Briar Bauman won the Daytona American Flat Track TT on Thursday night, March 14, at Daytona International Speedway, in the season-opening race for the 2019 American Flat Track season. Bauman, riding an Indian FTR750, built an early lead in the 25-lap AFT Twins main event that featured 16 riders. Henry Wiles (Indian) finished second, 5.149 seconds behind, followed by Jake Johnson (Yamaha). Prior to the main event, Bauman set the stage by winning the 10-lap semifinal.
Briar Bauman, Indian Win Daytona TT
“I hopped out there at the front … it’s all about trying to put a gap there in the beginning,” said Bauman, from Salinas, California. “Luckily I’ve been training hard in the off-season; I tried to throw down as much as I could and get a little bit of gap – and then try to maintain the rest of the race.”
Thursday’s action continued the 78th Bike Week At Daytona lineup of races at DIS and also marked the third consecutive running of the Daytona TT. Riders negotiated a unique layout consisting of a dirt-track portion built on top of the DIS tri-oval grass “ball field” plus – for the first time – a backstretch utilizing the speedway’s 18-degree banked pavement fronting “The World Center of Racing” main seating area.
Two classes of motorcycles competed: powerful twin-cylinder bikes in the headlining AFT Twins class and single-cylinder machines in the AFT Singles class.
Jessie Janisch of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin was dominant throughout the evening aboard a Yamaha YZ450F in the AFT Singles, winning a heat and a semifinal before also capturing the 15-lap main event. Dalton Gauthier (KTM 450 SX-F) and defending Daytona AFT Singles champion Dan Bromley (KTM 450 SX-F) finished second and third, respectively.
“This is a huge effort [by our team] and a great way to start the season,” Janisch said.
AFT Twins featured two heat events, won by Wiles and JD Beach (Yamaha MT-07). The Twins Semifinals advanced 16 riders to the main event; the two winners were Bauman and Wiles.
The AFT Singles class had four heats, won by Oliver Brindley (Yamaha YZ450F), Janisch, Bromley and Jacob Lehmann (Honda CRF450R). The Singles semifinals also advanced eight riders to the main; semifinal winners were Janisch and Gauthier.
Bauman, Wiles, Johnson 1-2-3 In Daytona TT Twins Final
Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) kicked off his 2019 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship campaign in front of AFT’s largest crowd at the Daytona International Speedway with a statement victory in Thursday night’s American Flat Track season opener, the third annual DAYTONA TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.
Bauman went handlebar-to-handlebar with brother Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) on the opening lap of the 25-lap Main Event under the lights at Daytona International Speedway to secure the lead. Once established, Bauman systematically stretched out an imposing advantage at the front.
TT legend Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) was desperate to give chase but found himself trapped behind Bauman’s brother and teammate as the leader made his escape.
Wiles finally made his way through near half distance, but at that point it didn’t make a difference. Bauman continued to race off into the distance, further opening the gap before finally cruising past the legendary tri-oval’s start/finish stripe for the final time with a 5.149-second margin of victory.
“To hop out there in the front — it’s all about trying to put in a gap in the beginning,” Bauman said. “I’ve been training hard this offseason. I tried to throw down as much as I could and get a little bit of a gap and maintain the rest of the race.”
Even before Thursday’s win, the ascending Bauman’s profile was rapidly on the rise. And now as the newest member of Indian’s Wrecking Crew, he’s well positioned to take the next step forward and make a run at the 2019 AFT Twins Championship — as evidenced by his stunning form in the season opener.
Besides handing him the (very) early title advantage, Bauman’s triumph also brings the Daytona TT win streak of reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) to a halt at two. Those prior victories served as springboards for dominant title runs in ‘17 and ‘18, but Mees’ ‘19 opener packed at least a half-season’s worth of drama into a single night. Mees crashed twice in the Semi and then retired with a mechanical issue in the Main while running fifth.
Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing/Monster Energy Yamaha MT-07 DT) gave Yamaha’s trick new flat track machine a podium debut by finishing in third behind Bauman and Wiles.
Meanwhile, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X) registered perhaps the hero ride of the evening. After being forced to use a Provisional Start just to make the Main, Vanderkooi battled his way up from the back of the pack to an eventual fourth.
Bronson Bauman rounded out the top five.
Daytona TT AFT Twins Results
Janisch Wins Daytona TT AFT Singles
Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Browns Motorcycle Attorneys
Jesse Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems Dallas TX/Öhlins Yamaha YZ450F) added yet another blowout TT victory to his burgeoning résumé with a wire-to-wire win in the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event at the Daytona TT.
Janisch pushed hard on the race’s opening lap to corral the field behind him and then took full advantage of his superior speed with an open track in front of him. He ultimately wheelied past the checkered flag with a comfortable 2.577 seconds to spare.
“To start off Daytona with a victory… it’s amazing,” Janisch said. “Last year, we left here with a second, and that was a great way to start off the season. Just putting in all the work over the course of the winter and leaving here with a win is amazing. The Roof Systems team has really made a home for me. We’ve really built a great program.”
Janisch was followed to the line by Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/FlatTrack.com KTM 450 SX-F), who registered a remarkable ride to complete his “Road to Recovery” where he started it — on the podium.
Gauthier was victorious in the first AFT Singles Daytona TT main event back in 2017 and was stacking wins on top of that one before being suspended for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. After sitting out the majority of the past two seasons, Gauthier only learned he would be eligible to compete again days ago. He made the most of his second chance.
And in an always merciless Daytona TT in which numerous AFT Singles title hopefuls don’t even make the main event due to the ocean deep field teeming with big name wild cards hailing from multiple nations and racing disciplines, defending class champ Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) just did what he does–and that’s ride fast and consistent.
After earning last year’s crown on the strength of 13 podiums in 18 races, Bromley began his title defense with a solid third-place result.
Long-time AFT Twins competitor Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda, Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) and up-and-coming Australian Max Whale (No. 18 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki KX450F) completed the top five.
Of note, neither Shayna Texter (KTM) nor Jeff Ward (Honda) qualified for the night program. Ryan Sipes (KTM) made the program and rounded out the top 10 in the Singles final.
You can watch the broadcast of the Daytona TT on NBCSN, Sunday, March 24, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT. It will re-air on Thursday, March 28, at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT.
American Flat Track will be back in action for round two of the 2019 season in just over a week’s time as the series travels to Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Cycle Gear on Saturday, March 23. Live coverage can be viewed on FansChoice.tv starting at 1:30 p.m. ET with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to get underway at 7:20 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at https://tickets.americanflattrack.com/.
Daytona TT AFT Singles Results
Henry Wiles, JD Beach Score Daytona TT Heat Race Wins
Henry Wiles showed why he is called the King of TTs by holding off fast qualifier Briar Bauman to win the first race at the Daytona TT. Wiles and Bauman battled most of the way, but at the flag it was the veteran Wiles taking victory on his Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750 by 1.2 seconds over Bauman on the factory Indian. Bryan Smith took third on his gorgeous-looking Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki. Harley’s Jarod Vanderkooi had fourth in the bag, but he crashed on the final lap.
Daytona AFT Twins Heat Results
JD Beach took the win in Heat Race 2 aboard his Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07. He was also in an exciting battle defending No. 1 Jared Mees on the factory Indian. Just 2-10ths of a second separated them at the flag. Bronson Bauman finished third on another factory Indian.
The AFT Singles Heat races opened with British rider Oliver Brindley taking the win in Heat 1 over Mikey Rush. Road racer James Rispoli was third.
AFT Daytona TT Singles Heat Results
Jacob Lehmann took the win in the final Heat 4, but the surprise of the night was the performance of 57-year-old Jeff Ward, who finished second. The former multi-time AMA Motocross Champion is looking stronger and stronger each time he gets on the track and looks like he could be a real threat to win in the AFT Singles final tonight. Morgen Mischler was third.
In today’s Daytona American Flat Track qualifying results, the smaller fuel intakes Indian FTR750s have to use compared to the other bikes, didn’t seem to bother the Indian riders at the opening round of the 2019 American Flat Track Series at Daytona International Speedway, March 14, 2019. In timed qualifying for the Daytona TT Indian riders qualified first, second and third for tonight’s race.
Bauman Tops Daytona TT Qualifying
Leading the way is factory Indian rider Briar Bauman, who clocked a 28.925 to earn the top spot for tonight’s heat races. Teammate Jared Mees was second and Henry Wiles third on his own Indian.
Fulltime Superbike racer and flat tracker JD Beach was fourth on a Yamaha and Harley-Davidson fans have something to cheer about with the strong performance of Jarod Vanderkooi who was fifth fastest.
A couple of minor surprises came with the so-so qualifying performance of former champ Bryan Smith. Smith left the factory Indian team and is now back racing a Kawasaki. He qualified seventh. Jeffrey Carver, a pre-season pick by some to win the title this year, qualified ninth.
Former Superbike standout Larry Pegram came back to racing and qualified 15th.
Just 23 riders clocked times in the AFT Twins class.
Daytona TT Twins Qualifying Results
Daytona TT AFT Singles Qualifying Results
It was British rider Oliver Brindley topping the qualifying times in AFT Singles action at Daytona. Jesse Janisch was second and Dan Bromley third.
Motocross and off-road racer Ryan Sipes qualified seventh and Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeff Ward, out of retirement for the umpteenth time, qualified 24th. Shayna Texter was way back in 49th.
A total of 62 AFT Singles riders recorded times in qualifying.
Daytona TT Practice
Indian factory rider Briar Bauman top the charts in AFT Twins practice for the 2019 Daytona TT at Daytona International Speedway. In the second of three sessions, Bauman clocked a 29.113 aboard his Indian FTR750.
The track, which is partially paved, using the tri-oval section of the Speedway is wide open. The jump is very fast as well. The trickiest part for the riders seems to be the transition from pavement to dirt in the first turn. Many riders have crashed under heavy braking on pavement to dirt.
Bryan Smith (Crosley Brands, Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki), defending champ Jared Mees (factory Indian), Henry Wiles (Bandit Industries, DPC Racing, Wilco Racing Indian) and JD Beach (Estenson Racing Yamaha) have also been consistently fast.
Beach led the first session on the Yamaha with a 29.618. In the second session it was the aforementioned Briar Bauman with his 29.113. No one improved on that time in the third and final practice session, which was led by Wiles with a 29.546.
Harley-Davidson appears that they have done their homework on the off season. Factory Harley’s Sammy Halbert ran fourth in the second session with a time of 29.822 on the Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X.
In AFT Singles Jesse Janisch led the first session with a 29.881 on his Roof Systems Dallas Yamaha. Janisch’s teammate, Brit Oliver Brindley led the second session with a 29.790. It was Janisch on top again in the third and final session with an overall best of 29.725.
Legendary 57-year-old Hall of Fame Motocross and Supermoto rider Jeff Ward improved from the first to second session. He was 20th in the first session with a 31.055 on his Blackmore Ranch, Monster Energy KTM. In the second session he moved up to 16th with a 30.675. Then in the final practice session Wardy was 23rd with a 31.008.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Sipes has been consistently in the top 10 in AFT Singles practice.
Click here for complete results.