Sunday, January 30, 2011

'69 AMA Grand National Champion Mert Lawwill Talks to Flat's Fans In The Stands, Chew and Mia Larcom

'70 AMA Grand National Champion Gene Romero on his #3 C&J Frame-sponsored Yamaha leads '69 AMA Grand National Champion Mert Lawwill on his #7 Harley-Davidson factory XR750 during heat race action coming out of turn 4 at the Terre Haute Action Track in August of 1975. The event on the half mile track was an annual stop for several years in the early-mid '70s during the heydays of the Camel Pro Series/AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship. Riders such as Kenny Roberts, Corky Keener, the late Rex Beauchamp and Mike Kidd took wins on the track, but the venue was dropped after the '77 round produced numerous crashes, one involving Kidd which caused him to break his wrist.
The AMA Flat Track Series returned one more time in the '97 season, but alas, the track had not improved after years of sprint cars pounding the track and it again posed more problems for riders and their equipment. Several riders suffered major crashes and at least one bike caught fire after crashing and at least one rider was also ferried out in a Medivac helicopter after suffering serious injuries. Terre Haute still hosts USAC and World of Outlaws events that are still well-attended.
Mert Lawwill is a former competitor and champion in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, winning the coveted #1 plate in the 1969 season. But since his retirement from riding after the '77 season, he has been involved in several ventures in and around the motorcycle racing community. Building street tracker motorcycle is one of those ventures, but probably one of his greatest accomplishments is manufacturing and building prosthetic devices for amputee riders to be able to compete after losing a limb.
Lawwill actually started working on some of these projects while still a rider, but since his retirement has concentrated on it regularly for over 30 years now. I can think of nothing better that a person can do to help his given trade or profession than to be able to give back to it, especially in the way that he has been able to do in the use of prosthetic devices for these riders.
Chew and Mia Larcom, who are the TRUE Fans In The Stands from the Flat community, got the chance to talk with Mert recently and hear what he had to say about the resurrection of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, what those days were like racing in the '60s and '70s, and his work with prosthetics in getting riders back on the track. To those of you unfamiliar with Flat, it is THE place for anything and everything flat track racing. Chew and Mia are two people who represent the site and post race reports and videos promoting the great sport of AMA Flat Track, the greatest racing series on wheels.
Thanks to Chew and Mia for this great interview over at Flat
And thanks go out again to Chew and Mia for posting these shots on the Flat community forum. This is a group of shots I took of Mert Lawwill back in the day when I was just a rookie to the great sport of AMA Flat Track Racing and The Rolling Thunder Show. Scroll down to see the shots in the link to check them out:


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Henry Wiles Talks AMA Flat Track Singles Championships and More

2-Time AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Singles Champion Henry Wiles hoists the winners check on the podium after winning the Dash and clinching his second Singles Championship in the process at the Springfield Short Track round of the AMA Pro K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series on September 4, 2010. Henry's team owner, former Grand National Championship full-time competitor Ronnie Jones (and former National #16) can be seen in the background right on his #74G Jones Brothers Kawasaki getting ready to roll out for one of the final semi races of the evening. Ronnie missed the main that night, but Henry again won it all on the night to close out the Singles Series events for the 2010 season.
The Monster Energy/Jones Brothers/Shift Racing/Don's Kawasaki-sponsored rider has pretty much owned the Singles Series side of the Grand National Championship Series the last few years, and in particular the '09-'10 seasons. In winning every round held in the State of Illinois in the 2010 season, plus his win at the Gas City Short Track in June of '10, Wiles has set the bar in the class.
No one has won more events overall in the last two seasons in the series, and his win on the Lima Half Mile in late June of 2o10 also showed the rest of the competition that his Twins Series prowess isn't to be overlooked, either. Riding for the Mike & Eddie Atkins H-D XR750 team during the 2010 Twins Series season, consistency, however, was up and down the charts, and missing the main at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile at the end of August pretty much quelled any chance of making a run at the overall championship. If the stars align properly for this young man, that could very well change in the upcoming season.
The personable young man who calls Clio, MI. home, is still working on putting a competitive Twins Series effort together for the 2011 season. With just over three months left before the first Twins event kicks off the season on May 1 in Arizona, Dave Lloyd of Lloyd Brothers Motorsports, is still working diligently to put together sponsorship to bring Henry back into their fold on a full-time basis. With their past efforts on the Aprilia together, this could be a team 'made in heaven' should all of the particulars fall together, and if/when it does, could vault LBM and Hammerin' Hank to the top of the championship contenders list for that coveted Grand National Championship, and would very likely give the rest of the competitors in the series a big target to shoot for while they are chasing them down. Stay tuned!
With just over six weeks to go before the first event of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season at Daytona on March 10, 2-Time AMA Flat Track Singles Champion Henry Wiles is still in the process of putting together a competitive Twins Series program for the year. Yes, he will be returning with the Monster Energy/Jones Brothers Kawasaki team for the Singles Series events, but the Twins Series events are still up in the air.

With his results up and down the charts on the big bikes during the 2010 season, Henry's program for the upcoming season is still hanging in the balance, and sponsorship availability is also still being worked out to bring Henry and the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team together for a run at the 2011 AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship. Dave Lloyd is still working on putting together the needed sponsors to get Hammerin' Hank into the team's fold again full-time for the upcoming year. Should this all fall together for this great group of people in time for the first Twins Series event on May 1 at Yavapai Downs in Prescott Valley, AZ., it could be the coming of a great run at the overall championship in the series for the 2011 season. Having worked together in the past on the Aprilia effort, and Henry having ridden recently for the team at the Stockton Mile late last fall, the familiarity and comaraderie between LBM and Henry could and would most likely prove to be unbeatable on the big tracks.

This could really stir the pot in the series for the upcoming season, and we will be bringing you the news if/when this falls together straight from Dave himself. Last word over the weekend was that there were 'three potentials taking serious looks' at the LBM program for a run at the 2011 season, although at this time no guarantees as of yet.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for this group of fine people and hoping that the stars align-and the dollars start rolling in-to bring this great effort together, in what could help to be an even better year in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series then what we saw in the 2010 season. And if that is possible, you better get your ticket punched now because The Rolling Thunder Show is getting ready to amp up into a swift and fast run.

