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11 Things We Learned From Volusia


Vance & Hines Harley Still Has A Long Way To Go

Harley's best finish from the Volusia double-header was delivered by new boy Dalton Gauthier, 7th on Friday. The next day not one of the three factory riders could get in the top 10. Gauthier was top again but this time in 11th, ahead of the more experienced Smith and Vanderkooi..


Yamaha Might Have Even Further To Go

I can't imagine JD Beach had a pair of tenth places in mind when he signed up for a full season of AFT on the Estenson Yamaha MT-07. His young team-mate Kolby Carlile, was 15th and 14th. It's only the first round, but the well-funded team, with two talented riders, must have been expecting much more. So...

Performance Levelling Might Happen Soon

Performance levelling - cutting one or more makes of bike some slack to increase performance or, more likely, handicapping other teams to create closer racing. Hardcore fans hate it, but AFT might need to do something or they risk losing manufacturer support. Michael Lock's AFT vision included bringing more manufacturers into the sport. In the SuperTwins class they have fewer than when he took over. There are just three: Indian, H-D, Yamaha. Indian make up the majority of the field with 13 of the 18 bikes, plus three Harleys and two Yamahas. So no Kawasaki, Ducati, Triumph or KTM - all brands that have competed in the last ten years.


At the second of the Volusia races Indian FTR750s filled places 1-9. The AFT rulebook states:

In all classes, if it becomes apparent that one type or model of motorcycle gains a performance advantage, AMA Pro Racing reserves at any time the right to implement or remove allowances or restrictions to restore competitive balance. Any allowance or restriction will be communicated via Competition Bulletin.


How many more seasons of Indian domination before one or more of the existing manufacturers leaves? KTM might join the class next year, though.


Production Twins is More Varied than SuperTwins

Volusia I result - 1. Kawasaki 2. H-D 3. Yamaha

Volusia II result - 1. Yamaha 2. H-D 3. Kawasaki

Sideburn Columnists know What they're Talking About

Cory Texter writes a regular tech column for Sideburn. He carries the number 1 plate and won Volusia II Production Twins Main. Buy Sideburn to read his column.

AFT Singles Is The Class To Watch for Upsets

Volusia I - Australian Max Whale wins his first national, virtually from flag to flag and the much-tipped Dallas Daniels doesn't even make the main.

Volusia II - A race that had fans goggle-eyed, was won by, yes, Dallas Daniels.


AFT Is Still Learning About Track Prep

Friday's Volusia I was pretty much a follow the leader affair because the track was such a narrow groove. If it was the first flat track race you'd ever watched, you might not be rushing back. AFT worked to widen the groove for Saturday and it was improved, but, as a fan, I wonder why don't they have the experts to work it out for night one?

The Referee Needs His Eyes Testing

Friday's narrow groove made it difficult to overtake. Carver was in the lead in the main until Mees tried to pass him on the inside, clipped him, knocking him off his bike. The commentary team saw it. The fans saw it. Yet Carver was put on the back of the grid, as the cause of the red flag, and Mees remained on the front. I'm not saying Mees took Carver out on purpose or acted maliciously, but the AFT's rules are clear -

d. Passing

i. A rider overtaking another rider must pass on the outside, unless the rider in front is sufficient distance away from the pole to allow an acceptable pass on the inside.

ii. A rider passing on the inside will be held responsible for any foul that may result. A rider passing on the outside must not cross in front of the rider passed until an acceptable lead has been established.


So what happened?


Brandon Robinson is Tough

Racing with a broken ankle, still healing from a pre-season crash at Johnny Lewis's Travelers Rest race, he finished third at Volusia II, only trailing Mees and Briar Bauman, in the monster 38-lap main. Read about Brand Robinson's Racewear in Sideburn 41.


Timed Races Mean More Racing

The SuperTwins race was 12-minutes plus two laps, meaning the SuperTwins race ran for 38 laps rather than the regular 25.


Mees Wants It...

bad.



Photos: Scott Hunter // American Flat Track


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