Jared Mees, the five times Grand National Flat Track champion, X Games gold medalist and 2017 AMA Flat Track twins champion has signed as a new US brand ambassador for Red Torpedo, the UK indie apparel brand for bikers, motorcycle racing fans and petrol heads.
This is Red Torpedo's first excursion into the world of flat track, or dirt track, racing and we couldn't have signed a bigger superstar in the sport. Mees is rapidly becoming a phenomenon in the flat track world and leading authorities on the sport already believe that he could become the greatest dirt track racer of all time.
He's currently the number one flat track racer in the world and has launched his defence of the 2018 Grand National Twins Championship by winning four of the first five races of the season: the Daytona TT, the Texas Half Mile, the Calistoga Half Mile and the Arizona Mile. He also won the Atlanta Short Track (round 2) but was later disqualified from the race following a tyre test - so he has completely dominated the early rounds so far.
The reigning 2017 AMA Flat Track twins champion joins an elite line-up of world class road racers that Red Torpedo sponsors in the UK. Bill Gordon, CEO of Red Torpedo said,
"We are over the moon to be working with Jared this year. He joins our fantastic posse of world renowned racers, our "Red Riders" - John McGuinness, Guy Martin, Conor Cummins and Lee Johnston - all of whom are delighted to have him on board. Flat track is the most exciting and challenging motorcycle racing sport on the USA calendar. As a brand that pushes the boundaries in terms of our design and production values and is rooted in motorcycle racing, the fit with Jared Mees in the USA is perfect."
On the hook-up with Red Torpedo Mees said,
"I'm thrilled to be part of the Red Torpedo brand. I love the gear. My team works very hard and to have my own line of signature speed apparel - alongside of some of the fastest racers on the planet - is very cool."
Born in Pennsylvania USA in 1986, Mees has been racing for 25 of his 31 years. He's currently the number one flat track racer in the world having won five national championships, four of which have been in the past six years. He's also a double X Games medalist - winning gold in 2016 and silver the following year - and he won the 2014 Superprestigio Open final.
Jared Mees on board his Indian Scout FTR 750
His 2017 season was nothing short of phenomenal winning ten of eighteen rounds and standing on the podium seventeen times - with six second places and only one third. He also completed an elusive in-season Dirt Track 'Grand Slam' winning mile, half mile, short track and TT races. (A flat track TT has to include at least one right hand turn and a jump). For 2018 he once again looks set to storm America's dirt track ovals on his Indian Scout FTR 750 twin.
Flat track Racing
The USA has a rich tradition in motorcycle sport, from board racing in the early 1900s, to today's Supercross events staged in major sporting stadia across the country. Flat track is the oldest, longest running and most traditional motorcycle racing series in USA. In terms of heritage and influence within US motorcycle racing, it has had the greatest impact of all forms of motorised two wheeled sport.
Flat track is also the motorcycle sport that is most inherently American and over the decades has generated a whole raft of all American heroes. Many eventually became legendary GP stars like Kenny Roberts, "Fast" Freddie Spencer, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson and Nicky Hayden, all of whom "learned their trade" of drift steering vicious, two stroke grand prix motorcycles of that era from their time spent mastering mile and half mile dirt track ovals.
It's hugely visceral, exciting and dangerous with twins riders drafting each other at around 135 mph on mile oval straights and diving into the corners elbow-to-elbow at nearly 100 mph. The majority of races go right down to the wire and it's this fierce competitive spirit and exciting visual spectacle that's so irresistible for fans.
Flat track grew in popularity in the 30s and following WW2, the sport began to really evolve. In the 50s it picked up further momentum when the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) took hold of it and established the first AMA national flat track championship. It then went through a decline in the 80s when Supercross took off and fans were filling massive sporting arenas across the country.
Today, flat track is definitely on the rise again under the direction of London born Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing - the organisation that has masterminded the overhaul of AMA Flat Track. Racing classes, schedules, events and venues have been recently revised plus Indian's return with their FTR 750 Scout has created massive interest and rekindled the old rivalry with Harley Davidson. Indeed, Indian's "Wrecking Crew" of Mees, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker cleaned up in the 2017 AMA Twins Championship taking the top three positions. In addition, a two part broadcasting package consisting of live streaming of all races on FansChoice.tv and one hour highlights programmes on major broadcast partner NBCSN has attracted new and younger audiences. For 2018, NBCSN has moved coverage from Thursday evenings to a prime time weekend afternoon slot within two weeks of each event which will hopefully double or even triple viewing figures. Other major and exciting initiatives are planned for this season.
Red Torpedo Jared Mees Collection
Red Torpedo has released two signature series Jared Mees tee shirts in the US - available in both men's and women's sizes. Check them out here: https://redtorpedousa.com/collections/jared-mees
The first, called simply "Flat Tracker,' is a cool, laid back design featuring the American flag in the background and with a bad ass graphic of the man himself rippin' it up on his Indian FTR 750 Scout. The second design - and the one that Jared has had most personal input into, is called the "Hate to Lose" tee. There's loads of detail on this shirt with outstanding graphics from Red Torpedo's in-house designer, Robin Leishman.
We'll be staying on the pace with AMA Flat Track this season and reporting on Jared's defence of his title - so keep your eye on our social media platforms for a lot more on flat track during this year: we're going to be 'keepin' it sideways" as well as "between the hedges!" Follow Red Torpedo USA on Twitter at @redtorpedousa and Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/redtorpedousa/
You can also keep track of results and updates at American Flat Track and watch live streaming of all eighteen rounds on FansChoice.tv
📷 Dave Hoenig, Flat Track Fotos (action shot)
📷 Carlos Amoedo (header photo)