Don't miss out on this great series and the great movement overall expected this year!
Paul Carruthers has this interview from earlier this month with Henry at Cycle
Adam Waheed posted this interview with Henry earlier this month over at Motorcycle
I had to throw this great pic in of Henry on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile from the 2009 season, taken by Tim White. Hopefully this is another flash of great things to come in the upcoming season:
Mike Lloyd of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team talks about their 2010 season with Joe Kopp in the seat of the team's Ducati 1098. LBM and Kopp made history in May 2010 by winning the Arizona Mile on the big twin, being the first manufacturer other than Harley-Davidson to win a Twins event since Rich King won the Joliet Half Mile on a Corbin Honda RS750 in August of 1998:
You can still reach Dave Lloyd @ 614-402-3446 to help sponsor this super group for the 2011 season!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Remembering Ricky Graham, Former 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion


Ricky Graham powers the USC Racing Honda RS750 out of turn two during a practice session at the Lima Half Mile round of the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series in June of '97. The former 3-Time Grand National Champion ('82, '84, '93) was one of the brightest talents to ever hit the track in the AMA Flat Track Series, coming into the series in the '78 season and winning his first Grand National event at the Indy Mile over former '75 GN Champ Gary Scott in August of 1980. While riding for one of the legends in the sport at the time, Graham won his first race (and championship) riding a Tex Peel Harley-Davidson XR750.
To this day, the man holds win records in the series that 13 years after his passing may never be eclipsed. In what has been referred to as his 'career' year in '93, 'Ricky G' won 12 Grand National events on the season, winning six events in a row during that glorious run, setting fast qualifying time in 12 of those events, and topped it off with six half mile wins on the season. He still sits fourth in the all-time win list with 39 Grand National event wins (behind Scott Parker, Chris Carr and Jay Springsteen) and holds the distinction of 'most years between championships' from his second championship in '84 until his career-topping grandeur year of '93. And those are just a few of the numbers this great racer put up throughout his career AND career year.
Ricky was reported to be making the switch back to the almighty XR750 for the '98 season after having been one of the last of the 'hold-outs' to stay with the Honda's. Honda's parts were running out finally after their late '80s pull-out from the sport, and what was left (according to those in the know) were extremely 'high dollar' compared to the costs of the H-D parts in those days. Several others were still running the RS750 in competition (including Terry Poovey and Rich King), but the red, white and blue bikes that took the dirt track scene by storm in the '84 season were quickly going the way of the dinosaur. Sadly, this is something we will never know, as the Man From Salinas died tragically in a house fire at his home in California on January 22, 1998 and the flat track community was left to mourn and wonder 'what if?' for what may be forever.


One of Ricky Graham's USC Racing Honda RS750s sits in the display area of the infield during the inaugural AMA Flat Track Hall of Fame Race at the Springfield Mile in early September of '98. This event was the first that Dave Despain had put together for the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series stars to race in front of a sold-out crowd for a purse of $100K on the line.
Vendors had displays set up (Dan Mahoney was on-hand with part of his fabulous photo collection that had me drooling like a six month old baby) and people brought in former (and present vintage) race bikes for the crowds to peruse. Of course, Ricky's National #3 stuck out immediately to me, having been a fan of his since he had beaten another big fave of mine in his intitial GN event win at Indy in 1980.
I'm not sure who owned the bike at the time (or for that matter now!) but this one was always one of my personal favorites. Tuners to the Stars Johnny Goad and Skip Eaken had taken this (and others as well) to the tops of podiums against the might of the H-D Factory Machine and had thrashed them pretty hard for several years along with Ricky G and Bubba Shobert at the controls. Goad was the team owner/tuner and Master of All with Graham in that great run in '93 with the Audiovox/Team Undo Honda, and between Ricky's throttle hand and JG making those RS's sing, it was some year that gave Honda fans such as myself a glimmer of hope against the impending XR onslaught.
(Of side note, the Bubba Shobert bike I posted a couple of months ago from George Barber's museum was once also owned by Dave Lloyd, of Lloyd Brothers Motorsports fame.)

On the 13th annivesary of his passing, Ricky Graham is still remembered for his charisma and his ability to do things on a flat track machine that mere mortals such as myself just shake their heads at seeing. I've been a big flat track fan since the early-mid '70s, and have never met, known or seen too many racers I didn't admire or like, on or off the track. Being one of the kinds of fans that likes and appreciates them all, over the years I have obviously had several favorites in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series.

But like ALL fans, I also have my 'all-time' and/or 'top' favorites, and Ricky Graham pretty much tops that list for me, first catching my eye at Indy when winning his first AMA Flat Track GN event over '75 AMA GN Champion Gary Scott on August 24, 1980. And after winning his first championship with Tex Peel in '82 and then hooking up with the all-new Honda's in '84 and all but setting the series on fire at the time, well, it was pretty much all done by then. Let alone the damage he ensued on his competitors in his Career Year of '93. 'Ricky G' was the man!

Every year on January 22, I try to take the time to go back through my archives of shots, magazines and/or thoughts, and remember the man that passed away at an all-too young age, and reminisce of his great feats on the AMA Flat Track Series. And I remember all of the thrills,
chills and smiles he put on my face as a 'more than average' AMA Flat Track fan during those almost-two decades of watching him race. I also remember what a great run he had and how he was not only a great racer, but was also a mortal that dealt with, and got past his demons, and showed us all what a great talent he truly was. But most of all, I remember that big smile and his ability to whip it up on a flat tracker almost like no other.

Thanks for the memories Ricky, it was a great run. On this 13th anniversary of his passing, take time along with me to remember Ricky G and his great accomplishments over the years. And be thankful we had him here to bless us at all the way he did over the years we did have him. God Bless Ricky!

