year end banquet awards. 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver is featured as he gets his ceremonial #1 plate, and also is awarded National #23 for 2011 in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. Kevin Atherton was on hand to award him his 'old' number. Carver will get to wear a 'solid' National number due to the AMA awarding those to previous champions in the feeder/
growing series of the Pro Singles Championship:

Ultimate has this version of the AMA PR on the Pro Singles awards at the year end banquet in Prescott Valley, along with a couple of good pics as well:


Tyler Porter over at Fight For Dirt Track has this great interview with 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver, Jr. from after the season ending race in Prescott Valley:

Tyler also has this interview with Mikey Labelle, who got his break out first-time win as an AMA Pro Singles rider at Prescott Valley. Labelle, who finished 5th in the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Championship with 139 points, dedicated his Yavapai Downs Mile win to Jesse Phibbs. Jesse was the Pro Singles rider from Canada (who less than a few hours before the crash had won his first pole at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile event) that was severely injured on the first lap of the first Pro Singles heat race at Indy on August 28, and who several weeks later succumbed to his numerous injuries:

Here are some great shots over at Poppa Wheelie's super site of first-time Pro Singles winner Mikey Labelle at the Yavapai Downs Mile on October 9:

Monday, October 25, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki and Bryan Smith; Kawasaki Racing Year End Video Review

Eight days after winning their very first AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Twins event at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile, the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team celebrates again at the Springfield Mile over the Labor Day weekend. Tuner to the Stars, Bill Werner, multi-time winning rider Bryan Smith and AMA Flat Track fan favorite Jay Springsteen beam as they toast the thrill of victory on the historic Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval after taking the new team's mile winner to the top of box. They had all been there before in one form or another over the years, but this was the first time they would all stand together in victory circle on the legendary Springfield track. I have a feeling we could be seeing much more of this in the season(s) to come.
In what could easily be viewed as THE Superteam of AMA Pro Flat Track Series racing, the team has gone through it's share of teething problems in route to winning two Grand National Twins Championship races in a row. While running at the front at the May Arizona Mile, the bike cut out leaving Smith stranded and finishing 17th. They came back at the end of the month and brought it home 2nd at Springfield. On the half-mile tracks, they were either in the top 6 or 7 or down in the bottom 4 or 5. Things came together at Indy and Springfield for the team's first wins, and they finished the season with two 6th place finishes in Minnesota and Arizona, again both mile events. And according to 13-Time AMA Grand National Championship winning tuner Werner, the testing the team did at Duquoin early in the season was extremely vital to getting the 650R-based machine set up, as well as establishing a good baseline for the team to coordinate together. Werner credits the input and abilities of test riders Smith and Springer for helping to gel the team.
As a result of their efforts in winning the two Twins Events on the 2010 season, coupled with the 4 wins by Henry Wiles on the KX450 in the Singles Events, Kawasaki won the AMA Flat Track Manufacturer of the Year Award for the first time ever in AMA Flat Track history. Werner, Springsteen and Smith were also lauded with the AMA Flat Track Outstanding Achievement Award for their efforts and for helping to bring AMA Flat Track Series racing back with a big bang in the 2010 season.
Kawasaki Racing released a nice year end video tribute to the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki AMA Pro Flat Track racing team that talks about the season ending event in Prescott Valley on October 9, as well as the team's overall results for the season in winning the Lucas Oil Indy Mile, and backing it up some eight days later with a win on the legendary Springfield Mile. Rider Bryan Smith and Master Tuner Bill Werner talk about the efforts of the team and getting the power to the ground with the Kawasaki 650R-based machine.

With the season now over for the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship season, we take a look back on the winning team and their historic wins and taking Kawasaki to the winners circle for the very first time in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Twins Series. And we now look to the future of what could be with The Super Team of AMA Flat Track Series Racing. With team helmer Werner talking about possibly fulfilling whatever demand there may be for more of these bikes in the series for the off season, AMA Flat Track Racing could be taking on a completely different look not too far down the road. And 2010 sure did a good job of altering that look!

Congrats again to the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team as well as AMA Flat Track for a super and superb year. I can't wait for 2011..........
This is the You Tube link to Kawasaki Racing's official year end video review of the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki AMA Pro Flat Track team:

Here's some nice PR from AMA Pro Flat Track's title sponsor K&N Filters on the team's win at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile and the Springfield Mile. This also has some nice shots from Yve Assad of The Fast and
Master Wrench Bill Werner mentions that he plans to work towards trying to satisfy any demand that may come about for other team's wanting to put together one of the Kawasaki 650R's for competition use in the AMA Flat Track Series over the off season:

This is an older press release from K&N Filters that came out in late 2009, but it talks with Bill Werner about how and why he started off on the big project of a putting together the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team along with Jay Springsteen and winning rider Bryan Smith:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Congratulations and a Big Thank You to Wayne Hosaka and Flat!

