Estenson Racing’s Kolby Carlile completed a successful two-day test at Travelers Rest Speedway in preparation for the American Flat Track season opener at Daytona International Speedway on March 15.
“The test went really well,” Carlile said. “Being able to have my mechanic Andrew (Butler) and my motor builder Mike (Stauffer) here to watch the bike and watch how the engines were pulling and how everything was going was really beneficial. It’s one thing for me to say how it’s doing, but it’s another thing when they can see what the bike’s doing and agree with what I said is happening.”
Over two days the team had the opportunity to test the bike in varying conditions on both the Half-Mile and TT track, allowing Carlile and his Estenson Racing crew to get his brand-new 2018 Yamaha YZ450Fs dialed in.
“We were able to learn a lot about what the bike likes and doesn’t like,” Carlile said. “Also, we were able to find different setups for the half-miles and the TT’s, as well as when the track dries out and at night time when the moisture comes up. I feel like we kind of got a little bit of a head start on what to do at those points in the race day.”
Carlile was also happy to put the new YZ through its paces, and feels the ’18 model is an improvement. “The new Yamaha is a lot better than what I was racing last year,” he said. “Those bikes were good, but this one’s a lot better. Different frame, different engine… There are a lot of different ergonomics on this new bike that I enjoy. It benefits the way I ride the motorcycle and it makes my job a little easier.”
As the countdown to the 2018 season winds down with just 20 days to go, the test gave the reigning AFT Singles champ extra confidence going into the DAYTONA TT.
“I did a lot of half-mile testing and a little bit of TT testing. When I was on the TT I felt so comfortable already,” Carlile said. “I feel really good on the TT’s. I really like them, so I’m looking forward to starting the season there.”