I'm not sure how long I can keep this up. I watched all the practice, qualifying, heats and semis, then fell asleep for an hour after setting my alarm for 2am. Ugh.
There were no Production Twins at the NY ST, so the extra class was the Bultaco Invitational. It was won by Charlie Roberts, one of the main men behind the Rookies Class of 79 charity, that raises funds for injured flat trackers. The 40-odd year-old Bultacos were only about 1s a lap slower that the latest, tuned 450 DTX bikes of the Singles class.
This class is rabidly competitive, so anyone who is scoring regular podiums is a league above.
There were 43 entries, every rider was given a heat race, before it was cut to 30 for the semis, and 16 for the main (actually 17, because a rider used a provisional start card).
In semi 2, Tanner Dean (who won last year's NY ST) got so sideways off the line, he totally wiped out the rider next to him and, in turn, caused a rider in the line to plough into the downed rider. Dean stayed on and finished 5th, but the two downed riders, Colton and Coca, didn't even cross the start line.
Some riders thought there would/should be a red flag, but the bikes were way off the racing line and being moved. The riders who backed off were smoked by those who raced to the flags.
Big names to miss the main - Mikey Rush, Trent Lowe, Cameron Smith, Max Whale, Oliver Brindley.
Rush was in the Twins class in 2018 so he didn't 'earn' a Singles provisional card to use in 2019.
The TV editing was plain bad. The commentary duo of Scottie Deubler and Brad Baker were describing a battle at the front, but the pictures were focused on one involving Texter, for third.
Four of the top five bikes in the main were Austrian, only Kevin Stollings in 4th was riding Japanese, on a Honda.
Dalton Gauthier #122 kept his head to win a very tough semi against Andrew Luker, then managed to break free of the mayhem in the main. The winning margin of 0.4s looks close, but Gauthier had more of a gap, with Morgan Mischler closing. It looked like Mischler might have got him, with more laps, but I wouldn't have been surprised if Gauthier was just riding to win, not to win by 5s.
Mischler 2nd (Wisconsin rider sponsored by Fuel Cafe - the wonderful scene-establishing diner featured in SB37); KTM rider and current champ, Dan Bromley, in 3rd. Shayna was 5th.
Rush's failure to qualify and Gauthier's win sent the latter to the top of the standings. I cannot wait to see the guy on a twin.
UPDATE: As Mike Fisher pointed out to me in an email, Gauthier would be back on a twin, because he raced some Basic Twins races, notably on the Wood BMW in 2016. I saw him race and win on it at Santa Rosa, but when I wrote I couldn't wait to see him on a twin, I meant an 'elite' Twin for a full season. He's something else on a 450, I'd love to see how good he could be on an FTR750.
Despite no Production Twins class there were only 23 entries.
One rider who switched classes was Estenson Yamaha's Kolby Carlile. He was injured earlier this season, and might still be suffering with it. He missed the transfer to the main by one place.
Indians dominated the semis filling top three places in both. The two factory Harleys were 4th and 5th.
That means the front row of the main was all Indian.
JD Beach missed another AFT race, this time for the WSB and MotoAmerica double-header in Laguna Seca.
I don't remember one red flag from the whole meeting. Unusual for an AFT race.
Bryan Smith looked there or thereabouts, fifth in his semi, but he struggled in the main, coming 10th.
On his instagram feed Bryan Smith stated, 'Too small... Too dry... Too slick... no, not me, the track last night was stupid. #runningoutoffucks' I was so excited to see Smith and the Howerton team take it to the best of the Indians, but for whatever reason, it just isn't happening.
Despite coming second in his semi, so having a front row start, Mees got a poor start, making Brad Baker wonder if he chosen a harder tyre compound. If he did, it never paid off. Mees finished 7th.
Carver led the first lap, but Briar Bauman sharked past him. Briar Bauman is this year's Jared Mees. Look at his eyes in the photo at the top of this post!
Indian FTR750s filled places 1-9 in the main, the most ever. First non-Indian was Smith on the sole Kawasaki.
There were two Harleys, Jake Johnson's Yamaha - came in 15th, the rest were FTR750s.
The podium was very similar to Lima, with Briar Bauman replacing Jared Mees. Carver in 2nd, Wiles in 3rd.
Is that a Sideburn logo on Jeffrey's throttle arm? Well, yes it is!
Briar Bauman is 26pts clear of Mees going into crazy August. He has been on the podium every race this year, barring Lima, when his rear tyre flew off the rim.
Briar's crew chief is Dave Zanotti, Formerly of Zanotti Racing, whose XR750 we featured way back when Jake Johnson raced for his team. It was in Sideburn 11 and we still have a few back issues. If you love XR750s, you need this issue. His mechanic is Michelle Di Salvo and the other chap in the photo is Paul Langley, the Brit in charge of the Indian Racing team for S&S Cycle.
Crazy August? Yeah, six races in four weeks. 4th, 6th, 10th, 17th, 31st of August and 1st of September. Then three more races in September and it's all over.
Next race is the Buffalo Chip TT (yeah, another TT) on 4th August.
#AFT2019 #AmericanFlatTrack #NewYork #MikeyRush #CameronSmith #MaxWhale #OliverBrindley #Sideburn37 #KolbyCarlile #IndianFTR750 #JDBeach #BryanSmith #RickHowerton #JaredMees #MorganMischler #FuelCafe #TannerDean #JeffreyCarver #Zanotti #Sideburn11 #SSCycles