Heat race action at the AMA Flat Track Toledo Half Mile in late summer of 1975 shows #42 Steve Morehead on his Triumph out front early leading the late Jay Ridgeway on the #9C H-D XR750, Gene Romero on the #3 C & J Yamaha, Ricky Campbell on the #82 XR750 and Hank Scott on the #14 Shell Thuett Yamaha, among others not easily identified. Toledo was a limestone-based horse track, very similar in layout and look to Louisville Downs.
I actually had to do some close looking at some shots to make sure what track was what, and found that Louisville didn't have the white 'solid-looking' outside walls behind the pack coming out of turn four, and the inside guard rails at Louisville were supported by an inverted 'J' or 'L' post that attached to the rail itself for support. This was one of nine or ten races I hit in the summer of '75 after having found AMA Flat Track in the summer of '74. Needless to say, I was completely hooked and have been an avid fan ever since.
AMA Flat Track came back with a bang in 2010 spear headed by Mike & Gary Kidd and Steve Morehead and the AMA Pro Flat Track Team, and I am thrilled to say that it is the best I have ever seen it in the 37 years I have been following it. With multiple brands, big rider turn outs at the races, a good television package, paying butts in the seats, and sponsorship dollars starting to work their way back into The Rolling Thunder Show, AMA Flat Track Racing made a great turn-around this year and is poised to head into the next decade in the best shape overall it has been in years...and maybe decades.
People like Wayne Hosaka, who heads up THE place for ALL THINGS flat track at his bitchin' site Flat are what have made flat track and flat track fans the best there is in any form of 2-wheeled racing. Wayne will be presented with one of AMA Pro Racing's AMA Media Awards in Las Vegas on November 20 for what he has done for the world of flat track, and AMA Pro Flat Track Racing. Bravo man, bravo!
One of the sites I like to link to during race coverage, as well as posting some of my bits and pieces about the world of flat track racing here on Stu's Shots, is the Flat page that is helmed by Wayne 'Hos' Hosaka, a former West Coast hot shoe who was tragically paralyzed during a flat track race at Ascot back in 1971. Being a former flat tracker and wanting to be kept abreast of all things flat track, as well as wanting to help keep folks like you and me-fans and/or fanatics of all things flat track-abreast of the world of flat track racing, Hos started his website back in the mid '90s just as the World Wide Web was really kicking into gear, at least from a 'use-at-home' application.

In doing so, Hos brought together thousands of hard-core fans that wanted to be kept up on the great world of flat track racing. Some 15 years later, Flat is THE place to go to find out anything having to do with flat track racing and is the preeminent stop each day for flat track fans and participants to go and share what is going on in the world of flat track motorcycle racing. Besides the average Joe like myself that have found the site to not only be a great source of news, as well as getting the news out, there are racers, former racers, promoters and sponsors that turn to Flat before going anywhere else to get the update on what is really happening in the world of flat track racing. You'll be surprised at the people that go there to pass the word or get the word on flat track!

And in keeping with the theme of 'keeping up with flat track,' AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Racing have nominated Wayne and Flat for one of the distinguished AMA Racing Media Awards for the 2010 season in helping to keep AMA Pro Flat Track front and center and 'helping to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling.' The award will be presented in Las Vegas at the year-end awards banquet at the Red Rock Casino on November 20 along with all of the AMA year-end awards. Very cool indeed. Congrats Hos for a job well done!

So the next time you are surfing the web and looking for info on flat track racing, remember to check out Flat (and Stu's Shots, of course!) and in all likelihood you will find it at Hos' site. And I guarantee you'll be back once you've been there!
Here's the post that Wayne put up last night on his Flat news page of the story I did from yesterday on Joe Kopp's retirement from full time competition in AMA Flat Track racing.

Thanks Hos, you da man! You've put together something really great here that people like me can go to to check out what is happening in flat track, as well as a place to go to help spread the word on flat track and get the news and info to the masses. Thanks so much!
Here is some info on Wayne 'Hos' Hosaka, who back in the mid '90s had the vision to put together Flat and it's forums for all things flat track and the people that follow it to have a meeting place on the web, a place for news, info and just a general place to go to share the great sport of flat track racing.

This tells you a little about Wayne and some of his other work that he does when he's not taking care of people like me and all the other great folks that are not only flat track fans, but forum members over at his Flat website. He is a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. Hos spends his time painting, and not just flat track paintings, either. He has a very nice collection of stuff he has done that is on exhibit on the following site of his beautiful work. You can read about Wayne and then you can check out his art as well. After you read about Hos, you can go to the top and click on the 'Galleries' tab that will take you to his wonderful art at this link:

Here are some shots of Hos when he was racing flat track on the west coast in the mid-late '60s and early '70s before his accident at Ascot in '71:
AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Racing announced today the nominees for the year-end awards for the 2010 season. One award in particular that the AMA is making note of is for the AMA Racing Media Award, and one of the nominees for this year's award is Wayne Hosaka and his Flat website.
The AMA states in the press release that "in their own ways" the nominees have helped advance AMA Pro Racing and motorcycle racing into the future. A very worthy award for someone like Hos who has done so much for the sport, and for the people who follow the sport. Congrats Hos!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