Ricky Graham, The Career Year Part I:

Ricky Graham, The Career Year Part II:

Ricky Graham, The Career Year Part III:

Ricky Graham, The Career Year Part IV:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

RIP Rick Hocking, Former AMA Flat Track Grand National Competitor


Rick Hocking on the #31Z Rocky Cycle-sponsored Yamaha XS650-based machine brings the checkers around in September of '74 after winning (if my memory serves me correctly) the Trophy Dash race as part of the AMA Grand National Championship Camel Pro Series event at the Terre Haute Action Track. Hocking's sponsor was at the time one of, if not THE largest motorcycle parts and accessories distributor in the U.S., and a couple of decades later became known as Tucker Rocky. As a Rookie Expert in the series, Hocking would bag his first and second Grand National Championship race wins at the Albany, CA. mile and at the infamous Ascot half mile, and finish in the 9th spot in the season-ending standings for the year.
Rick carried the #13 plate in AMA GN/Camel Pro Series competition from '75-'77, the #17 plate from '78-'81 and also wore the #48 plate from '91-'95. He was also a competitor in Gene Romero's West Coast Flat Track Series up until a couple of weeks ago, competing at the South Point Casino round in Las Vegas.

The flat track racing community has been hit especially hard this week with the passing of some of the greats of the sport. Late yesterday we got word that Rick Hocking, a Californian who started contesting the AMA Grand National Championship/Camel Pro Series as a Rookie Expert in 1974 (also my rookie year), had passed away.

Hocking, who I first saw race in the summer of 1974 when I was just a youth in high school, was one of the guys I remember around the track that always had that 'million dollar' smile. He also had the ability to drag the cases on a Yamaha parallel twin while going into turn one at the Terre Haute half mile that simply amazed me as a then-new devotay of AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship/Camel Pro Series competition. And his equipment was always top notch and clean as a pin when it rolled out of the van for the next event.

Godspeed to Rick Hocking from Stu's Shots and thanks for the great memories from my youth!

Larry Lawrence did a super job of putting this article together on Rick's life over at Cycle RIP Rick Hocking, and thanks for the great life story on Rick here, Larry!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AMA Flat Track Re-Schedules DuQuoin Short Track for April 16


The beautiful Southern Illinois Center on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds will host the first AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship event in seven years on April 16. The round was originally scheduled for the previous weekend, and AMA Flat Track and Steve Nace Racing were able to work it out to postpone it for one more week in order to keep the event on the schedule. This is a beautiful little facility that hosted a couple of AMA Flat Track events in '04 and '05 along with the then-season ending rounds on the infamous Magic Mile at DuQuoin.
Steve Nace and his group have been running numerous events here and it has had a great turn out in terms of riders over the off season, including 7-Time GNC Chris Carr, J.D. Beach, James Rispoli and Sammy Halbert. Mark your calendars now to attend what will surely be a great event at a super nice facility in Southern Illinois.

AMA Pro Racing News Release

Du Quoin AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Event Date Moved

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 19, 2011/1730 EST) - After working closely with both the promoter as well as the paddock, AMA Pro Racing is pleased to announce that the Du Quoin, Ill. event originally scheduled for April 9, 2011, will be moved to April 16, 2011.

After considering the potential conflicts with previous dates, it looked as though the event might be forced off of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. Finally, after careful deliberation, it was concluded that the paddock's desire to keep the Du Quoin event on the schedule overshadowed the original concern regarding the distance to be traveled between Du Quoin, Ill. and Salinas, Calif. in less than one week.

After seven years, AMA Pro Racing is excited to be returning to the Du Quoin State Fair Grounds.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at


Here's the link to the press release over at AMA Pro Flat Track:

And here is the link to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, the home to the beautiful Southern Illinois Center where AMA Flat Track will return, in just under three months for the first time in seven years:

2010 AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes Leads the Way at Daytona Tire Test

Josh Hayes comes out of turn 8 at Road America during the running of the AMA Repsol Superstock Series final on June 8, 2004. Hayes went on to chase event winner Tommy Hayden home into second place on his #1 Attack Performance/
Kawasaki Motors/Dunlop-sponsored ZX-10R, and finished the year ranked in the 8th spot in the year-end standings after having won the championship the previous season while riding for Attack on a Suzuki GSX-R750.
The defending 2010 AMA Superbike Champion led all comers yesterday during the Dunlop Tire test at Daytona International Speedway on his Graves Monster Energy Yamaha YZF-R1, although track time ended up being at a premium with all of the rain delays and oil spills encountered during Monday's rain out and yesterday's shortened test session. With the premier Superbike class getting the most time in on track, riders with new teams and/or new bikes were able to at least get a feel for their new settings before the break and eventual return to Daytona for the season-opening rounds on March 10.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AMA Pro Racing News Release
Thanks to AMA Pro Road Racing for this press release on the rain and oil spill shortened tire test at Daytona from Monday and Tuesday. The AMA Superbike Championship kicks off at Daytona on March 10 and this will be the last official test for most, if not all teams until that time in approximately 50 days when the racing kicks off for the 2011 season.
AMA Pro Road Racing Stars Wrap Up Rain-Soaked Dunlop Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 18, 2011)

After waiting out a rain delay on Monday and losing most of Tuesday to damp conditions and early morning fog, the assembled AMA Pro Road Racing teams finally got onto the newly-paved Daytona International Speedway for the Dunlop Tire Test, the first official open test session in advance of the upcoming 2011 season.

Topping the timesheets in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class was reigning champion Josh Hayes on his Yamaha, posting a time of 1:38.795/127.901 MPH. Right behind Hayes was Tommy Hayden on his Suzuki with a time of 1:39.074/127.542 MPH. Hayden's teammate Blake Young was third, and debuting Kawasaki's new liter-bike was Eric Bostrom, who finished fourth. Another rider showing well on a new combination was Larry Pegram, who posted the fifth-fastest time with his new BMW.

Debuting entirely new team-and-machinery combinations were Ben Bostrom and Roger Hayden, both showing well for Jordan Motorsports' 2011 effort. 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas made his debut in the SuperBike class and ended up eighth, just ahead of his Team M4 Suzuki teammate Chris Ulrich, who had to depart the track early to return home for the impending birth of his second child. Rounding out the top ten was the Buell-mounted

Geoff May.

"The track is just so unbelievably smooth; when you compare some of the data from previous years, it is so much smoother," Hayes commented on his day. "It is different, but it doesn't take long to get back into the groove. I'm looking forward to the race."

