Santa Rosa, Calif…When the green flag signals the starts of the AMA Pro Santa Rosa Mile presented by SDI Insulation and brought to you locally by Bud Lite on Sunday, September 29th at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, it will feature the greatest flat track racers in the world.
There is no forecasting who will grab the checkers, in this, the next to last race of the year. Out of 11 races there have been eight different winners and the points are very close. Just 10 points separate first and second and third place is only three points behind.
Reigning AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion, “Jammin” Jared Mees (Rogers Racing/SDI Insulation/Harley-Davidson) is one of the standouts in flat track today. A phenomenal competitor and a favorite with both fans and sponsors, Mees knows what it takes to win.
“I love to race,” says the Clio, Michigan resident. “It is fun and it is exciting and that motivates me to give it everything I’ve got. I also really enjoy the fans, the thrill of being on the podium and the excitement of winning championships.”
Turning Pro in 2002, Mees has earned 13 Grand National victories, a number of championships, including the AMA Pro Grand National Twins Championship and the AMA Pro National Hot Shoe 450cc Expert Singles Championship to name just a few.
“The Santa Rosa Mile is one of the most unique miles that I have ever ridden,” explains Jared Mees. “It has really long straights and last year it started the day as a wide-open throttle cushion and morphed into a hard- packed slippery surface half way through the main event. Each type of surface requires a completely different riding approach to turn faster lap times than everyone else.
“When it is a cushion (a loosely packed dirt surface, as opposed to a hard-packed “groove” track surface), I approach the corner up against the fence opening up my corner entry to carry my speed as best I can. I drive the motorcycle into the corner at about 130 mph turning the front wheel underneath of me to scrub speed off with the front tire allowing me to drive the motorcycle in deeper. Depending on where the cushion is, I will try to bump the cushion with the rear tire while still on the throttle adjusting my speed by slowly letting off the throttle. The bike is pretty laid over and sideways at this point.
“As I feel that my rear tire is in the cushion I will start applying more throttle and standing my bike up so it is straight up and down and I start bringing the wheels more in line to drive out of the corner. Exiting the corner, I will smoothly start to tuck against the gas tank and remove my left hand off the handle bar, placing it on the left fork leg to be as tucked in as possible, reducing aerodynamic drag. I let the bike drift towards the fence to set myself up for the next corner and do it all over again.
“Once the cushion gets pushed off the track, the track will slowly develop a groove on the bottom of the corners. I have to run the bike into the corner completely differently and more slowly, being very smooth when rolling on and off of the throttle to keep the wheels in line and moving forward. The track is more slippery and the lap times will slow. It requires a lot of patience to change my riding style from high, wide and handsome to calm, patient and precise all within the same main event.”
Ending up in second place by 0.874 seconds in 2012, Mees is definitely looking for a win in 2013, especially with the added support of the Bay Area’s SDI Insulation, which has supported Mees throughout the 2013 season and is the presenting sponsor of the Santa Rosa Mile.
– By Penny Nicolai – Concepts Unlimited
Gates open at the Santa Rosa, California Fairgrounds at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, September 29, 2013.
Practice begins at 10:15 a.m. and racing begins at 1:30 p.m. The 25-lap Expert main event begins at 4:00 p.m.
For more information and for tickets go to www.santarosamile.com