AMA Flat Track: Joe Kopp Retires From Full Time AMA Flat Track Competition

Joe Kopp and Dave Lloyd look over the practice and qualifying numbers during the break in on-track action at the Springfield Mile on September 5. The 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion had said before the season started, and well into the season, that no matter which way the championship went he would hang up his steel shoe at the end of the 2010 season. After the season ending Budweiser Racing Arizona Mile in Prescott Valley on October 9, Joe issued the 'official' announcement along with his race report that his full time run in active competition had come to an end.
Smokin Joe finished 5th in the season finale to end the season in 2nd place in the championship to Jake Johnson, 289-269 points, and end his 'full time' career in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship racing with a total of 21 wins. The future AMA Hall of Famer won three of those races this year, including the break-out win on his Latus H-D/Lloyd Brothers/American Agip/MotoConcepts-backed Ducati 1098 at the Yavapai Downs Mile back on May 1. However, with his announcement he also said that he would still be racing 'here and there' so if we are lucky we may still get a chance to see Joe at some select rounds in the future. And this fan and reporter will be looking forward to that.
Thanks for all you have done for AMA Flat Track, Joe. It's been a pleasure to watch you all these years on and off the track, and we can't wait to see you strap that steel shoe back on again!
I'm a little slow in getting this posted, so there are many people out there that may have already read and heard the official announcement of 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp's retirement from full time competition in the series. Joe had made mention of his impending retirement not only at the start of the season but well into the season as well. And like myself, I'm sure a lot of people had hoped he would forget about that talk no matter what way the championship run would end up. Not seeing the #3 on the track (or the #43 as he used to carry before winning the championship in 2000) is going to feel and look pretty strange after all these years. And I for one am not looking forward to that.
A consumate professional on and off the track, let alone a constant threat in the series over the years, Smokin Joe has not only been one of my favorites, but a standard fan favorite as well to many other devotees to the wonderful sport of AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship racing. With a broad, sly smile to go along with his bravado and ability to wring the best out of a flat track motorcycle, he has been one of the constants on the series trail since the early-mid '90s and has thrilled and entertained many a face in the crowd along the way. To put the Lloyd Brothers Ducati on the top of the podium back in May for what is one of the break out stories in series history is itself a testament to Joe's riding prowess and ability. Let alone grabbing two more wins this year on his Latus H-D, a race mount that couldn't be farther from the handling and power characteristics of the Big Duc.
We'll look forward to seeing Joe back around the track in the future, as with his background there are an awful lot of young, up and coming riders that will surely benefit from his experience and knowledge in how to set up and ride an AMA Flat Track machine. I'm sure Joe could give them, and anyone for that matter, a couple of pretty good tips!
Thank you, Joe, for all that you have done for AMA Flat Track as well as for the fans--this one included. You will be missed out there, man!
Joe has been doing race reports over the years about his race weekends, and this year has done a great job of chronicling the struggles of switching back and forth from one bike to another, and dealing with the differences between the tried-and-true XR and the Big Duc. This is his final 'full time' race report on the Arizone Mile, as well as his 'official' retirement announcement. Man, that sounds strange, but like with all good things in life, at one time they all must end:

Today's Cycle has the same report that Joe has on his site, with a few different pics thrown in as well:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MotoGP:Repsol Ups the Ante, Honda to Field 3-Rider Team of Pedrosa, Dovizioso & Stoner for 2011


Dani Pedrosa's #26 Repsol Honda RC212V sits outside his garage (with another in the stall just behind readied for battle) in the paddock area at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP in August of 2010, the 11th stop on the 18 round 2010 MotoGP World Championship season. Just a little over 48 hours later Pedrosa would take the top-speed king in the MotoGP series to the win over American Ben Spies, who had started the day on the pole. Pedrosa would severely break his collarbone several rounds later, and any chance of catching Jorge Lorenzo for the 2010 title was lost. He is expected back for the final two rounds in Portugal at the end of October and the season finale in Valencia the first weekend in November, and at least still has a fairly clear shot at 2nd place in the championship.
Pedrosa will again be teamed with Andrea Dovizioso in 2011, and will also have new teamster and '07 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner on board under the Repsol Honda factory 'tent.' Repsol was said to up the ante with HRC by $5MIL U.S. (to a total of $15MIL U.S.) in order to make it a three rider team run out of one main garage, albeit working individually like is standard in the top level series. But to see them kick in the extra dough to help this effort along (as well as help to guarantee at least ONE more bike on the grid that should be running in the 800 top-flight class at the front) is a great sign of better things to come in MotoGP in the series' 800-era swan song. Also with Repsol having been a long-time sponsor in the series since the Mick Doohan days is great to see them stay on board, especially in light of the world economy still flat-lining as it is.

In a good sign of all things economy-related, Spanish oil giant Repsol is said to be kicking in another $5 Million to help run the 3-rider Honda Factory effort in the MotoGP World Championship for the 2011 season. Repsol has pretty much been synonymous with the HRC factory effort in the MotoGP/500CC World Championship since the early '90s and the Mick Doohan championship stranglehold years, having taken over title sponsorship for Honda's efforts after Rothman's went away from the top-level road racing series in the world.

