Saddlemen

American Flat Trackers Reign Supreme in Superprestigio Practice!

| 16 December 2017 9:47 am

Superprestigio
Palau Sant Jordi

Courtesy of American Flat Track
BARCELONA, SPAIN, DEC. 15, 2017

As riders took to the track at the Palau Sant Jordi for their first practice of the fifth edition of Superprestigio, American Flat Track riders defended their turf with the top three times in the Open class. Leading the way was back-to-back Spanish National Flat Track Champion Ferran Cardus, with an 11.968. Racing the first three American Flat Track rounds in 2017, the Suzuki RM-Z450 rider returned to Spain in top form and is looking to add the Superprestigio crown to his résumé in 2017.

J.D. Beach (95) in action during practice at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

J.D. Beach (95) in action during practice at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

Although Cardus has the home-field advantage, there were a pair of Superprestigio rookies from the United States – Briar Bauman and J.D. Beach – who were equally keen to take top honors in the next day’s race. Bauman, on a Zanotti-prepped Kawasaki KX450F, trailed Cardus by nine-thousandths of a second and will go into his Superprestigio debut feeling good about his chances.

“The track is something like I’ve never ridden before,” Bauman said. “We’re changing a few things. We messed with the tire a little bit, there’s some suspension things… but we felt good nonetheless. We were real close. Hopefully the things we changed help for tomorrow’s race. We’ll be able to know right away. I think we are in a good spot heading into tomorrow’s race.”

Beach was also not far behind, posting the third-fastest time, with a 12.019. The American is eager for his Superprestigio debut and is ready for some racing on his number-95 Ausio/ Grau Racing Yamaha YZ450F.

“It’s awesome to be able to come back to Spain and race dirt track and represent America,” Beach said. “It was really cool to finally get the chance to ride here in the stadium. It’s been weird, because I’ve ridden at four or five tracks here in Spain, and each track we go to, somebody says, ‘Oh, this track is like Superprestigio, it’s the same size or it’s the same that.’ We get here and it’s completely different. We’re just going to sleep on it tonight and see if we can figure out how to get about one-tenth of a second or so, or even less than that. I think tomorrow is going to be really hard, but it’s going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait.”

Setting the fastest time in the Superprestigio class was Moto 3 rider Marco Ramirez, with a 12.241 on his KTM. Former FIM CEV Superbike Champion Carmelo Morales was second on his Husqvarna, followed by the 2010 Moto 2 World Champion and reigning MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Toni Elias, on a Suzuki RM-Z450.

Like Cardus, Elias not only brings with him experience from previous Superprestigio races but in American Flat Track as well. The former World Champion raced the American Flat Track Finals earlier this October in Perris, California, and hopes to rebound from exhaust problems in Friday’s first practice session to best last year’s second-place Superprestigio finish with a win.

To watch the highlights from today’s practice on Facebook, please go to https://www.facebook.com/AmericanFlatTrack/videos/1771275426239887/

Coverage can be seen at http://www.fanschoice.tv/watch-live/superprestigio, starting with the opening ceremonies at noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT, followed by heat races at 12:30 p.m. ET/ 9:30 a.m. PT, and the first of three final events at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT. For more information about the 2017 Superprestigio, go to http://www.dtxbarcelona.com.

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Next up for the stars of American Flat Track is the “Bigger, Faster and Better” Daytona TT on March 15, 2018, at Daytona International Speedway. Tickets start at just $29 and are on sale now via Daytona International Speedway’s website at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2018/DAYTONA-TT/DAYTONA-TT.aspx or by calling 800/PITSHOP.

About American Flat Track
American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt-track motorcycle-racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Florida, the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt-track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live-stream the events at FansChoice.tv and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

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