With the arena’s track preparation complete and the Airfence in place, non-Flat Track Superprestigio of the Americas competitors got a couple of hours of surface testing and practice on Thursday evening, November 19 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.
On Friday evening, November 20, the 13th and deciding round of the 2015 American Flat Track Championship takes place at the same venue, while the next night features the inaugural Yamaha-sponsored Superprestigio of The Americas.
Both events take place on a custom built, indoor hockey rink-sized (about .10 of a mile in length) track at the Orleans Hotel and Casino.
Non flat track racers taking part in the discipline-crossing first ever North American Superprestigio event will be at a disadvantage, partly because they do not regularly compete on dirt ovals and mostly because they are not part of the AMA Pro National wrap-up on Friday night. So a little test and tune was a welcome and much appreciated surprise.
With most of the top flat trackers watching from the sidelines, the non-oval group showed well, and demonstrated that the surface should be good for competition. Track designer and Flat Track legend Chris Carr made big efforts to ensure that passing was possible, and the initial, non-competition outing on the Orleans oval showed promise.
Maybe the fastest, unofficially, of the Pros to try the track was Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Honda single. Out of work since the works Buell team dropped out of World Superbike early in 2015 due to issues with the parent company, former flat track star Pegram was in confident form.
Attracting the most attention was a charging Roger Lee Hayden aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki RMZ450, with most of the riders trying to follow every time Hayden took to the course for one of the many brief sessions. Back in 2002, Hayden and his two brothers, Tommy and Nicky, swept the AMA Pro National Short Track podium in Springfield, Ill.
Top European was MotoGP ace and 2012 Moto2 World Champ Toni Elias of Spain, 32. A veteran of the Spanish Superprestigio that started the us vs them flat track spectacular craze, Elias looked quick and fairly consistent, shaking of a couple of minor tumbles on the stop-and-go layout.
Action for the Flat Track Experts starts on Friday at 3 PM local time, with two hours of timed practice. After that, there will be Heat and Semi races for the GNC1 and GNC2 categories. Canadian interest will focus on newly crowned Flat Track Canada Champ Doug Lawrence aboard the John Briggs Motorsports/Town Moto Honda.
The Inside Motorcycles web site will feature coverage of the Lawrence effort both nights.
On hand to watch the test, Lawrence explained that he was “impressed with the track, they seem to have really done a good job preparing the surface – it has plenty of moisture, and that should help over a night.”
“They’re trying to make it so you can pass, race each other. I don’t know if what we watched tonight will be what we see in the races tomorrow night, but right now those guys know more than we do.”
Thursday, 19 November 2015 22:53 Published in News
Newly-crowned Flat Track Canada overall national No. 1 Doug Lawrence is very busy these days, preparing for the season-ending dirt track doubleheader next weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Friday evening, November 20, the 13th and deciding round of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Championship takes place, while the next night features the inaugural Yamaha-sponsored Superprestigio of the Americas. Both events take place on a custom-built, indoor hockey rink-sized (listed at an optimistic .25 miles) track at the Orleans Hotel and Casino.
Inside Motorcycles will be on site in Vegas for Lawrence’s races, and provide exclusive web coverage focused on the Flat Track Canada champ.
Lawrence will compete aboard one of his Honda CRF450Rs, recently rebuilt by Doug Beattie.
“I’ve won a lot of Canadian nationals on this bike,” explained Lawrence shortly before leaving for Michigan and further testing and training on Sunday, November 15. “But now we’ve detuned it, trying to make it work for a tenth-of-a-mile track. Doug did a great job for me, he really knows these Hondas well now.”
Lawrence explained that everyone planning to compete in Las Vegas has been looking to ride at tracks small enough to simulate the Orleans set-up.
“Everyone has been building these little tracks, and I tested with (American champ) Jared Mees at a track he built on his property. Then I’m going to Scott Parker’s place in Michigan, Bryan Smith built a track there. I think (retired multi-time national champ) Scott’s even going to ride with us!”
After his final test in Michigan, Lawrence will fly to California, before heading to Vegas for practice.
As far as the format for the event is concerned, with many short races close together leading to eliminations and the final, Lawrence says he is trying not to focus too much on the event’s structure.
“It doesn’t help to worry too much about the starts, but everyone knows how important that is on a short track. The starts are huge,” laughs Lawrence.
“The trick is to ride assertive, not aggressive. You really need to use your head, pick your battles, and don’t put yourself in a position where you are going to make a mistake. I guess you have to say that it comes down to luck. The guys who get success in this type of event, they aren’t the fastest, but they really know how to position themselves. It is important to qualify up front, the times will be really close, put yourself on pole, be in a position to control things from the front.
“The race formats are a little different from what we get usually, so it will shake down differently, but it will still be an issue if some guy kamikazes and takes down a bunch of people in his heat race.
“The racing will be way different from how things look in practice, we’ll be more upright, not so vulnerable, guarding our spot – maybe not as exciting (or sideways). It really depends on the surface, can we ride it hard, but it will likely be inconsistent. So protecting your spot, your position, will be a big factor.”
Lawrence places equal importance on the two events, but figures that Saturday’s Superprestigio will be the tougher event in terms of qualifying for the final race.
“Organizer Chris Carr has put me in with all the other flat trackers, and that class is full of heavy hitters – I’m really in the deep water, so in a way the math is worse on the second night. No one knows what will happen, and that should make it really entertaining.”
Following the Vegas events, Lawrence will return to California for some bicycle training before heading to legendary MX venue Glen Helen Raceway for Red Bull’s 18th Day in the Dirt, with support from Troy Lee Designs Canada.
Sponsorship for the Lawrence Racing 2015 AMA Pro effort comes from John Briggs Motorsports, Town Moto, Brooklin Cycle Racing, Jon Castin, Triple J Racing, American Harley-Davidson, Arai, Troy Lee Design, SIDI boots, Motion Pro, West Coast Hot Shoes, Works Connection, Klotz, Saddlemen and JS Marketing.
Saturday, 14 November 2015 14:21 Published in News
@FlatTrackCanada • FROM FLAT TRACK CANADA: The overall Flat Track Canada Championship Title is awarded to Doug Lawrence, who successfully earned his first ever Canadian National Title.
A big thank you goes to everyone who supported the series. The contribution has reflected in the success and progression of the series.
A lot of these racers showed tremendous dedication to the race series, participating in very round on their road to win the championship. A great deal of appreciation goes to the effort of the riders and their families.
2015 was a great successful season. It was the product of the hard work and dedication that amounted in the large amount of growth. We see a bright future for the sport of Flat Track Racing, and predict 2016 a bigger, better season.
With the combined effort of everyone involved, Flat Track Canada will continue to grow and inspire all motorcycle enthusiast alike.
Thank you for a great season!
Open Expert - #73 Doug Lawrence
DTX Expert - #22 Tyler Seguin
Open Intermediate- #49 Brodie Buchan
DTX Intermediate - #49 Brodie Buchan
Open Novice - #91 Dustin Brown
DTX Novice - #91 Dustin Brown
ATV Open - #305 Darcy Ryksen
Veteran - #44 Rob Churchill
Vintage - #85 Mark Fairfull
250 Novice - #24 Hunter Bauer
85cc - #24 Hunter Bauer
65cc - Branden Keys
50cc Chain - Easton Ventoso
50cc Shaft - Alyssa Armstrong
ATV youth - Maxwell Johannsen
From: Aaron Hesmer/ Flat Track Canada, President
Thursday, 15 October 2015 15:32 Published in News