I'm not entirely sure if it's the current strength of AFT, the shrinking popularity and budgets of production bike road racing, a bit of both and more besides, but another promising US road racer, who should be in the prime of his career, is making the move back to flat track.
PJ Jacobsen was a top ten flat track racer and former rookie of the year, before he pursued a career in road racing. That's him #99 next to Bryan Smith at Springfield in 2010. The 26-year-old has competed for top teams at world level, with a career best finish of second overall in the 2015 World Supersport series (the '600cc' support class in the World Superbike series).
It has recently been announced that Jacobsen will race with the NILA team that ran Kenny Coolbeth in 2018, while also coming in the MotoAmerica national road racing series. Coolbeth admitted he found it hard to imagine leaving the series after his retirement from racing. He helped set up the deal between his former sponsors and Jacobsen. Coolbeth has said, 'I’m going to be doing a lot, driving, crewing, wrenching, planning, etc., but it’s exciting knowing I’ll be back involved.'
Jacobsen will ride the team's Indian FTR750s, but with four date clashes (with MotoAmerica's provisional schedule) Jacobsen has said his primary commitment is to the road racing series and his plan is to do nine of the AFT's 18 scheduled races.
In other AFT/MotoAmerica news is the disappointing, for me at least, report on Roadracingworld.com that JD Beach's road racing team has confirmed that Beach will race on tarmac on the weekend's that the AFT race clashes with a MotoAmerica road race. If MotoAmerica's provisional schedule doesn't change that means Beach will miss Laconia ST, New York ST, Williams Grove half and the Minnesota Mile, at least.
The flat track Grand National Championship is more of a draw for racers than it has been for a while, but it's still got some way to go before it becomes number one for the cream of the all-rounders.