In preparation for the Daytona 200, the Daytona SportBike riders took to the track for one session, which was interrupted by a brief sprinkling of raindrops. Jason DiSalvo initially set the fastest time, returning to the series aboard the Team Latus Ducati, but ultimately settled for third. Jake Zemke, new to the Project 1 Atlanta team this year, finished second on his Yamaha with a time of 1:51.987/93.225 MPH. Last year's Daytona 200 pole-position winner and 2009 Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick also appeared at the top of the timesheets at numerous points during the disjointed session, but it was P. J. Jacobsen who topped the times after the short break with a best lap of 1:51.822/93.362 MPH on his new Ducati. Suzuki-mounted Cory West rounded out the top five, while Santiago Villa, who ran well early in the session, ended up sixth overall.

Next up was AMA Pro SuperSport Young Gun East Division champion J.D. Beach, showing well on the new middleweight Kawasaki by finishing sixth in his first appearance in the Daytona SportBike class. Dane Westby also made his first appearance with a new team, the Team M4 Suzuki rider finishing up eighth. Ninth was Paul Allison on his Yamaha, and Taylor Knapp finished tenth on a Suzuki.

"We were pretty happy with how everything went today," Jacobsen reflected on his day. "I think the track feels smooth as glass, and of course we're really happy being on top. [Eraldo] Ferracci is great; he's been around for a really long time and really, really knows his stuff, so I'm happy to be riding for him and Barry [Gilsenan]. I also really like the Ducati 848 EVO. It has a lot of torque and it's a good machine, nice and fast, smooth. I'm real happy with the bike."
Due to the abbreviated schedule as a result of the weather delays, the SuperSport riders were included in the Daytona SportBike session. Taking the top spot was Eric Stump, enjoying his first ride on the new pavement at the historic circuit in Daytona Beach and posting a fast lap of 1:55.846/90.119 MPH. Seven SuperSport riders took part in the session. "I was really liking the new surface, it's way better than last year," Stump said. "Motor-wise, we don't have our good Daytona motor yet, so it's only going to get better come race time."

Making a debut on the Daytona track was the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, with former Harley-Davidson 883 series rider Michael Barnes celebrating his first ride on the new XR1200 by posting a time of 2:09.568/80.576 MPH to take the top spot. Nine XR1200s participated in the shortened session that saw champions from a variety of AMA Pro Racing disciplines make their mark. Recently-retired AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp topped the timesheets for part of the outing, two-time AMA Pro Supermoto Champion Chris Fillmore ended up second overall and 2009 SuperSport Young Gun West Division champion Ricky Parker made his return to AMA Pro Racing to finish up third fastest.

"I'm one of the few guys out there who actually raced the old 883 series back in the day," said Barnes. "I just remember great battles, a lot of parity and eight-wide across the tri-oval. I think we're going to see the same kind of exciting race here in March."
Approximately 50 riders participated in the only full pre-season test held prior to AMA Pro Road Racing's 2011 season opener, held at Daytona International Speedway March 10-12. The riders were unanimous in their praise of the newly-paved track, and after having to wait out the inclement weather, everyone was delighted to have a chance to sample the new track surface. That in addition to the many new team, rider and machinery combinations points to an even more exciting AMA Pro Road Racing Series in 2011.


Here's the AMA Pro Road Racing gallery from the Daytona tire test yesterday:


Thanks to David Swarts at Road Racing for the story of the test and AMA Superbike test times overall. Hayes on his Graves Yamaha and Tommy Hayden on the Yoshimura Rockstar Suzuki were right where they left off at the end of the 2010 season, first and second:

Road Racing also has the test times for the Daytona SportBike Class. J.D. Beach ended up 7th in his debut on the Attack Performance Kawasaki ZX-6R after having ridden in the AMA SuperSport Class in the 2010 season. Jake Zemke, in what is being reported as a 'one-off' ride with the Project 1 Yamaha team (unless more sponsorship comes into their program) timed in second behind P.J. Jacobsen on the Celtic Racing/Ferracci Ducati:

...and they also have the AMA SuperSport and Vance & Hines XR1200 test times can be found here. Recently retired 2000 AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp was on hand and was reported to have headed up the time sheet at one time during the XR class' somewhat shortened session:


And here is Henny Ray Abram's story on the tire test from Daytona over at Cycle


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Monster Energy Werner Springsteen's Bryan Smith Talks Racing


Bryan Smith, Barry Smith (Bryan's father) and Bill Werner discuss set ups on the #42 Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki DTX450s in their pit area during a break in the on-track action at the Gas City Short Track round of the the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series in June of 2010. AMA Pro Singles rider and WSMEK team mate Chaz Springsteen can be seen on the far right side of the shot looking over his #29J machine in his pit area. Smith would miss the main event of the Expert Singles Series and Springsteen ended up finishing 13th in the Pro Singles final.
Flyin Bryan will have a new team mate on board for the 2011 season with JR Schnabel/National #33 joining the Bill Werner/Jay Springteen mantled team. This should be a big help in terms of development of the EX650R-based twin, which still won two races with Smith at the controls at Indy and the September running of the Springfield Mile. Having another rider on hand to share the set-up and testing for the team should prove to narrow that curve, and if so, the rest of the competition had better be looking over their shoulders once the season picks up full swing in Arizona come May.
But probably the area that the team most needs to concentrate now on would be the Singles program, and Smith has been doing some serious ice racing in Michigan during the off-season to help keep him in shape, as well as getting a leg up on the competition before the first green flag of the season flies at Daytona on March 10. In 2010 he struggled on the Singles bikes, with best finishes in the six round series of 6th at Daytona round two and 5th at the Springfield TT in May. Not qualifying for the main at Gas City was definitely the low point of the season on the 450, and shoring up this part of the program will put Smith and the #42 team right up at the head of the pack for contention for the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship and that coveted #1 plate.
Look for this to improve drastically for Bryan in 2011. You don't keep a member of the Michigan Mafia down for long, and if off-season training can and will make a difference, he's already a step ahead of just about everyone already!

Kawasaki Racing and Monster Energy have been doing a great job of rolling out news and videos to highlight the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series and the #42 Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team. After a great year in 2010, Bryan Smith is getting ready for the new season that kicks off at Daytona on March 10. During the off-season he has been teaming up with other Michigan Mafia members to do some ice racing on his KX450-based flat track machine on the frozen lakes in and around the Flint, MI. area, his home stomping ground.

With new team mate JR Schnabel coming on board the Werner Springsteen team for the 2011 season, this could prove to be the extra kick the team needs to step up in contention for the #1 plate in AMA Grand National Championship Racing. Development on the EX650R-based twin will now be shared between the #42 of Smith and the #33 of Schnabel, and everyone knows that JR has always had a great Singles Series program throughout the years, so that should prove to be an extra burst to Flyin Bryan as well. With his off-season training shown in the video below from Kawasaki Racing, this should prove to help him improve on his 2010 Singles Series finishes.

Thanks to Kawasaki Racing and Monster Energy for doing such a super job of highlighting The Rolling Thunder Show and the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki Flat Track Team!

Check it out:

Monday, January 17, 2011

RIP Wayne Hosaka, The Father of



Wayne Hosaka's #55X number plate as well as a picture of him in action on his #55X flat track racer adorn the header to this piece that I must regrettably report on today.
The Father of, THE motorcycle racing website for anything and everything flat track motorcycle racing-related, passed away yesterday while recovering from surgery near his home in California. The man that had the vision to bring so many people and fans together over 15 years ago will be remembered always to anyone who ever took the time to frequent the message boards and news articles from THE site for all things flat track,
Hos will live on forever in our minds and in our thoughts for having the forethought in the early days of home internet usage to put together a website that today boasts over 7800 members and over 125K posts since it first hit the World Wide Web in 1995. Although he was paralyzed close to 40 years ago in a racing incident, Wayne still held the reins when it came to being in the know on flat track motorcycle racing. His legacy will live on forever through all the fan's eyes at Flat, on, at and near the track. RIP Hos!
Please note: The picture above was borrowed from a posting on the Flat website by Dale Lineaweaver. Thanks Dale for such a fitting shot to remember Hos with!
RIP Wayne Hosaka, The Father of Flat!

You can read about Wayne Hosaka here:

Mia and Chew, The Fans In the Stands from Flat, posted this about Hos' passing:


Saturday, January 15, 2011

AMA Road Racing & Dunlop Tire Set for Daytona Test on March 17 & 18

Anthony Gobert leads a field of stellar competition on his way to the event win riding the #95 Vance & Hines Ducati 996 during the AMA Superbike Championship final at Road America on June 14, 1998, as part of the Coca-Cola Super Cycle Classic weekend round in Elkhart Lake, WI.
Following closely early in the race are Miguel Duhamel on the #17 American Honda RC45, team mate (and eventual '98 AMA Superbike Champion) Ben Bostrom on the #11 American Honda RC45, Jamie Hacking on the #92 Yamaha Motor Corp. YZ750, Doug Chandler on the #1 Muzzy Kawasaki ZX-7R, Aaron Yates on the #20 Yoshimura American Suzuki GSX-R750 (partially hidden), Tom Kipp on the #16 Fast By Ferracci Ducati 996, and just coming out from under the old Billy Mitchell Bridge the #97 Yamaha Motor Corp. YZ750 of Rich Oliver.
In this shot, all riders but Tom Kipp are Dunlop Tire-shod, with the FBF team running Michelins this particular year. With Dunlop being the sole control tire provider in the new age of AMA Road Racing (along with many other spec tire series running throughout the world now), the English tire giant will be plenty busy come Monday and Tuesday of the upcoming week in supplying tires to over 50 riders for the test scheduled at Daytona. With the extra load that the banking sections at Daytona puts on tires (even in these days of Superbike-Lite tuned motors) tire testing is a must in order to ensure participant safety as the stresses put on the machines and getting the power to the ground are extreme.
What used to be the annual trek to Daytona Beach for the AMA Road Racing and Dunlop Tire tests is finally set for the first of next week, as AMA Pro Road Racing released this press release late yesterday on what the particulars will be for the two day event. The World Center of Speed at Daytona International Speedway will play host to the stars of today's AMA Road Racing Series as tires will be put to the test to better help get a gauge on the newly-paved track for the March running of the AMA Superbike Championship round and the Daytona 200.

AMA Pro Road Racing also notes that the Live Timing and Scoring feature will be available while the tests are being run, and taking a look at it today they have done a VERY nice job of updating this feature for easier viewing and better stats to keep you up to date. Great job AMA Pro Road Racing!

You can check out the official release here thanks to the new and improved AMA Road Racing. With just under two months until action kicks off for the 2011 racing season in the U.S., this will be a great primer to help keep us Midwesterner's a little warmer and fueled up in the off season!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AMA Pro Racing News Release
AMA Road Racing Lineup Set for 2011 Dunlop Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida--Friday January 14, 2011

AMA Pro Racing and Dunlop Tire will be conducting a two-day test session at the newly resurfaced Daytona International Speedway on January 17 and 18. All four AMA Pro Road Racing classes will be participating in the first open test for the AMA Pro Road Racing competitors. A limited test was conducted this past December by Dunlop Tire and successfully paved the way for the first big open test of 2011.

An impressive 53 rider entry list has been set for the two-day test with 17 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike riders, 15 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike riders, 10 AMA Pro SuperSport riders and 11 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series riders.

The test will begin at 12:00 noon on Monday, January 17th and run until 5:00 p.m. and then the riders will have a full day on the track on Tuesday, January 18th, running from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Highlighting the entry will be 2010 National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes with his Yamaha now sporting the coveted Number One plate. He will be joined by 2010 Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas, making his National Guard SuperBike debut on a Team M4 Suzuki. Also testing for the first time at Daytona in 2011 will be Tommy Hayden, Blake Young, Chris Ulrich, Geoff May, Chris Clark and others.

A number of riders will be making their debuts on new team or equipment combinations including Ben Bostrom, Larry Pegram, Eric Bostrom and the aforementioned Cardenas. Rejoining the AMA Pro series in 2011 is Roger Hayden.

The series will also be welcoming back Kawasaki to AMA Pro Road Racing for this year's Daytona round, the exciting new project that was announced earlier today will see Eric Bostrom riding the iconic green Kawasaki Ninjas at Daytona in both the SuperBike and Daytona SportBike classes with the Team Cycle World Attack Performance program.

Larry Pegram has made an equipment change, riding a BMW in this year's series.

Ben Bostrom will join Roger Hayden at the Jordan Motorsports team in a complete rider change for the team. Hayden will be riding the National Guard Suzuki and Bostrom will be aboard the famous number 23 Jordan Suzuki.

In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike category, 15 riders will be testing the new racing surface. 2009 Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick will be getting his first look at the new track surface and he will be joined by a number of new rider team/equipment combinations as well, including Dane Westby riding with Team M4 Suzuki, Taylor Knapp moving to Vesrah Suzuki alongside Cory West, and P.J. Jacobsen riding a Ducati for Celtic Racing with technical support from Fast by Ferracci. The series will also see the return of Jason DiSalvo, riding with Team Latus Motors. AMA Pro 2010 SuperSport Young Gun East Division champion J.D. Beach will be making his debut in the Daytona SportBike class aboard the exciting new Kawasaki entry alongside Eric Bostrom as part of the Team Cycle World Attack Performance program with Kawasaki.

2010 AMA Pro SuperSport race winners Elena Myers and James Rispoli headline the 10 SuperSport bikes that will be testing at Daytona, getting their first look at the new asphalt, the second resurfacing in track history and the first since 1978. Also running in SuperSport will be Eric Stump, Stefano Mesa, Miles Thornton and Michael Corbino among others.

The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, which debuted last year in June at Road America, will be taking to the Daytona highbanks for the first time. Bolstered by another healthy addition to the prize money fund by Harley-Davidson, the test will see a strong 11 Harley-Davidson XR1200's take to the track next week. A number of familiar names will be riding the big twins including Michael Barnes, Kyle Wyman, Paul Schwemmer, Chris Fillmore and Clinton Seller. Making a welcome debut in road racing will be AMA Pro Flat Track star Joe Kopp with Team Latus Motors and he will joined by Chase McFarland on a second Latus XR1200. AMA Pro 2009 SuperSport Young Gun West Division Champion Ricky Parker will also be testing a XR1200.

Following the earlier limited testing this past December, Dunlop Tire engineers will be on hand to closely monitor the performance of the various new combinations. The previous test was quite successful with the new surface receiving many complements from not only the AMA Pro riders that participated but also from the other categories of motorsports that have tested on the amazingly smooth new surface.

The AMA Pro teams will return in March for the opening rounds of the 2011 season with the Daytona 200 Week activities beginning March 5th with the Daytona Supercross event. The AMA Pro Flat Track events at the DAYTONA Flat Track are scheduled for Thursday, March 10th and Friday, March 11th. The AMA Pro Road Racing activities begin Thursday, March 10th and the closing race of Bike Week this year will be the famous Daytona 200, which will be run during the day on Saturday, March 12th.

Live Timing & Scoring from the Dunlop Tire Test will be available for the duration of the two-day test at

Please visit for more schedule and ticket information and also for testing results and information. Once again the 2011 AMA Pro Road racing season will be seen on SPEED TV, please visit for more information.


You can check out the release below on the AMA Road Racing site, where they have the full list of particpants for Monday and Tuesday's test at DIS:


Friday, January 14, 2011

Eric Bostrom Confirmed Along With Attack Performance & All-New Kawasaki ZX-10R for Daytona Round of AMA Superbike Championship

Eric Bostrom navigates the carousel at Road America on the #32 Kawasaki Motors Corp.-sponsored ZX-7R during practice for the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire round of the AMA Superbike Championship in June of 2000. In EBoz's first full year with the factory team he finished 4th in the AMA Superbike Championship and 2nd in the AMA 600 Supersport Championship riding the team's ZX-7R and ZX-6R. Bostrom won the AMA 600 Supersport Championship in '01 while riding for the factory team, and also finished runner-up in the premier class in '01 and in '02 to eventual 7-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin.
Bostrom and Attack Performance campaigned several races in the premier AMA Superbike Championship during the 2010 season with a Yoshimura-prepped Suzuki GSX-R1000. It had been speculated for several months that Attack and EBoz would be back together for a full run at the AMA Superbike Championship in '11, but this time with the all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R that was just released late last fall. That speculation came to fruition today as the youngest of the Boz Brothers will be back with Attack, and with the new ZX-10R as well. Bostrom is also expected to run the Daytona 200 for the team on the also-new ZX-6R, with J.D. Beach as his team mate.
At this time reports have funding only available for the Daytona rounds that begin on March 10. Hopefully a full season of funding can be found to keep one of the more popular, let alone capable, riders in the series for the whole season. Dunlop Tire has another test scheduled for January 17 and 18-this coming Monday and Tuesday-and word has it that Attack and EBoz will be on the scene.
The news that has been hanging in the air for what seems like months was made official today in that Eric Bostrom will be returning to the AMA Superbike Championship at Daytona in March with the Attack Performance team and the all-new Kawasaki ZX-10R. And EBoz is also expected to run the Daytona 200 for the team on the also-new Kaw ZX-6R with former AMA SuperSport rider and AMA Flat Track rider J.D. Beach as his team mate for the event which is the kickoff round for the AMA Daytona SportBike Series.
At this time word has it, however, that funding for the full season in the AMA Superbike Championship has not yet been met. With Dunlop Tire doing testing this coming Monday March 17 and Tuesday March 18, the team is expected to be on hand to take part in those tests.
You can check out the official press release and any current updates thanks to the great folks at Road Racing Read on:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brad Baker & Sammy Halbert Take Opening Round Wins at Gene Romero's WCFTS Vegas Event

Brad Baker looks over his bikes in the #1 pits at the Springfield Mile round of the AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Series in September of 2010. The '09 AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Champion garnered four wins in the 2010 series to just come up short of the championship to rival Jeffrey Carver on the Van's Yamaha. Sponsored by Rod Lake/Mike Velasco and Brothers Powersports on his Honda 450, Baker also pulled off another seven podiums in his run to retain the #1 plate.
Baker will be moving up to the Expert Class for the 2011 season to campaign the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series and will be wearing the #12 number plate in the upcoming season. He got his racing year off to a great start in Vegas by winning the Open Class A-Main Event as part of the Gene Romero West Coast Flat Track Series opener at South Point Casino in Las Vegas over the weekend, with fellow AMA GNC competitors Sammy Halbert and Rob Pearson filling out the opening night's podium.
The Halbert Brothers Racing Team can be seen talking in the background right at the Gas City Short Track round of the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series in June of 2010. Brothers Jethro #69 and Sammy #7 converse with a team member of the #30F Coy Matthews Pro Singles team, while Dad Willy Halbert tends to the team's bikes under the awning. Sponsored by Woody Kyle Racing and Fredericktown Yamaha, the Brothers H finished 5th and 6th, respectively, on the evening at the Gas City round.
Sammy took the time to fly into Vegas over the weekend for the WCFTS round at the South Point Casino, and after finishing second on Friday night, pulled off the win in Saturday evening's Open Class A-Main event. It was good to hear about him getting back at it after he reportedly took a big fall during action at the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin the previous weekend during the Steve Nace Racing Ethan Gillim Memorial races.

