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Super Hooligans Race at Las Vegas

The support class for this evening’s inaugural Superprestigio of the Americas dirt track presented by Yamaha event at the Orleans Casino Arena in Las Vegas is Super Hooligans.  Since the Super Hooligans is a sort of a modern version of the “free rider” initiative, with an aversion to structure and rules, the event is hard to describe.

Most of the entries in the Super Hooligans class are competing aboard big, cruiser type v-twins of some type, many of them street legal, complete with active head and brake lights.  There are a few older machines, several sorta-XR Harley-Davidsons seemingly built from used parts, Triumphs, a Buell, and an early 1980s Honda Sabre v-four cruiser, complete with king-and-queen aftermarket seat. 

Super Hooligan riding gear also runs the full range of options, including taped together leathers, clearly borrowed steel shoes, and the first open face helmets we have seen at a track in many years.  One guy raced well with a white denim Levis-style jacket and white jeans, belt showing.  There is some hipster, as well as vintage, influence in Super Hooligans activity.

Class guru Roland Sands appeared to be wearing pyjamas in the opening on-track session, but was down to just his leathers for his second session aboard his handsome Indian twin.

If you know how to cover all this with a descriptive, umbrella like category overview, please let us know!

Of course, something new and different often attracts smart comments, and many wise guys suggested all kinds of possible mishaps for the large and heavy machines, not necessarily well suited to this tight, tenth of a mile oval – except maybe for the sole Ducati Scrambler!

So far, the riders have been respectful of each other, and only a couple of bikes have required on-track pick up.  You don’t want to be on the bottom of a Short Track pile in the Super Hooligans 12 rider, 8 lap final race later on in tonight’s Las Vegas program.

Saturday, 21 November 2015 20:16 Published in News


Bauman Wins, Mees takes American Flat track Title in Vegas

Brian Bauman of Salinas, Ca took victory in in the final AMP Pro Flat Track Grand National of the season, piloting his Honda for a green lights to chequered flag win in Harley-Davidson sponsored GNC1 class action, presented by Vance and Hines, at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas on Friday night, November 20.  20-year-old Bauman wound up 2.445 of a second ahead of the runner-up after 25 laps, a solid margin around such a tight, hockey rink-sized venue.

Unretired 47 year old Joe Kopp of Mica, WA made his sole start of the AMA Pro National Dirt Track season a success, the Triumph Team Manager piloting a unique Husqvarna FC450 to a solid second place. 

Third overall belonged to Jared Mees, the popular Clio, MI racer having earlier in the evening clinched his second straight, and third Grand National career, overall National Title.

Fourth went to Sammy Halbert on a Yamaha, Jake Johnson fifth on a Honda and up-and-coming Yamaha rider Dominic Colindres earned sixth.

In what turned out to be a somewhat processional race around the very dusty, tenth of a mile oval, Bauman took control early and was never seriously challenged.

“I really don’t know if I should cry or scream with joy,” explained Bauman form the podium, emotional after his second career National feature victory.  “The track was insane, so small and tight, really something with the performance of the bikes we were using.  I basically raced all night without changing a single thing, we just checked the tire pressures.”

“Some of the best laps I did all night were in the final,” continued the victor.  “I made a few mistakes, but I did well when it counted, I did well with the lapped traffic.  I’m really excited that this result gets me in tomorrow’s race.”

After a first ever National Championship round at the new Orleans racing venue, the double header winds up on Saturday night with the first-ever invitational Superprestigio of the Americas event, with the star dirt trackers facing off against top riders from other disciplines of two-wheeled sport.

“I came here to have fun, I’m not really racing for a paycheck anymore,” smiled Kopp post-race.  “It was my only outing of the year with these guys, and I wanted to make it count.  The Husky worked really well, it was just awesome.  Maybe now the Promoter will invite me to ride in the Superprestigo tomorrow.”

Mees explained that it was nice that the title battle pressure was diminished after arch rivals Bryan Smith and Kenny Coolbeth fell during Semi qualifying action, ending their chances for the crown.  However Mees “came up a little short, Bauman split so quick, and it took me about five laps to get down to the bottom (racing line), really get into the groove.”

“It was really backyard racing, so I built a track in my backyard to get ready,” stated Mees.  “It really was lots of fun preparing for this race.  But my biggest fear was what happened to (title rival) Bryan, and I’ve been there racing little tracks, on concrete, on ice.”

“It’s great to finish up the year with the number one plate, we only got the one win, but we were always competitive, and consistency is what gets you Championships.  Consistency pays off.”

Saturday, 21 November 2015 03:00 Published in News


Lawrence Misses Vegas Main as Mees Repeats

Flat Track Canada Champ Doug Lawrence earned third in his heat race and fifth in his semi in the final round of the Harley-Davidson GNC1 AMA Flat Track Championship presented by Vance and Hines, but it wasn’t enough to get him into the 13th and final main event of the 2015 National season at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, November 20.

In his Heat, Town Moto backed, Honda mounted Lawrence got a poor start, but managed to work his way up to place a respectable third behind winner Brandon Robinson and runner-up Kayl Kolkman.  That result moved Lawrence onto the front row of the crowed 12 rider Semi race, and the Champ needed to place in the top two to make it to the main. 

While Lawrence again moved through the field, it wasn’t enough to earn him a spot in the 12 rider Main vent.  Instead, Lawrence’s effort moved him on to the GNC1 “B Main,” and after a rough start, he worked his way up to net sixth.

“The track slowed down a lot, we changed the gearing, we were trying to work it,” explained Lawrence post racing.  “My races went Ok, but just Ok – positioning is everything.  The track was getting rutted, and you really needed to hit things straight, and when you’re in traffic, that’s hard to do.”

Lawrence will return to the same tenth of a mile, custom designed dirt oval tomorrow, since the Northern National Champ earned an invitation to take part in the first ever Superprestigio of the Americas.  This unique event, based on a recent Spanish format, has a ladder system for flat track stars and a separate series of qualifying and heats for non-dirt trackers, leading to a combined “world” final.

Meanwhile, a series of bizarre events mean that heat six victor and reigning Champ Jared Mees of Clio, MI has clinched the American National Flat Track crown, before the final event has even taken place.  As with most of the field, Mees was mounted on a Honda CFR450R single, but is backed by big local dealer Las Vegas Harley-Davidson.

Potential points rivals in the Championship chase, Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Hon) and Brad Baker (Hon), both fell in their Semi, meaning both are mathematically eliminated from the title battle.       

Saturday, 21 November 2015 01:20 Published in News


Lawrence Launches from Fifth Heat in Vegas

Reigning Flat Track Canada National Champion Doug Lawrence will aim to qualify through the fifth of sixth Heat races tonight at the 13th and final round of the Harley-Davidson GNC1 Flat Track Grand Nationals, held at the Arena in the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.  The sole Canadian in the 36 rider entry ran as high as 16th aboard his Town Moto backed-Honda CRF450R in the early practice sessions, but a fall in the final Qualifying dropped him down the order to 23rd overall.

Fastest Qualifier for tonight’s racing is Mike Rush on a Honda, the veteran lapping the tight oval at 10.23 seconds.  Rush will start from pole in the first heat, while next best lapper Henry Wiles (10.27) gets the pole for race two with his Honda, race three will be headed by third best Q rider Briar Bauman on a Honda, Robert Pearson will start from the inside in Heat four on a Yamaha YZF450F, the Lawrence heat will be headed by Suzuki RMZ 450 of Kayl Kolkman, while pole for the final heat belongs to the sixth best qualifier, reigning Champ Jared Mees on another Honda.

Lawrence turned a best lap at 10.62 seconds before he got out of shape in the second and last Q session, eventually tumbling into the padded wall that lines the tight, hockey arena-sized track.  The top 12 riders from the HEat and Semi races will take part in the final 2015 Dirt Track National.

“The track was getting rough, there was prep work right before our session, and I figured it would help, but I was wrong,” explained the uninjured Lawrence prior to the opening ceremonies.  “Yeah, I hit the wall, but it was no big deal.  Maybe it’s time to put on the ol’ chest protector!”

“I need to get back to the way I was riding (in the earlier sessions),” considered 30 year old Lawrence.  “I need to be a little more calculated, that’s my normal mode.  I’ll be in the middle of the row, it will be crazy on the first laps, so I need to get my elbows out.”

“The race is fun, the whole weekend is great (including tomorrow night’s Superprestigio of the Americas), but I wish there was a little time to enjoy it.  We didn’t really know what to expect with the track, they maybe over watered it, and now they’re trying to smooth it out as best they can.”

“As far as the race strategy goes, It is what it is, what I expected – you really need a good start, and you need to take advantage of your chances if they come, especially in the early laps.  If you get a chance, you just have to do it.”

“The race format is pretty specialized, there are a few guys who know how to race these little tracks, and then there is everyone else.  You’re really going to need to work the inside, right around the ring.  You need full commitment, look well ahead, and just try and find your comfort level.”      

 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.  

Friday, 20 November 2015 21:56 Published in News


Non Flat Trackers Test in Vegas

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


Lawrence Readies for Vegas

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


Flat Track Canada is Proud to Present the 2015 Champions.

@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


Flat Track in Walton Cancelled‏

@FlatTrackCanada • WALTON, Ontario. (July 31, 2015) - Walton Raceway and Flat Track Canada announce the cancelling of the Flat Track Canada race scheduled at Walton Raceway, August 15th, as part of the Parts Canada TransCan Canadian Motocross Grand National Championship.

Friday, 31 July 2015 15:13 Published in News


Points Chase Heating Up As Flat Track Canada Heads To Woodstock

@FlatTrackCanada  • (July 30, 2015)- It's now just after the midway point in the Flat Track Canada Championship Series and with a successful weekend at Thunderfest, international star Doug Lawrence takes the lead by only a three point margin over Tyler Seguin. Heading into Round 7 at the Woodstock Raceway in Woodstock, Ontario this weekend will feature Canada's best riders competing for the top spot.

Thursday, 30 July 2015 17:07 Published in News


Tumblin' Todd's Flat Track Blog: Movin' On Up

It could come as a result of age, size or even ability, but one thing is certain in our sport. For those who start racing as children and continue with dirt track racing, at some point you are going to have to move to a bigger bike.

Friday, 12 June 2015 11:50 Published in Tumblin' Todd's Flat Track Blog


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