It has been confirmed by David Emmett, from his always-on-the-scene that Repsol will indeed up the ante to the factory Honda squad, which currently consists of Dani Pedrosa #26 and Andrea Dovizioso #4 on the RC212Vs, to make accomodations for new team mate and '07 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner. This is great news since earlier in the season when it was confirmed Stoner was moving to the Honda squad, there were a lot of unanswered questions as to which rider would run out of what garage for the 2011 season.

Questions answered!

You can read David's report on the good news for all-things MotoGP right here:

MotoGP: Mika Kalio Out at Pramac Ducati, Carlos Checa to Team With Aleix Espargaro For Final 2 Stops

The Pramac/KerSelf/Lifter Ducati Green Energy Team displays Aleix Espargaro's Desmosedici GP9 SAT MotoGP mount outside their garages at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round on August 27. Mika Kalio's machines are being prepared in the background. The team has split with Kalio and plans are to bring in Carlos Checa, who just finished up his World Superbike season, and have him ride the remaining rounds at Portugal and Valencia as a team mate to Espargaro.

Pramac Racing has been involved in the top-tier level of MotoGP racing since the 2002 season, and this year radically changed their look to go along with the 'green' concept in terms of the whole global warming and recycling efforts around the world. The Green Energy Team was transformed into a green and white paint scheme to highlight the need to 'go green' throughout the world. With riders Mika Kalio and Aleix Espargaro to ride the team's two entries in the MotoGP World Championship Series, the Italian-based team just announced over the weekend that they will be doing a little bit of recycling themselves. Mika Kalio will be leaving the team after last weekend's Australian stop, and that they would be announcing a new rider to fill in for the final two rounds of the season in the next few days. Kalio has suffered from shoulder injuries earlier in the season that have limited his ability to get the most out of the bike.

According to the chatter at Yahoo EuroSport, that rider is Carlos Checa, who just wrapped up his year in the World Superbike Championship Seris less than two weeks ago. Checa may be best known to U.S. fans for taking the Ten Kate Hanspree Honda CBR to the double win at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah in WSBK competition in 2008. Not to mention his many years riding in the top-tier series globally.

This could be a big help to the team with Checa's vast experience in the top-level classes, but it could also be a potential nightmare if things don't go to plan. Especially as tight as things are in terms of who really is where on the track in road racing's premier series. But if nothing else it will be good to see someone like Checa on track. He's always a joy to watch on the track and hear in the after-race interviews as well.

You can see Pramac's official site here:

From Yahoo Eurosport, Carlos Checa to ride for Pramac Racing in remaining rounds of the MotoGP season:

Also from Yahoo Eurosport the announcement that Mika Kalio's last ride was last weekend in Philip Island:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AMA Flat Track:2010 Season End Awards For GNC Jake Johnson & Zanotti Racing, P.J. Jacobsen GNC Rookie of the Year


2010 AMA Flat Track Twins and Grand National Champion Jake Johnson surveys the action on the track just before rolling out for final qualifying at the Springfield Mile on September 5. The new #1 for 2011 will be the third different number Jersey Jake has worn after having worn the #14 before being awarded the single-digit #5 for the 2o1o season in what is one instance of recognizing all past champions still competing in both the Twins and Singles Series, while still bringing the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship back as the overall #1 for the 2010 season and beyond. Johnson had won the '06 and '08 AMA Flat Track Singles Championships while riding for Suzuki.
The Zanotti Racing/Leo Vince/Arai/Tucker Rocky-sponsored rider hooked up with the team for the 2010 season, spear-headed by Dave Zanotti, the son of Mario Zanotti, who along with Steve Eklund back in 1979 were the first privateer team in 16 years to win the coveted AMA Grand National Championship. The team won the overall AMA GNC making them the first father and son-run team to win the series highest honor. At the awards banquet, team members Zanotti, Ted McDermitt and Mike Hacker were awarded the K&N Filters Grand National Championship Mechanics of the Year award for their efforts in wrenching JJ to the crown, and the team was also awarded the Team Excellence Award.
Super effort by these guys for what they have done in 2010. Congrats go out to Jake Johnson and the entire Zanotti Racing team for their hard work in winning the 2010 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship. Great job guys, great job!


P.J. Jacobsen sits on his #99B Moroney's/1-800-FAST HOG/Weiss Racing/Shoei-backed XR750 while talking with announcer Scotty Duebler after having won the second semi to gain a ticket to the National Main Event at the Lima Half Mile on June 26.
P.J. qualified for four National main events this year, with a best finish of 6th place at the May Springfield Mile, as well as a 7th at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile. He eventually finished 13th at Lima, and also finished out the season with a 9th place finish in Prescott Valley on October 9. He ended the season ranked 18th in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship with a total of 44 points. As a result of his fine year, P.J. was awarded the AMA Flat Track Saddlemen Rookie of the Year award at the season ending awards banquet on October 10.
After splitting his time while also running some AMA Road Racing events in the 2010 season for Celtic Racing, we hope to see much more of him in the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series in the 2011 season. Congrats P.J. for your ROY award for the 2010 season. Great job!