Brad Baker and Sammy Halbert both took wins over the weekend in the opening round of Gene Romero's West Coast Flat Track Series at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas. Gearing up for the upcoming AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season, Baker pulled off the win over Halbert on Friday night on the last lap after Slammin' Sammy lost air in his rear tire. Halbert did manage to best the field of pro riders the next night, leading Jake Mataya and AMA Flat Track Pro Singles rider Mikey Martin home on the evening. A National-class field of riders was on hand for the Las Vegas event, with riders Rob Pearson, Chad Cose and 2010 AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Jeffrey Carver also on hand for the weekend's event.

With less then two months before the opening rounds at Daytona, the 2011 season is starting off super for these two fine young men, and with Baker moving up to the Grand National Expert Series this year, the competition just got a little tougher for all of the series' combatants. With Slammin' Sammy being forced to sit out the Minnesota Mile round towards the end of the 2010 season for what was deemed 'rough riding' at the Springfield Short Track round, his late season charge was stopped short with an eventual fourth place finish in the final overall standings. Look for him to hit Daytona in March with a big advantage in running these events to try to get a leg up on the competition in 2011.
Todays Cycle filed this report on the opening evening's events at South Point in Vegas, which includes some super pics and overall results:

And the folks at filed this report on Saturday's events in Vegas as part of Gene Romero's West Coast Flat Track Series, and this also has overall results with some great pics thrown in as well:

A Special Thanks to Florida Steve @ The Great 2-Stroke Biker Blog!


One of the last of the roaring 500CC World Championship 2-strokes sits on display outside the Suzuki tent at Mid Ohio in the summer of 2005. Kenny Roberts, Jr. had just won the 2000 500CC World Championship the year previous, but the '01 model failed to deliver, leaving KRJR in a lowly season-ending 11th place in the final championship. In 2002 Dorna re-named the series MotoGP and the 4-stroke era in World Championship motorcycle road racing was ushered in, to replace the ring-dings that had taken over the sport in the early-mid '70s.

I wanted to give a shout out to Florida Steve, who runs two of the best motorcycle photo display blog sites around the net. Steve's sites 2 Stroke Biker Blog and Motorcycle Photo of the Day are some of the best gathering spots on the net to peruse some of today's (and yesterday's) machinery of the two-wheeled variety. And that's what we're all about, right?!

Steve took the time to post a few more of my shots of the KRJR Suzuki from the '01 season on his site the other day, and being as how I am just getting caught up here I wanted to give him a big tip of the helmet and 'Thanks Man!' to let him know how much I appreciate him showcasing my work on his sites.

Here's the link to the post on the Big Blue Suzuki 500:

Steve also runs the Motorcycle Picture of the Day, which is morphing over to the Motorcycle Photo of the Day (due to some technical problems suffered a few weeks back.)

Here's the link to the old site:

And here is the link to the new and improved site, which he has managed to move everything from his original site to:

Thanks again for the nod Steve and keep up the great work!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mike Kidd Helped Lead AMA Flat Track Back Into the Limelight and People Are Starting to Notice

Mike Kidd on the #72 Kruger Racing XR750 leads Rex Beauchamp on the #31 Harley-Davidson Factory XR during main event action at the Terre Haute Action Track Half Mile on August 17, 1975, in what was one of the all-time classic battles in racing. Kidd, the former contender for Rookie of the Year, who came into the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series with a loaded class of top-talent riders several years earlier (Kenny Roberts and Gary Scott also made their debut in the '72 season) would go on to pull away from Beauchamp later in the main to win his first main event since returning from injuries suffered in the '74 season. The rider who at one time had held the nickname of 'Mr. Hard Luck' would return on fire to the series, and would eventually win the elusive #1 plate, that had remained out of his grasp for what seemed like decades, at the end of the 1981 season.
After riding for teams that included the Triumph factory and the Harley-Davidson factory during his career, he also helped to develop Honda into a major powerhouse in the series. Probably one of his biggest accomplishments was bringing the U.S. Army into the sport in the late '70s as his primary sponsor. At that time, outside the industry sponsorship was very rare in AMA Flat Track, and to this day the U.S. Army still sponsors teams in Nascar and NHRA. Whether he was ever recognized for it or not, MK probably helped open the door (if not down right kicking it in) for many other outside the industry sponsors to show up in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series racing.
After retiring as an active rider at the end of the '83 season, MK stuck around in AMA Flat Track for several years, and along the way also worked with/for Kenny Roberts, Mert Lawwill and Dick Mann with the Yamaha Virago project of the day. But in spite of his greatness as a talented rider AND knowing talent IN riders, Kidd's strength and legacy could and very well should be his ability to know the show and recognize the entertainment value of the sport. Owning and operating AMA Arenacross, he saw the value of motocross racing in smaller, out of the way venues to attract the paying customers and fans of motocross racing. Eventually selling his brand to Clear Channel (and then working for them on his baby for several years after), he later was involved with the Formula USA Flat Track Series of the late '90s.
Which brings us to today. The current AMA Director of Flat Track Racing was brought in by the Daytona Motorsports Group when their purchase of the AMA Pro Racing properties came about during the 2008 season. Knowing that Kidd knew the product, the fan base, the background and especially the entertainment value, the DMG folks gave him full rein to help turn around the Titanic of racing, AMA Pro Flat Track.
With dwindling crowds, a falling out of participants, and sponsorship dollars going the way of the Great Recession, AMA Flat Track was all but headed for it's own iceberg before Mike and Gary Kidd (MK's brother and long-time partner in racing) came in and took the helm. While also retaining former AMA GNC competitor Steve Morehead to help head up the team (who in all fairness was doing a great job with what he had to work with before the DMG takeover), Team Kidd and Company headed up a current AMA Flat Track team that has done a superb job of leading the series into a new, and revived decade. Concentrating on track preparation, obtainable racing equipment and the entertainment value of The Rolling Thunder Show, AMA Flat Track came out pouring the coals on during the 2010 season.
Ushering in new markets and venues, working on the timeliness/entertainment value of the series, and tweaking the rules to make multi-brand racing a headliner for the season, AMA Flat Track saw a season of positives all along the way, and also getting paying butts back into the seats at the race track and bringing in much-needed title sponsorship to the series in the way of K&N Filters and the Motorcycle folks. And 2o11 looks to be even better, if that is possible after the stellar year the series had.
With Mike Kidd heading up the team, anything is possible. And in this writer's eyes that is very positive as well! Go MK and Team AMA Flat Track!
In what I would like to call an 'it's about time' moment, posted a super video today reviewing what they consider to be the 'bests' of the 2010 motorcycle season. And the best thing about it is they kicked it off by finally giving kudos to the man that headed up the great turn around in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Racing.

