Courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
AUSTIN, Texas (June 3, 2015) – The AMA Pro Flat Track athletes who are set to showcase their sport on a world stage Thursday finally got their first look at the track being used at the X Games for Harley-Davidson Flat Track.
Wednesday saw 25 AMA Pro Flat Track stars like Brad Baker, Jared Mees, Bryan Smith andKenny Coolbeth Jr., take to the 3/8-mile track built at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, to practice for the event, which will be flat track’s debut in the extreme sports showcase.
The race will kick off coverage of the X Games and can be seen live on ESPN starting at 8:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. PT) with longtime AMA Pro Flat Track announcer Scottie Deubler providing color commentary alongside veteran X Games broadcaster Toby Moody.
Riders tested the track in groups and even got their first look at the motocross-style starting gate X Games plans to use. None of the on-track sessions were timed, but riders were visibly faster as the day went on and mixed it up in full race-mode when it came time to test the new starting procedure.
The practice day also gave track officials time to better prepare the track surface, which was noticeably, and understandably, rough as Austin and the surrounding parts of Texas have dealt with massive rainstorms in recent weeks.
Still, riders packed up for the night with a sense of excitement for Thursday’s big day.
“I’m feeling really excited about it, it’s really cool,” said Brad Baker, rider of the No. 6 Factory Harley-Davidson. “This is a pretty sweet venue, and ESPN, X Games and everybody involved are doing a really good job getting the track better prepared. I’m feeling good. I feel fast, I feel confident and I feel comfortable. That’s a pretty good combination to go out and do well tomorrow.”
Fans can catch the action live on ESPN beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. PT).
Kenny Coolbeth Jr., rider of the No. 2 Harley-Davidson of Wausau Harley-Davidson:
“I’m really excited, it’s a huge opportunity for our sport and us personally. It’s brought a lot of cool sponsors to us, and hopefully it keeps on generating that stuff. The track’s all right, it’s rideable, they’re working on it, and I’m sure it’s going to be better tomorrow.”
Danny Eslick, two-time defending DAYTONA 200 road race champion, rider of the No. 69G Salina Harley-Davidson entry:
“It’s just super cool to be part of the X Games and get back to my roots, flat tracking. That’s what I grew up doing and where I come from. It’s definitely cool to slide around on the dirt, and to be one of the riders invited to the X Games is huge.
The track is the same for everybody. With the weather they’ve been dealt, there’s not a lot they can do. They’ve done the best they can for what they’ve had to work with, and it’s going to be up to us to put on a good show. It’s going to be fun.”
Cory Texter, rider of the No. 65 Racing Unlimited Kawasaki and member of the first brother and sister duo, along with Shayna Texter, to compete against each other in the X Games:
“I’m excited to race tomorrow. The track was very technical and rough today. I’m going to give it my all, and hopefully that’s good enough for a medal.
“After Harley-Davidson Flat Track, the X Games event I really want to see is RallyCar because it’s an event I would love to compete in one day.”
Shayna Texter, rider of the No. 52 Crosley Radio Kawasaki:
“The X Games flat track show is going to display the best flat trackers in the world. The track is small and technical, and the addition of the gate start is going to provide a new challenge and keep the racing close.”