Estenson Racing’s AFT Twins duo were met with tough conditions at the penultimate American Flat Track round at Canterbury Park. Both JD Beach and team regular Jake Johnson struggled with their setups, but ultimately, they were able to survive what became a race of attrition to leave the Minnesota Mile with valuable points.
Beach went into the weekend knowing there were a lot of unknown factors, including a new team, new bike, and it was his first Mile race in five years. As the night went on, the recently crowned 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport champ made progress. He and the team worked well together, and during the Main event, he grew more and more comfortable on the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 with each lap completed, and he was able to fight through the pack to finish seventh. Beach looks to carry that momentum forward to next weekend at the Meadowlands.
As for Johnson, unfortunately things went worse in the Main event. Some minor setup changes backfired, and it was a struggle all race long as he went backward through the field. The two-time Grand National Champion kept at it though, and ultimately reaped the rewards of his dogged determination as his competitors started dropping out towards the end of the race. So at the end of a tough day, Johnson was able to bring his Estenson Racing Indian Scout FTR750 home in 12th. Johnson now looks ahead to next weekend where his aim is a top result and to work his way up to fifth in the championship standings.
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“I think the day went well. It was a struggle at first because I’ve never rode this bike before, so we were chasing it all night. As the race went on, I started to feel a lot better with the bike. It’s a lot different riding style even just from a short track. So it took a little while to really fine-tune that. Towards the end I started to feel really good and smooth. I think if we go out for the Main again, it’d be good.
“We learned a lot. We all worked well together, so I think the improvements we made were good. It was a fun night. It was good to get a top-10 on the Mile just because it’s the first one I’ve done in a long time. I’m excited. Of course, I’d like to be further up the pack, but I think we did a great job and we got a good direction to go for next weekend.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“I started out struggling a little bit, then kind of got it figured out in the Heat race. We made a few small changes before the Main event – nothing major – just things we thought would help, but it just felt bad right off the get-go. The Main event just didn’t go well at all, I was going backwards. I just kind of rolled around and hoped for the best. There were some times where I wanted to just pull in, but I stayed out there and tried to get what I could get. It wasn’t what we wanted, but that’s racing. We have one race to go. It’s going to be completely different. We’ll see what we can do.”
Catch the Minnesota Mile on NBCSN, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET.