Just over a week until the Daytona TT kicks off the 2019 season. We read a good interview with Dan Bromley on the AFT website. He won the singles series with very little support, racing half the events with only his girlfriend to help him, no mechanic, nothing. His reward for winning the title is a place on the official KTM team for 2019. This anecdote really stood out.
A quite memorable one happened at the Sacramento Mile. I started the day crashing in my second qualifier and bending my subframe. We changed it, but when we hooked up the gas tank it didn’t properly click in, and in the heat race the bike started cutting out, which forced me to pull off. I used my provisional to ride the semi, where I finished fifth. Before the Main I had to put on a new rear wheel because I wanted to have fresh [tire] edges for traction. When we put the wheel on the bearings locked and the wheel wouldn’t spin. Being that all the tires I had were worn out from the qualifiers, we had to break down and swap tires. As we took the wheel off, the two-minute horn sounded, which didn’t give us a lot of time. I was able to get the tire off the bad wheel, but after that I had to get my helmet on and get to staging. [KTM’s] Chris Filmore was taking the sprocket off the wheel as I broke it down and he and my father were able to get the new tire and gearing on. I was standing on the track with no bike as riders were picking their spots. Standing there I saw my dad frantically riding through the pits, almost taking out a few people because the brakes weren’t pumped! I got on the line and saw that the tire wasn’t beaded. He said, ‘Do what you can and make it work.’ On the warm up lap it was interesting, but I put my head down and ran it. About three laps in I felt the rear tire pop, and all I could think was that I had a flat. It wasn’t that, though; the bead seated and we were good to go. I was able to work my way into the lead pack and be in the draft for the win. To me, that race made the season. Most people would’ve said they had an off day, or that the bike wasn’t working. For me, though, and as a team, we were able to turn a bad day into a rewarding podium finish.
These photos aren't from the race Dan is describing, they're just for illustrative purposes, but look at the one with the checkers. That is a full size 450 he's on and he makes it look like a Honda CRF150. He's enormous. Dan and Shayna are the Little and Large of the AFT paddock.