In front of the team’s home crowd at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, JD Beach put on a race for the ages to take his first American Flat Track premier class win at the inaugural Super TT.
It was a night of firsts not only for Beach, but also for the team and the brand. The win marked the first victory for the team’s all-new Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT and the first time a Yamaha Twin has topped the box at a Grand National since Scott Pearson in 1981 at the Peoria TT.
The race was red flagged after a first-turn crash that involved his teammate Kolby Carlile and other riders. Carlile was unable to restart, but thankfully although sore, is okay and will undergo further evaluation.
When racing resumed, Beach got a decent start in third and quickly worked his way into second. He ran a lonely second for much of the race with the leader off in the distance, but as the 25-lap Main Event wore on, Beach started to close that gap and chased him down. With two laps to go, he made the pass for the lead and took the checkers by 2.24 seconds.
The win was a big boost for Beach and the team as a whole as they have been working hard to develop the new Twin. Adding to that was a solid top-five finish for Jake Johnson. The two-time Grand National Champion didn’t get the start he was hoping for and got held up a bit. Johnson kept fighting, though, worked his way to fifth and had a good battle until the end.
The Estenson Racing squad heads west to Southern California for the So-Cal Half-Mile in Perris, California, Saturday, May 11.
Tim Estenson – Team Owner:
“I tell you, even a day later, it still doesn’t feel like it really happened. This has been my goal for the past two and a half years since we brought the bike to the track. It’s been a lot of ups and downs, more downs than ups, it seems like. When I saw JD last night fighting it out, and when I saw him take over second place, I thought, ‘All right, we can settle in and get a second. This is going to be really outstanding for us.’ Next thing you know, like everybody saw, JD ran him down and made the pass and won. It sounds silly, but I felt numb because it’s one of the goals that I’ve told multiple people that I have. I wanted to win a Grand National race on the Yamaha. We’ve done it. JD Beach did it. For me and my family to do this in our hometown, you couldn’t script it any better. I’m ecstatic.”
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“It’s crazy. It’s something that I’ve wanted since I was a kid. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for. I feel like I’ve been close. It just got to the point where all the guys that I grew up racing with, they were all getting wins and stuff, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if it’s going to happen for me.’ To get this first win is awesome and to win on this brand is amazing for me because Yamaha has done a lot for me during the past six years, and to do it at the home race for the team is really cool. We definitely still have stuff that we need to work on, and we still have a lot of rounds to go this year, but it’s hard to put into words how good this feels.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“Obviously, you always want more, but the team had a good day. I can’t ask for much more. I knew this was probably going to be one of the toughest races of the year, one of the longest and most physical. I didn’t get the greatest of starts and got buried back, but I was able to fight all the way to the end. I had a battle with Bronson (Bauman) for a while. I was able to get by him and then was able to run (Jeffrey) Carver down from a ways back, but I just couldn’t get by him at the end. I didn’t feel that great today, but like I said, I knew going in it was probably going to be one of the toughest races of the year. We came out with some good points, though. We made progress. We got better, and I was able to charge all the way to the end.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Twins #136:
“We had some issues earlier in the day, but I was feeling pretty good. I got a good start in the Main, but unfortunately, I went down in turn one. I’m pretty sore but happy I’m okay. I really have to thank Dainese and Arai for keeping me safe. Also, I’m really happy for JD and the team.”