To the winner go the spoils, so they say, and the season ending awards banquet for the 2010 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series awarded the official #1 plate to Jake Johnson and the Zanotti Racing team in Prescott Valley on October 10. Although the big money isn't and hasn't been a part of the scene in AMA Flat Track for some time, unfortunately, there was still season-ending cash to be paid out to the winners and entrants of the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series thanks to the title sponsors, K&N Filters, having come on board with the series at the end of May. With a points pay-out for the top ten in the overall point standings, cash and trophies were the norm for the day in Arizona.

Johnson and the Zanotti Racing crew took home a large portion of the year's payouts due to their winning the overall title, including the ceremonial #1 plate to go along with winning the 2010 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship, and the team was lauded for their efforts with the Mechanic of the Year Award as well. As mentioned in a previous post, Kawasaki was awarded the Manufacturer of the Year Award for the first time ever, and they also won the Singles Manufacturer of the Year Award (in large part due to Henry Wiles winning four Singles mains this year at the Springfield TT and Short Track, the Gas City Short Track round and at the famous Peoria TT as well. Harley-Davidson won the Twins Manufacturer of the Year Award to also garner some of the glitter for their efforts in winning the Twins Class point standings and putting the XR750 up front and center again as it has been since the early '70s in AMA Flat Track racing.

And P.J. Jacobsen, who until this year had been spending most of his time road racing, attempted to qualify for six main events this year, making four of those, and finishing 18th in the season overall point standings with 44 points to garner the Rookie of the Year Award for the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track season. We can only hope this young man wants to keep running in the series for 2011 and beyond, as he put on some good shows on the track this year on his Moroney's FAST HOG-sponsored XR to keep the fans on their feet. Whatever he may end up doing he has a very long and bright future ahead of him at the young age of 17. We hope to see him back next year for some flat track events. Great job this year, P.J.!

You can check out some of the official stories below from the season ending race and banquet, with some great shots from those on-hand to highlight the end of this great season of racing in the AMA Pro Flat Track Series for the 2010 year. And a big shout-out and thank you to K&N Filters for coming on board with AMA Flat Track to put up the money for the season-ending pay out. Bravo to K&N and we hope to see them back on board again next year as well. Thanks guys!

AMA has the story here on the AMA Flat Track Awards Banquet held in Prescott Valley after the season ending round at Yavapai Downs. Good shot attached also of Jake and the Zanotti Racing team accepting the ceremonial #1 plate for the 2010 season:

This is the same release from the AMA as put up over at, but this one has a few other pics of the awards ceremony that are worth the look:

Today's Cycle had Dan Jacobson, Sr. on the scene in Prescott Valley and he filed this report on the season ending race along with some great pics thrown in from The Fast and Dirty's Yve Assad. Great stuff here:

Tyler Porter filed this great interview with 2010 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Jake Johnson on his Fight for Dirt Track site. Definitely worth the read. Thanks to Tyler and Congrats again to Jake Johnson:

Here is Zanotti Racing's official website where you can read up on a little bit of history involving the first father and son-run team to win the AMA Grand National Championship, 31 years apart:

Here is P.J. Jacobsen's website, the 2010 AMA Flat Track GNC Rookie of the Year:

Weiss Racing is one of P.J.'s long-time sponsors:

And Moroney's Fast Hog H-D was who helped put together the XR750's that P.J. rode this year:

Steve Warne's Poppa Wheelie site has some great shots of P.J. at the Yavapai Downs Mile season ending race on October 9. You can check out Poppa's great stuff here:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ben Spies Named 2010 MotoGP Rookie of The Year

The Monster Energy Tech III Yamaha YZR-M1 of Ben Spies sits on display in the Yamaha tent at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 28, 2010. The '06-'08 AMA Superbike Champion and '09 World Superbike Champion added another mark to the 'can-do' list yesterday with a fine run home in 5th place in round 16 action at Philip Island in Australia, which gave him enough points to earn the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of The Year Award.
With two rounds remaining in the series, Spies has had a phenomenal year in his 'rookie' season in the bigs of MotoGP. With two podiums (2nd at Indy, 3rd in Great Britain), a pole in Indy and only two DNF's on the year, Elbowz is currently 6th in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship standings with 163 points. As announced at the Indy round at the end of August, he will be moving up to the Yamaha Factory M1 squad alongside 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo for the 2011 season.
The headline to this story could almost be viewed as a redundant statement the way that Ben Spies has landed in the MotoGP World Championship Series in 2010, but without really being so the '09 World Superbike Champion did have to earn the title this year in what is and has been his 'rookie' series in the highest level of motorcycle road racing in the world. Coming into the 2010 season, Elbowz had the advantage of being on the top satellite Yamaha team in the series with the Monster Energy Tech 3 team, but he had also only been on about a third of the 18 tracks that the series runs on. That and getting used to a prototype machine compared to having run production-based Superbikes for the better part of his career.

But not too many people had any doubts as to what Mr. Spies could and would do, even racing amongst the top echelon of riders in the world. But Number Eleven does have what it takes to race with the best and even before the mid-point of the season, let alone the series stop in Indy where he wowed the crowd and the series' combatants with a pole position in only his 12th official ride in active competition in MotoGP (Ben rode one race at the end of '09 with Sterilgarda livery under the Tech 3 tent, and Indy was this year's 11th round.)