Mike Kidd, the current AMA Director of Flat Track Racing, was honored by the folks for being the "Industry Leader" in motorcycle racing for heading up and turning the great sport of AMA Flat Track around during the 2010 year. Although I've been bragging on him for quite awhile now, I think it's super that someone that is a Nationally known site (compared to my little window of viewers here) took the time to brag on him as well!

With The Rolling Thunder Show adding more venues and new and returning markets for the 2011 season, this year looks to be even better then the break-out year achieved by the NEW and IMPROVED AMA Flat Track that we saw and loved in 2010. And you better get your ticket now cause when this train pulls out of the station, it's going to be hitting a fast pitch that will be hard to grab ahold of until the end of the year. AMA Pro Flat Track Racing is on a roll!
Thanks to the great folks at for this great video saluting the 'bests' of the 2010 season. And of course they showed the best first in honoring Mike Kidd for his work in spearheading the turnaround in the great sport of AMA Pro Flat Track. I also have to take the time to thank them for using a few of my shots in this great honor to Mike Kidd (who is and has been one of my long-time heroes in the sport) when they put this together.

Just into the intro of the video when they list MK as the Industry Leader is one of my shots of Mike in his blue AMA shirt when he came over to shoot the sh*t with Larry Lawrence (The Rider and Cycle and myself during the Springfield Short Track on Saturday Sept. 4, 2010. And just a little further they also used two of my black & white 'back in the day' shots of MK in action at the Syracuse Mile on his #72 Kruger Racing XR750. They come by fast, but you'll see them both just after the 22 second mark of the video.

Thanks guys, I appreciate seeing my stuff used for something so cool as this, let along giving credit where credit is due to the 1981 AMA Grand National Champion, Mike Kidd for helming the ship at AMA Flat Track Racing!
Dan Jacobson, Sr. wrote this great article that just appeared at Todays Cycle the day before yesterday, recognizing the great turn around in the sport and the team that helped to make it happen. Check out his spin here:

JR Schnabel Joins Monster Energy Werner Springsteen Kawasaki for '11 AMA Flat Track Season

Glen 'JR' Schnabel's #33 Memphis Shades/K&N Filters/Wiseco/Motion Pro-sponsored H-D XR750 back-up bike sits in his pit area during a practice session at the Springfield Mile in September 2010. The long-time veteran of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series was confirmed yesterday as the new rider for the Monster Energy Werner Springsteen Kawasaki team as a team mate to Bryan Smith #42 for the 2011 season.
In what will be their second season as a team, Bill Werner, the 13-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship tuner, and Jay Springsteen, the 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion (and very likely one of, if not THE most popular riders in series history) will now have the valuable background and rider input of Schnabel to add to multi-time winner Smith's now year of experience on the EX650R-based twin. Both riders will also compete on the Kawasaki KX450-based single in the Singles Series portion of the schedule.
Schnabel, who is also one of the most popular riders in the series along with Smith, missed a good portion of the mid-part of the season in 2010 due to a broken knee, but still finished in the 15th spot in the final 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship standings. Along with Smith's input and testing (and Springer's for that matter) the team will get a valuable boost in knowledge to help better develop the parallel twin. Which means one thing and one thing only. The rest of the competition better be ready, because when is here folks!
I said the better part of all of last season that when The Master Tuner to the Stars and #42 got this thing right, that it was all downhill from there and the rest were going to be playing a major game of catch up. That time may be now come the first Twin Series round in Arizona on May 1.
As was initially reported last week (see link from Thursday 12/30/2010 below) the speculation became fact late yesterday as JR Schnabel will be joining the Monster Energy Werner Springsteen Kawasaki team for a run at the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season. Multi-time championship tuner Bill Werner (and another one of the super nice guys in AMA Flat Track) confirmed yesterday with Paul Carruthers from Cycle

This is great news for the sophomore team comprised of Werner, 3-Time GNC Jay Springteen and current rider Bryan Smith. Adding another rider the caliber of JR to the team is big in terms of developing the still-new machine to the nuances of the AMA Flat Track Series. With Schnabel's experience in a multitude of different flat track racing platforms, his input to the team should really help them to amp up the development on the bike that much quicker now. And from the talk P.C. had with The Master Tuner to the Stars, he's going to have a travel companion now (they both live in Wisconsin and within a short distance of one another) for the race trips!

AMA Pro Flat Track Series Racing is looking better and better as the days roll on in 2011, and this with the magnificent strides that were made in 2010, this year should really kick some behind. If you don't have your ticket yet to The Rolling Thunder Show for the 2011 season, you better get it and get it punched quick. This train is going to be chugging along at a killer clip this year and you better be ready because once it gets rolling, there won't be any jumping off!
Thursday 12/30/10 story posted on possible JR Schnabel signing with the MEWSK team:

And thanks to Paul Carruthers at Cycle for breaking the official news on this great story for us: