The wording of KTM's recent press release, wishing Shayna Texter-Bauman good luck with her future racing exploits, seemed to make it clear that Shayna wasn't, as some assumed, stepping out of the sport to 'start a family'. Or not yet.
We heard, and shared, some theories about Shayna moving to Royal Enfield on our social media, but they were quickly shot down by Royal Enfield North America. I immediately thought about an Indian move and contacted Cory Texter(not-Bauman), a regular contributor to the magazine, fishing for a confirmation. See the message thread below (complete with my crappy phone typing that seems to make every 'and' into 'abs'). This was last Friday, six days before the announcement confirming what was happening.
I don't blame AFT for deleting my comment (even though the instagram post asked for silly season predictions. They didn't want some smart arse ruining the big reveal. And, as you can see, I'm not giving away any confidences sharing this screen grab, because Cory stayed completely tight-lipped. Also, the 'last hurrah' comment is just me fishing further. Indian has AFT so sewn up that their privateers could conceivably win the GNC for the next 20 years, depending on what rule changes are made to limit the FTR750's performance. As a very ambitious motorcycle manufacturer with a finite amount of marketing budget, it would make sense, to me at least, for Indian to use that money elsewhere to attract different potential road bike buyers. I hope I'm wrong, and they're so in love with AFT that that would never consider it. Or that the FTR family of road bikes is so important to them that it justifies the spend on a factory team.
While it's an excellent marketing move for both Indian and AFT, it wasn't a huge surprise to see the official word that Shayna has been signed to race AFT SuperTwins alongside her husband, Briar Texter-Bauman, in the factory team, but what is a shock is that her mechanic is former Grand National Champ Jake Johnson. Johnson dabbled with bagger racing in 2021, and didn't take part in a single AFT race this year. This looks like a new chapter in his professional life. He joins other former national racers including Bryan Bigelow, Brent Armbruster and Brandan Bergen, among others, who have swapped GNC racing for spannering.
Shayna is quoted as saying, 'This announcement marks a key moment in my journey as a racer. I’m humbled to be joining the Wrecking Crew and cannot wait to get out on the track on the incredible FTR750. I’ve been at this for a while now and have always had the desire to finish my career on a Twin... I still have that fire to race and have some lofty goals that I would like to accomplish before I’m finished racing. I’m definitely looking forward to this next chapter racing SuperTwins.'
Could she be the first woman to win a premier class dirt track national? Of course she can. She's an incredible rider, who has won more AFT Singles class races than any other rider in the class's history. Whether she does win a SuperTwins race is more to do with how she gets on with the FTR750, after so long on a single. She certainly has, on her day, the speed, racecraft, skill and nerve to beat anyone in that class.
Also, some people have said this is unprecedented, to have a husband and wife race in the same motorsport series. While it is likely that the Texter-Baumans are the first to race for the same team, Jared and Nichole Mees competed in the same class more than once, in the pre-AFT Grand National Championship. They even raced each other, at the Springfield Mile, on their wedding day.