Beach and the Revitalized MT-07 DT
Had Estenson Racing’s JD Beach failed to break into the top ten in the Progressive American Flat Track opener at Volusia Speedway Park, one could have still made the case that he should be viewed as the pre-race favorite entering May 1’s Yamaha Atlanta Super TT.
Beach obviously has elite, world-class roadracing skills to go along with his considerable dirt track capabilities, and that killer combination propelled him to a pair of TT victories aboard the team’s then all-new MT-07 DT in 2019.
But he didn’t finish outside the top ten -- not by a long shot. In last Friday’s Volusia HM I, Beach was arguably the story of the night, guiding an MT-07 DT that is now significantly further along in its development curve to a Semi victory and a highly competitive runner-up finish on a clay Half-Mile circuit after struggling mightily in those conditions just a season ago.
As a result, Beach will arrive at Atlanta Motor Speedway with even loftier expectations for what must be an extremely important round for Yamaha, considering the venue is located just an hour’s drive down Interstate 75 from its USA headquarters.
Beach’s primary competition for victory in Atlanta is likely to be reigning Mission SuperTwins pres. by S&S Cycle king Briar Bauman, who won the other two TTs in 2019. Bauman is almost certainly extra motivated to return to the top of the box as quickly as possible after opening the season with a (for him) ho-hum 4-2 weekend in his quest for a third consecutive Grand National Championship.
At the same time, Bauman will be spearheading the charge to further Indian Motorcycle’s active run of consecutive Mission SuperTwins victories, which currently sits at 25. Incidentally, that streak dates back to Bauman’s win at the ‘19 Black Hills HM two days following Estenson Racing’s Buffalo Chip TT 1-2.
Should Beach (or teammate Kolby Carlile) put Yamaha back atop the podium in the premier class, keep a close eye on how things shake out on the undercard as well.
There’s a pretty decent chance the tuning fork company could pull off Progressive AFT’s first-ever Mission SuperTwins/AFT Singles/AFT Production Twins pres. by Vance & Hines manufacturer victory sweep with TT standouts Dallas Daniels, Mikey Rush, Dan Bromley and Cory Texter among the riders vying for victory aboard Yamaha equipment in the support classes.