Villa-Esparza’s Bryan Smith nabbed his fourth AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National win of 2014 at the Virginia Mega-Mile. Montgomeryville Cycle Center’s Jake Shoemaker finished in second followed by Ramspur Winery’s Jake Johnson in third.
Smith had a big hill to climb after jumping the first start. Officials red-flagged the event to bring riders back for a restart, which saw Smith relegated to the back row for his offense. When the race got back underway, Smith immediately started to climb the ranks, getting to the middle of the pack within the opening laps and climbing to the lead by Lap 4. From there, with clear vision and an open track ahead, Smith became untouchable, stretching a gap on the field of more than 2.5 seconds at the finish.
"I needed to get to the lead in a hurry, so I was on the gas for sure," said Smith. "The first couple laps were a blackout, I used all my tear-offs. I finally got into third and my bike was kind of getting hot, but I just put my head down and tried to stay out of the roost. And once I got in the lead, I could kind of ride my line, and, obviously, check out.”
Behind Smith, the battle for second-place saw riders like Latus Motors Triumph’s Joe Kopp, Baer Racing’s Jeremy Higgins, Harley-Davidson’s Brad Baker and Shoemaker swapping places near the head of the pack early on. Kopp and Higgins lost ground as the race progressed while Baker enjoyed a brief stint in the lead before Smith arrived. Shoemaker was in podium position by Lap 7, passing Baker on the subsequent rotation for the runner-up spot. Johnson was clawing up the field at this point as well, getting to fourth toward the latter portion of the race.
Baker and Shoemaker fought hard for second-place down to the end, but while coming out of the final turn Baker’s engine started smoking heavily forcing the “Bullet” to frantically paddle his bike across the line. Johnson was able to slip by before the line for third, while Baker held on to finish fourth.
Rogers Racing’s Jared Mees staged a come-from-behind performance to finish fifth while USC Kawasaki’s Brandon Robinson took sixth. Higgins crossed the line in seventh followed by Zanotti Racing’s Kenny Coolbeth Jr. in eighth.
Smith’s win also moves him to the top of the overall leaderboard, knocking Mees down to second. Johnson sits third followed by Coolbeth in fourth and Henry Wiles in fifth.
AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Twins Virginia Mega-Mile Results 2014
1. Bryan Smith (Kawasaki)
2. Jake Shoemaker (Kawasaki)
3. Jake Johnson (Kawasaki)
4. Brad Baker (Harley-Davidson)
5. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
6. Brandon Robinson (Kawasaki)
7. Jeremy Higgins (KTM)
8. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
9. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
10. Shawn Baer (KTM)
11. Matt Weidman (Kawasaki)
12. Joe Kopp (Triumph)
13. Danny Koelsch (Harley-Davidson)
14. Shayna Texter (Triumph)
15. Robert Pearson (Kawasaki)
16. Johnny Lewis (KTM)
17. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Suzuki)
18. Stevie Bonsey (Harley-Davidson)
19. Cory Texter (Kawasaki)
Parkinson Brothers Racing’s J.R. Addison took the AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles win at the Virginia Mega-Mile, his first race back since suffering an injury early in the season. Addison’s teammate, Kyle Johnson, finished in second-place followed by Englehart Racing’s Jeffery Lowery in third.
Johnny’s Vintage Motorcycle’s Jarod Vanderkooi grabbed the early lead in the shortened, six-lap Pro Singles race. Johnson was hot on his heels though, blasting through the pack to take the front during the initial stages. Lowery and Addison sat in third and fourth, respectively, through the opening laps while Vanderkooi fought to hold on to second.
Addison pressed hard, passing up the ranks to the runner-up spot half-way into the race. Johnson had put a few bike lengths between himself and the field, but Addison was determined and by the penultimate lap had reached his teammate’s rear tire. Johnson led the way entering the final lap and held there through Turns 1 and 2, but Addison hugged the inside tight through Turns 3 and 4 to grab the front down the home-stretch. Johnson attempted to swing past Addison just before the line, but came up 0.035 seconds short of the win.
"This is my kind of track, so I was pretty excited for it," said Addison. "I just wanted to come and have some fun. I was just hoping to do like a top 10, top 5 maybe. Pulling out the win, it's so great."
Lowery prevailed in the battle for third, which saw riders running four-wide through the final turns in an effort to make the podium. Among those within seconds of the rostrum were fourth-place finisher Vanderkooi, Rod Lake Racing’s Bronson Bauman and KTM’s Ryan Wells. Bauman and Wells crossed the line in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Johnson retains the overall points lead, sitting 20 ahead of second-place rider Wells. Davis Fisher is third followed by Bauman in fourth and Vanderkooi in fifth.
AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Virginia Mega-Mile Results 2014
1. J.R. Addison (Honda)
2. Kyle Johnson (Honda)
3. Jeffery Lowery (Honda)
4. Jarod Vanderkooi (Honda)
5. Bronson Bauman (Honda)
6. Ryan Wells (KTM)
7. Justin Jones (Honda)
8. Kolby Carlile (KTM)
9. Brandon Wilhelm (Honda)
10. Andrew Butler (Honda)
11. Tyler Butts (Honda)
12. Ryan Varnes (Yamaha)
13. Mitch Harvat (Honda)
14. Austin Greenland (Honda)
15. Brian McRoberts (Kawasaki)
16. Dalton Winkler (Honda)
17. Dan Bromley (KTM)
18. Austin Conant (Yamaha)