Estenson Racing’s Jake Johnson and Kolby Carlile scored valuable American Flat Track championship points with top-10 finishes in their respective classes – AFT Twins and AFT Singles – in what turned out to be a weekend of wild weather and racing at the Atlanta Short Track.
In just his second race with the team, and on the Yamaha MT-07, Johnson looked poised for a top result with a strong third-place finish in his Heat. Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and the rest of the racing action was rescheduled for a Sunday day race. As racing resumed in better weather, the track conditions quickly evolved into a much more technical race surface.
The two-time Grand National Champion got off to a great start in the Main, but trying to make time on his competitors, he ultimately got shuffled back to ninth. Although Johnson was hoping for better, he was able to gain more valuable information about his Yamaha and feels he and the team are moving in the right direction for a winning combination.
In AFT Singles, Carlile also had a much better Saturday with a Heat race win on his Yamaha YZ450F. The defending champ was hoping to carry that momentum into Sunday, but like Johnson, he struggled with the tough track conditions. At the end of the day, Carlile was happy to leave round two of the championship with an eighth-place finish, some points, and being unscathed, especially after his crash at Daytona.
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“The weekend started out well. The track just slowly got drier and slicker from there on out. We fell two-, three-tenths off the pace, and that’s kind of where we stayed the rest of the weekend. It was just one of those tough, technical tracks. I think we definitely have a good platform; we just need to figure some things out for these little, slick tracks. If there’s traction, I think we’re in good shape.
“Our results obviously weren’t what we wanted today, but we learned a lot and had some more time on the bike. So, we know what we need to work on.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Singles #1:
“The track was completely different than yesterday [Saturday]. It kind of seemed like the riders that were doing good yesterday may have struggled a little more today; it kind of flip-flopped a little bit. I think we still had a good bike, but it’s just tough once you get in the back and people are stuffing you. I got stuck behind Shayna [Texter] for a long time, and she really didn’t want to give up that spot. So, I think that’s what hurt me at the end.
“I was hoping for more, but eighth-place points is better than no points. After my crash at Daytona, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to race this round or not. I’m happy to walk out of here with some points and start building some momentum for the rest of the year.”