After a three-week break, Estenson Racing’s Jake Johnson and Kolby Carlile are eager to get back into action at the second round of American Flat Track in Woodstock, Georgia for the Atlanta Short Track.
With the knowledge that you can’t win an AFT Twins Championship at the DAYTONA TT season opener, Johnson was happy to leave Daytona with a sixth-place finish. The two-time Grand National Champion looks to build on the progress made in his debut race with the team and get further acquainted with the Yamaha FZ-07. While Johnson feels there’s still more to learn on the Yamaha, he’s quite at home on clay tracks and is no stranger to success on Short Tracks with seven career wins to his 19 total. The veteran also feels that Dixie Speedway will provide a better measuring stick of where the competition stacks up in 2018.
On the AFT Singles front, defending champion Carlile goes into round two looking for some redemption. After a solid start to the season at Daytona with a Heat win and a great qualifying effort in second, an incident with another rider in the Semi turned that dream start into a nightmare. But that was Daytona. Carlile has put that firmly behind him and is focused on his title defense. Like Johnson, Carlile loves the clay tracks. He got his first National win on the clay at the Charlotte Half-Mile in 2016. The “Flying Tomato” would love nothing more than to rebound with a win on his Yamaha YZ450F on the Georgia clay at Dixie Speedway.
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“I’m excited for Atlanta. Daytona, I don’t think was a true test for what’s going to happen the rest of the season; the first-race jitters, plus being a TT throws a lot more variables into it. I feel that the Atlanta Short Track is going to set the tone for the season. The guys that are going fast in circles are going to be the ones finishing up at the front there. So, it will be a good test to see where we stand.
“We’re going to get some testing in Thursday beforehand, so we’ll have a little better idea and a little more time on the bike. I’m feeling good and looking to come out of Atlanta with a good finish.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Singles #1:
“I’m looking forward to Atlanta. It’s another type of track where there’s a lot of different players in front of the field. There’s going to be guys that do good in the TT that won’t even make the main event come Saturday. So, it’s always a different ballgame with different riders, but I’m confident on the banked-clay tracks. That’s kind of always been my style.
“At Daytona, I had a little incident in the Semi that was just a freak accident, but I qualified in second and came no worse than second all day, winning my heat over the other guys. It gives me quite a bit of confidence knowing how well I’m riding right now.”
The Atlanta Short Track is streamed live, Saturday, April 7, on FansChoice.TV starting with practice at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by Opening Ceremonies at 6:00 p.m. ET, Heats at 6:30 p.m. ET and the Main Events at 8:30 p.m. ET. Catch the race on NBCSN, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET. For tickets and additional information about the event: http://www.americanflattrack.com/events/default/view/atlanta-short-track-2018 .
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