Story and photos by Michael Marino
HARPSTER, Ohio — Trevor Brunner continued his winning ways Wednesday on the second day of the 2019 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship, while Kody Kopp and Chase Saathoff each bested Tuesday’s top performer Tom Drane on the Triangle Motorcycle Club’s TT circuit.
The four-day national amateur flat track championship event kicked off three days of competition at the Harpster, Ohio, facility on Wednesday. The championship got underway on Tuesday on the half-mile track at the Ashland County Fairgrounds in Ashland, Ohio.
The second day of the event featured 216 entries racing on a TT circuit, which uses portions of the facility's half-mile and short track courses and includes a right-hand turn and a jump.
Brunner won three races on the day, but came up short in the battle for a fourth victory. The rider from Aurora, Ind., said he was struggling with setup issues in the morning practice sessions, but his team had his motorcycles dialed in for the early evening main events. He is undefeated in the 450cc-Open Singles, 450cc-Open Modified and 251-500cc DTX classes.
Hillsboro, Ill., resident Saathoff was one of the front runners in Tuesday’s half-mile racing, but did not record a win that day. On Wednesday, he found his groove on the TT course and notched victories in the 250cc DTX and 250cc Modified main events. He said he didn’t have a lot of confidence before the day's racing began, but felt his confidence grow as the day went on. Saathoff credited his experience racing motocross with helping him succeed on the TT track.
Kopp demonstrated his speed and versatility Wednesday, taking wins on 250cc and 450cc motorcycles. The 2018 AMA Fast Brain Award winner from Mica, Wash., took victory in the 201cc-250cc and 450cc Modified classes.
Other riders to record two wins on the TT track were Colton Shafer of Fresno, Calif., Travis Horn of La Verne, Calif., Riley Nauta of Worongary, Queensland, Australia, and Chase Anderson of Troy, Ill. Anderson and Natura are the only riders other than Brunner to remain undefeated in multiple classes.
Natura's victories were impressive considering that he scored them after suffering a crash in the 85cc DTX (7-11) race.
Drane, of New South Wales, Australia, went winless Wednesday after winning all three main events he entered on Tuesday.
Thursday’s racing action takes place on the short track at the Triangle Motorcycle Club.
2019 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship — Wednesday Main Event Winners
- 50cc DTX Sr. (7-8): Colton Shafer, Fresno, Calif.
- 85cc DTX (7-11): Travis Horn, La Verne, Calif.
- 50cc DTX PW Shaft (4-8): Liam Benoist, Mascoutah, Ill.
- 250cc Modified: Chase Saathoff, Hillsboro, Ill.
- 50cc DTX PW (4-8): Colton Shafer, Fresno, Calif.
- 450cc Modified: Kody Kopp, Mica, Wash.
- 85cc Modified (7-11): Travis Horn, La Verne, Calif.
- Super Senior 50+: Rob Williams, Holly, Mich.
- 450cc-Open Singles: Trevor Brunner, Aurora, Ind.
- 65cc Modified (7-11): Riley Nauta, Worongary, Queensland, Australia
- 201cc-250cc: Kody Kopp, Mica, Wash.
- Senior 40+: Dallas Mayer, Carbondale, Ill.
- Open Vintage: Daniel Poole, Gaffney, S.C.
- 85cc Modified (12-15): Chase Anderson, Troy, Ill.
- 251cc-500cc DTX: Trevor Brunner, Aurora, Ind.
- 65cc DTX (7-11): Riley Nauta, Worongary, Queensland, Australia
- Veteran 30+: Ben Evans, Galion, Ohio
- Pro/Expert Singles: Max Whale, Coondoo, Queensland, Australia
- 250cc DTX: Chase Saathoff, Hillsboro, Ill.
- 450cc-Open Modified: Trevor Brunner, Aurora, Ind.
- 85cc DTX (12-15): Chase Anderson, Troy, Ill.