After a rough start to his title defense, Estenson Racing’s Kolby Carlile got the win he was looking for Saturday night at the legendary Sacramento Mile, round six of the American Flat Track championship.
All of the hard work finally paid off for Carlile and his team as everything fell into place for the defending AFT Singles champ at Cal Expo Fair. The early-season woes were countered with absolute perfection as Carlile was the fastest qualifier, won both his Heat and Semi, and went on to win a dogfight to the finish to take his first Mile win, his first win of the season and his first win on the Yamaha YZ450F.
Unfortunately for Carlile’s AFT Twins teammate Jake Johnson, the day wasn’t so charmed. The two-time Grand National Champion struggled straight away in Sacto. But, as champions do, Johnson and his crew put their heads down and kept working for improvement. The track started to come together for Johnson that evening, and he fought his way back to finish eighth in the Main on the Yamaha MT-07.
Kolby Carlile – AFT Singles #1:
“That win felt really good. It was my first-ever perfect day. I fast-qualified, won the heat, won the semi, got pole for the Main, and won the Main. Right now, I feel like I did when I won my championship last year. I’m just excited. There’s so much momentum built right now. I’m going into a TT next weekend. I love those. I’m just having fun, and everything is flowing right now. I’m working extremely hard. To be able to win tonight and see all that hard work starting to pay off, I’m happy.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“It was a struggle all day. Early on, before there was a lot of rubber down, I was struggling real bad. I think the track started coming to us a little bit and as the day went on I started feeling a little bit more comfortable and made some changes. Eighth place, obviously, it’s not what we want, but from being 20-something in qualifying, we made a big leap. That’s encouraging.
“We’ve still got some work to do to start fighting for podiums and wins, but it’s a little bit of a rebound after last week and our crash [three weeks ago] in Texas. To at least be back up in the top 10 and making progress is good.”
Relive the action of the Sacramento Mile on NBCSN, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. ET.