Seven rounds into the American Flat Track season and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's 'Mile Muncher' Shayna Texter is lying in sixth place in the Singles Championship on 66 points, 53 points behind current leader Jesse Janisch.
Three further rounds have taken place since the last blog update: the So Cal Half Mile (Perris, California), the Springfield TT, (Illinois) and the Red Mile, (Kentucky).
Leading from the front - Shayna Texter on the Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F
The Sacramento Mile, originally scheduled to run on Saturday May 18 was postponed due to torrential rain and will now roll on August 10. The Red Mile was also very nearly rained off too - but took place the following day, on the Sunday. Extreme rain in So Cal and Kentucky? Makes you wonder, eh?
So Cal Half Mile
Although there was an 80% chance of rain at Perris, the weather behaved. Texter finished in 8th place adding eleven points to her tally and stated on Facebook that she had experienced a "challenging day." She described the track as "very slippery" during the whole day - qualifying, semi final and the final itself compared to when she tested at the track last year. Ryan Wells won the race with Michael Inderbitzen second and Dalton Gauthier third - keeping him right in the mix at the top of the leaderboard. From Perris, the next scheduled stop was going to be Sacramento, California for the first mile of the year - but that's now scheduled for August. Precipitation. Makes you wonder though.
Next up for the singles class, was the the Springfield TT at Illinois State Fairgrounds. It was the third TT of the year for the singles. For the AFT twins and production twins classes, it's a mile race. Shayna qualified 21st overall - which was a good result and major TT confidence booster as she headed into the heats. She started well in her heat and was running just outside the top-five but as she approached a corner on lap one she was impeded by another rider and dropped back to last. She therefore missed out on the chance to progress to a semi-final and to fight for a starting position in the race itself. However, she can definitely take a number of positives from her Springfield performance into Buffalo Chip and Peoria.
Again on her Facebook timeline she wrote - "I've been working hard and spending a lot of time on my motorcycle. "The TTs are a major challenge for me but I'm giving it 100% to improve at these events."
Shayna Texter talks bike set-up with Team Manager Chris Fillmore and crew
There are now five TT's on the singles calendar: Daytona, Arizona, Springfield, Buffalo Chip and Peoria. But at least that's three of them now done and dusted.
One guy that doesn't have any TT troubles is Jesse Janisch - current leader of the Singles Championship. He's won all three so far and keeps the board more than 'ticking over' at the short tracks, half miles and miles. Looks like he may turn out to be the Henry Wiles of the singles class! Behind Janisch, Mikey Rush was second on a CRF450R Honda and Shayna's Red Bull KTM team mate Dan Bromley was third. Bromley's having a very consistent season so far - lying in fourth with 100 points, 19 behind Janisch. He's had three 3rd place finishes (Daytona, Atlanta and Springfield) a fourth at Perris and fifth at Arizona.
Red Mile, Kentucky
Precipitation alert. Torrential rain delayed the start of what turned out to be the first mile of the year. But the clouds departed the following day and the Red Mile ran on the Sunday afternoon with a great crowd still turning out to see the action. The racing was tight all day with Texter winning her heat, her semi-final then going on to have a battle royal for the main event against Mikey Rush on the Honda CRF450R.
#52 Shayna Texter (KTM 450 SX-F) leads #15 Mikey Rush (Honda CRF450R) Red Mile, Kentucky
This was #52 in her comfort zone: a mile rather than jumps and "right handers." The two broke from the pack early doors and began exchanging multiple passes. Dalton Gauthier joined them for about the first two thirds of the race but made an error about four laps out from the finish which left Texter and Rush on their own.
Going down to the wire - Texter leading Rush at the Red Mile
Going into the closing stages, Shayna placed herself in a great position to slipstream past Rush for the win but lost some grip, spinning up in turn 4. That allowed too great a gap to develop on the last lap for a pass and Rush took the win by a slender margin of 0.012 seconds.
Honda rider Rush is another guy who's pushing at the top of the pack. He's currently lying in second overall, three points behind Janisch. Although this was his first win of the season, he has podiumed twice: second in the Springfield TT and second in the Texas Half Mile and two fourths - Daytona and Arizona TTs.
Eleven rounds still remain this season. For the singles class there are three miles - (Sacramento, Minnesota and Meadowlands), three half miles (Lima, Black Hills and Williams Grove), three short tracks (Laconia, Springfield and New York) and......oh NO - two more TTs, (Buffalo Chip and Peoria). The good news for #52 fans is that we're three TTs down!
Next up is the Laconia Short track on June 15 in Louden New Hampshire - a new venue for this season. It's at a location near the Laconia Bike Week which runs from June 8 to June 16, 2019. With Bike Week attracting major crowds, this weekend's guaranteed to be a busy one.
Shayna could use another high scoring round - so bring it home #52!
Red Torpedo Shayna Texter tees are available in men's and women's sizes on-line here.
📷 Dave Hoenig