After winning the '06-'08 AMA Superbike Championship and the '07 AMA Superstock Championship, Spies headed to Europe to contend the 2009 World Superbike Championship, where in his 'rookie' year, he won the championship while riding for the Sterilgarda Yamaha team. Along the way he won 7 consecutive poles and 11 overall in the 14 round series, took the top spot on the podium in 14 of 28 races, and added two second-place finishes and one third-place finish to his results for the year. It was also the first American to win a World Superbike Championship since Colin Edwards in 2002, and he gave Yamaha their very first title in the series in the 22 years that the series had been competing through the 2009 season.

We can look forward to hearing more about Ben this year, as there are still the last two rounds in Portugal the last weekend in October, and then the series closes the 2010 season out the first weekend in November in Valencia. And then on to the Yamaha bigs for the 2011 season as a team mate to newly-crowned 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Great job Ben, we're all real proud of you man and great to see you up there in the bigs having a good go of it! Can't wait to see the results for 2011 on the factory M1.

You can read the official releases below on Ben Spies, the 2010 MotoGP World Championship Rookie of The Year.
Ultimate has this on Spies being named 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year yesterday after the Philip Island round:

And here is's article about the Ben's newest accomplishment:

And from Elbowz' own website, here is the news from Down Under:

And the photos from yesterday's action in Australia from Ben's site as well:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AMA Flat Track: 2010 AMA Grand National Championship Season-End Review Part II

7th place in the final AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series standings for the 2010 season was filled by a man very familiar to AMA Flat Track fans. To go along with his 2010 season-ending points placing results, 7-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr and his Kenny Tolbert-prepped, Lancaster H-D/DFW Honda/Arai/Wiseco-backed XR750 had a very strong run in the final events of the 16 race season. As well as some solid points-earning rounds on the his Singles Class Honda 450 to round out the year. If not for his bike failing him in the Dash at the Springfield Short Track and having to start on his back-up from the back row in the main, it would have been an even stronger finish on the little Honda, too.
With second-place finishes at both the Indy and Springfield Mile rounds, winning the Dash for Cash event at Indy (not to mention a VERY nice Tissot/Nicky Hayden watch to go along with it) and again on the Springfield Mile, the Prince of Peoria still showed he has what it takes to run up front with the best in the series. Having set the bar years, and probably decades ago, on the AMA Flat Track Series trail, Carr and Tolbert are still the lethal weapon that they have been for the many years they have been together in the sport.
Having followed Chris' career for the last 26 seasons, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Chris and Kenny this summer for the very first time. And now I am even MORE of a fan of these fine representatives of not only the great sport of AMA Flat Track, but of life itself. People like this are what have defined The Rolling Thunder Show in terms of the fine people and family atmosphere that has surrounded the series for decades. And it doesn't hurt that both are some of the funnest people you could ever hang out with. And I can't wait to do it again in 2011!


6th place in the year-end standings on the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series standings goes to Hammerin Hank Wiles, the '09-'10 AMA Pro Flat Track Singles Class Champion. Wiles and his Monster Energy/Jones Brothers/Shift Racing/Don's Racing-sponsored Kawasaki 450 have decimated the Singles Class as well as the State of Illinois, winning 13 races in a row in the Illini State including six Peoria TT's dating back to 2004 (2007 was a rain-out) and seven in a row at the Springfield Rodeo Arena (three May TT's and four late summer short tracks.) Henry won the Dash to seal his 2nd AMA Flat Track Singles Championship at Springfield last month, and less than an hour later wrapped the season up by winning the main. In doing so, Wiles also helped Kawasaki take the Manufacturer of the Year Award from the AMA Flat Track folks that was awarded last weekend after the season finale in Presott Valley.
On the Twins bikes, Henry's KK Motorcycle Supply/Mike & Eddie Adkins/Don Kissinger Racing/Saddlemen-backed XR750 showed bright promise as well as flickers of ill fortune. Running away with the Lima Half Mile at the end of June, he left the field in the dust on the long-standing pea gravel track. But failing to make the main at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile at the end of August showed there is room for marked improvement. Running away with his heat in Minnesota, the bike broke causing Wiles to have to come back and win the semi to make the main event, and absolutely wow the crowd in route to a fourth place finish. And having to qualify for the main at Prescott Valley last week via his 3rd place in the semi doomed him to another third row start and an eventual 12th place finish for the season-ending event, and dropped him from what was a 4th place in the points before Prescott to a season-end 6th overall. Still, not a bad season, but it does leave the season-long question open for debate--what happens when Henry's Twins program DOES get itself ironed out? I've been saying all year when that happens, the rest of the field is going to be doing some serious chasing of the #17 machine and rider.


9th place in AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series standings goes to #20 Matt Weidman, the 2008 AMA Flat Track Ricky Graham Rookie of the Year. Improving a spot over his 2009 overall finish on the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season, Matt got his very first podium in AMA Flat Track Series racing this year with a fine 3rd place finish at the Lima Half Mile at the end of June, and a week earlier also won his heat race at the Gas City/I69 Speedway Short Track round, showing he has the stuff to run on both the Twins and the Singles bikes. And in this reporter's eyes his run up front at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on the outside cushion (before the line went away relegating him to an eventual 9th place finish) was the stuff legends are made of in this sport.
Sponsored by White's H-D/SNIP/Silkolene on his family-owned fleet of XRs, and by Mack Daddy Racing on his Honda 450 in the Singles Class, Matt has done a remarkable job of carrying on the legend and pashion of those that have worn the familiar National #20 over the decades in AMA Flat Track Series racing. But what could have been this year was probably doomed to the numerous mechanical failures that seemed to haunt the team this year.
On the last lap of qualifying at Lima, Matt's A-bike came rolling to a smoking hault on the backside of the half mile track (which is ironic in he brought his B-bike home to 3rd later in the day.) At Springfield last month on the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval, Matt had the pleasure of working with one of the sport's long-time wrench turners and XR masters, Carl Patrick, and his whole family was so excited to be able to have the pleasure of rolling out on one of the true legend's machines. Let alone knowing what kind of HP figures Mr. Patrick is known to pump out of his machines. But as fate would have it, the motor would tie-up in the early sessions and he would be forced to roll out one of his family's bikes.
In the picture shown above, Matt's Dad and head wrench-turner on the team Guy Weidman, checks out the White's XR as Matt looks down before rolling out for the first semi at Springfield last month. Running up front for the first few laps, the bike slowed dramatically to force him out out of the main event. As Matt had suspected and felt at this moment, there WERE some expensive noises coming from his race mount. And earlier in the season at Prescott, Matt's run on Ron Wood's BMW was halted in the main by a lost chain. And last weekend, the Beemer just wasn't up to it and another main event sitting on the sidelines ended Matt's year. Woulda, coulda, shoulda doesn't count in anything in life, but emits a very bitter pill in the form of luck in the "what if's" for this youngster's season results. But make no mistake, he has a VERY long and big future ahead of him in this growing sport, and when the planets finally do align for the Weidman's and #20, you can bet that not only will he leap to the top step on the podium, but he may be one of those that everyone else is chasing. And as the old cliche goes, good things DO happen to good people. For Matt Weidman, Mom and Dad (Rachel and Guy), the 2011 season probably can't get here soon enough. Nor for this reporter.


THE Master Wrench Turner/Engineer and the winningest tuner in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series racing history, Bill
Werner, sits on the tailgate of his transporter while talking with the fans at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile at the end of August. Just a few hours later, team rider Bryan Smith would top the box in the main, helping to re-write the record books in AMA Flat Track competition. With an 8th place in the final year-end standings, the #42 Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki/Wossner Pistons/SuperTrapp/Millenium Technologies-backed team would help to get Kawasaki their very first AMA Flat Track Manufacturer of the Year Award in series competition and the team, in it's first year the AMA Flat Track Outstanding Achievement Award.
With the stuff that legends are made of coming together on this team, the 13-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship winning tuner brought in 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen as a rider/coach/technician to help dial-in the new-to-the-class Kawasaki 650 Ninja-based parallel twin. Filling out the roster on Team WSMEK Green was multiple AMA Flat Track winner Bryan Smith. Testing earlier in the season at the DuQuoin Mile helped to form a baseline of where they needed to be to be with the soon-to-be new winner in AMA Grand National Championship Series racing.
And with a learning year being what it is, the team still managed to fend off the failures of failing to qualify for the Gas City Short Track round in June in the Singles Class, and then losing power at the Arizona Mile in May in the team's first Twins round due to a 'limiter-type' switch that the team was unaware of that cut power to the machine when laid over in the turns. When Werner contacted Kawasaki's tech people, they found this was a stock 'tip-over' switch put on the street version as a safety measure in the event of a crash, or tip-over. Needless to say that was remedied by the end of the month, and Flyin Bryan took the #42 Kawi to 2nd place at the spring Springfield Mile. Knowing that the half mile tracks would be where they would have to learn on the run, it all came together in winning at Indy and some eight days later topping the box again at the Springfield Mile over the Labor Day weekend.
Every member of this team is, and has been, used to winning in the very competitive AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. And I sure don't see that changing any time soon for either the team, or for the other competitors on the highly competitive circuit. And with another chance to bring more quality and a more reasonably-priced product to the table, the landscape of AMA Flat Track racing is and could be looking much greener in the years and seasons to come.


10th place in the season-ending standings on the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series 2010 circuit goes to the #10 machine of rider Johnny Lewis and his Scott Powersports team. Running a Cycle Dynamics/
K&N Filters/Pit Posse-backed Kawasaki 650R-based machine for the Twins Class, and a Honda 450 with some sponsorship by Monster Energy in the Singles Class, Johnny and the Scott Powersports team put their version of the parallel twin in the main at several of the events
during the second half of the season's tour.
An 8th place finish on the Minnesota Mile and a 9th on the Springfield Mile last month were highlights for the team's first year with the new twin, and Lewis' fine run home into 5th place at the famed Peoria TT shows that he has the ability and level-headedness to bring it home and see the big picture. A testament to his abilities, his Honda tied-up at Peoria and thinking he was going to be forced to sit out the day's racing, fellow competitor Mick Kirkness then offered him his back-up Suzuki RM, which Lewis promptly went out on and finished 2nd in his heat and later 5th in the Dash. And the points the team earned on the 650 in the Twins Class helped Kawasaki win the AMA Flat Track Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Great stuff out of this team and we're looking forward to the 2011 season to see what else Johnny Lewis and Scott Powersports can bring to the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. You can read and see more on Johnny and Scott Powersports below as well.

With the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series season having flown it's last checkered flag a week ago, we continue to bring you the highlights on the year in this rundown of the 6th-10th place finishers on the season. With the champagne now dry and the awards having been handed out, this wrap-up on what was one of the series' best-ever seasons helps to showcase the AMA Flat Track Series turnaround in the 2010 year.

With the crowds coming back and new infusion in the sport in terms of competition and machine availability, The Rolling Thunder Show was back with a big bang this year. Under leadership that has and will help even more to steer AMA Flat Track into the future, and sponsorship returning in the form of a series title sponsor, the future sure looks bright for the greatest show on wheels if the 2010 season is any indication at all.

We hope you enjoy this overview of the season and in the next few days we will also be bringing you more highlights on the great year that was in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship competition as we take a look at some of the other great moments that helped define the great turnaround in AMA Flat Track.

2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series Final Top 10 Season-End Overall Point Standings:

1. Jake Johnson 289 Points

2. Joe Kopp 269 Points

3. Jared Mees 269 Points (Kopp wins tie-breaker for more wins 3-0)

4. Sammy Halbert 249 Points

5. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. 248 Points

6. Henry Wiles 246 Points

7. Chris Carr 201 Points

8. Bryan Smith 190 Points

9. Matt Weidman 108 Points

10. Johnny Lewis 104 Points


Mark Gardiner has written some very newsworthy, let alone deeply insightful perspectives on AMA Flat Track this year. He's followed the new brands infiltrating the sport, the growth seen over the course of the last season or two in fan attendance, sponsors coming into the sport, and the people involved and reponsible with righting the ship that is the sport we love, the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship racing.
The latest offering by Mr. Backmarker over at is his look at the final event of the year last weekend in Prescott Valley as well as some offerings he has planned for us in the coming weeks and months. You should all know and recognize the work put forth by the Riding Man, and if you don't, this is a great place to start and get to know to him:

Mark Cernicky is a writer for Cycle's blog which has been doing a great job this year of covering Eric Bostrom's return to AMA Road Racing along with the Attack Performance/Cycle World Suzuki team. Last weekend for the season's final event on the AMA Pro Flat Track Series stop at Yavapai Downs in Arizona, Mark entered the #50E Honda CRF450R sponsored by Cycle World/Honda America/Ride for Kids in the AMA Pro Pro Singles class. And it was Mark's first attempt at racing on the mile as well, and he had some good results for his first foray on the lightning fast oval showing marked improvement in times and in speed throughout the day.

This is a great little story of how one of the biggest stars and heroes of the sport helped out one of the 'little guys' at the Arizona stop. 7-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Chris Carr assisted Mark, along with Chris' ace-in-the-hole Master Wrench Kenny Tolbert, in getting him set up with a good pipe to run on his 450 for the mile oval. This is one of those stories you hear about the flat track community that makes you glad you are a fan of this family-oriented bunch of real-world people in this most exciting form of high speed and thrilling racing. Check it out, and Bravo to guys like Chris Carr and Kenny Tolbert that have infused this great sport with some of the best and most selfless personalities for the good of all:

Here is some more of Steve Warne's work over at his great site Poppa Wheelie. Here he has some shots of Johnny Lewis on the Scott Powersports Kawasaki:

Poppa Wheelie also has some shots of Matt Weidman at the Calistoga Half Mile from back in the summer:

And he has some shots here of Matt on the Ron Wood BMW from the May Prescott round, which Matt also tried to put into the main again at least weekend's season-ending event. Of course, that round didn't go as planned for Matt and team and we all know with this young man's ability and attitude that it's just a matter of time before we see HIM on top of the box. Next year isn't out of the question for the youngter from Westerlo, New York as his learning curve on the track grew tremendously in this fan's eyes this year: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tyler Porter runs the great site Fight For Dirt ( and he has this great interview from earlier in the season with Matt Weidman after he had nailed his first-ever podium finish at the Lima Half Mile at the end of June in AMA Pro Flat Track Series competition. Matt also talked at the time about his runs at Gas City on the short track and riding the Ron Wood BMW at Yavapai Downs back on the first of May:

Tyler also puts out a great weekly column called The Inslide Line over at his site Fight for Dirt Track. This week's story is a rundown on the season-ender and you can check it out here:
A great read on one of the best in sport, here is Chris Carr's biography and his long list of accomplishments on the AMA Flat Track Series over the years from his official site:
Matt Weidman has a super site that shows his past accomplishments racing in AMA Flat Track, as well as his great runs in The Great White North in Canada and his home state of New York. You can check it out here:
You can read about Johnny Lewis and his great run at the Peoria TT back in August right here thanks to the folks at AMA Pro Flat Track: