After a rough start to the Main Event, Estenson Racing’s AFT Twins riders – JD Beach and Jake Johnson – fought their way back to finish sixth and 10th, respectively, at the American Flat Track season finale on the Meadowlands Mile.
The day started out rough for Beach. Coming in for the last two rounds of the season with a guest ride on the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07, there was a lot for Beach to adapt to. In addition to being his first Mile races since 2013, it was a new team and a pair of new bikes. But Beach and the team worked well together and made progress as the day carried on. Unfortunately, it was something as simple as tearoffs that set Beach back in the Main. His plan to conserve his tearoffs backfired, though, and he ended up losing valuable positions early. Undaunted, the 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion fought his way back and was able to finish sixth, which was an improvement from last weekend at the Minnesota Mile.
As for Johnson, Estenson Racing’s mainstay in the Twins class, it was another up-and-down day, but like Beach, an improvement from Minnesota. It was a much better qualifying result for Johnson, and he felt much more comfortable on the Estenson Racing Indian Scout FTR750. With just one race left in 2018, the two-time Grand National champ went into the Main ready to let it all hang out on the cushion. That backfired for him, as well. Visibility was an issue if you got caught in the roost, and like Beach he lost positions early. Johnson worked his way back up to finish in the top 10. Now that the season is done and dusted, Johnson looks forward to 2019.
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“On the second lap when I went to wipe off my helmet faceshield, I guess leather gloves don’t wipe dirt and rain off too well, so it smeared my tearoff going into turn one. I couldn’t see a thing, and I got passed by three or four guys, including Davis Fisher. The back of his suit is all yellow, so I could kind of see a bright color to follow. I got through turn one and two and was pulling tearoffs then started making some ground again.
“I felt really good, and we improved from last weekend. I was able to come home with a sixth. It was definitely better [than Minnesota]. Not what we wanted, but from where we started the day out in 20th, to finish sixth is great. The guys, Mike [Stauffer] and Scott [Campbell], worked hard all day, so it’s awesome. I think we can end the year proud with that.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“Going into the Main event I was just, ‘Last race of the year, I’m going for it.’ I lined up on the outside. I knew there was going to be some cushion there for at least the first few laps. I’m like, ‘That’s my best chance. I’m just going to the top.’ But I just got hung out there and got roosted, and I couldn’t see. I filed in somewhere in the back and was able to get a good line. Once everybody kind of single-filed out, I was able to make some passes and come up through. Then, a little bit before halfway, I just kind of stalled out.
“We ended up tenth, so way in the back. Obviously not what we wanted. I think we had some issues here and there, but we showed some speed today, which I think was good. This is typically a track I’m not that comfortable with. In the Main event, until it all kind of went wrong, I was feeling pretty good. Next year.”
Catch the Meadowlands Mile on NBCSN, October 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET.