INDIAN MOTORCYCLE RACING SWEEPS THE PODIUM AT I-70 HALF-MILE WITH JARED MEES TAKING HIS SECOND VICTORY OF THE SEASON AND SECURING CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEAD
Mees Edges Out Factory Teammate Briar Bauman to Capture the Win, with Bauman Finishing Second and Brandon Robinson Rounding out the Podium in Third
Minneapolis, MN. (April 25, 2022) – Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, had a stellar showing at round three of the 2022 American Flat Track series in Odessa, MO for the inaugural I-70 Half-Mile, with Jared Mees scoring his second consecutive victory of the season, moving him into the championship lead with a four-point advantage. Factory teammate Briar Bauman took second, while Brandon Robinson rounded out the top three aboard his Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750, giving Indian Motorcycle Racing an impressive podium sweep.
Coming off his dominant performance at the Texas Half-Mile, Mees looked to keep his momentum going and make a strong statement that he is the rider to beat in 2022, which is exactly what he did. While Bauman got a strong jump off the line to take the early lead, Mees started in third and swiftly moved towards the front by overtaking JD Beach on the opening lap. On lap three, Mees had closed in on the back of Bauman before sneaking his FTR750 to the inside and propelling himself into the lead. This time, Mees couldn’t run away with the win and spent much of the 25-lap race fending off advances from his teammate. It was a fight to the finish as Bauman put together a late-race charge to try and overtake the reigning champion. Mees was able to maintain his position, taking the checkered flag and win by a mere 0.116-seconds.
Brandon Robinson moved into third in the early portions of the race and despite his attempts to make it a three-way battle for the lead, he ultimately settled into position and took the checkered flag in third. This marked his first podium finish of the 2022 season.
“This was a solid showing for the whole Indian Motorcycle team, coming away with a podium sweep,” said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Service & Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “Although this win didn’t come as easy for Jared [Mees], with Briar [Bauman] right on his rear throughout the entire race, it was still an important win as he’s now leading in the championship standings. There is still a lot of racing left this season, but I think it’s going to be a battle to the finish between these two.”
“What a day,” Mees said. “Mother Nature actually played a good hand for the racetrack for us. Thankfully we got the racing in before the next storm came in. These races that are quick with just one round of qualifying and right into a Main Event are hectic. You’ve got to be on point from word go. What a hectic Main Event with Briar. I felt him breathing down my neck the entire time. A track like this makes for a lot of tiny little mistakes, but everybody has their fair share of them, and we stuck it out and got to the checkered flag first.”
After three rounds, factory Wrecking Crew riders sit 1-2 in the championship chase, with Mees having 64-points and Bauman sitting at 60-points. Both riders have a small cushion heading into rounds four and five, as third sits at 51-points.
The 2022 American Flat Track season continues on May 28 and 29 for the Red Mile Doubleheader in Lexington, KY.
Sponsors for Indian Motorcycle Racing’s American Flat Track efforts include Progressive Insurance, S&S®, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Mission Foods, Bell Helmets, Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited.
For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®
Indian Motorcycle is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing:
KOPP AND WHALE TAKE RED BULL KTM TO THE TOP OF THE AFT SINGLES PODIUM AT I-70 HALF-MILE
Round 3 – American Flat Track Championship
ODESSA, Mo. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kody Kopp returned to the center of the podium at Round 3 of the American Flat Track Championship, where he edged out teammate Max Whale in a tight battle across the finish. With less-than-ideal weather conditions in Odessa, Missouri, both Red Bull KTM riders maintained their composure and came out on top of the podium with an impressive 1-2 sweep in the AFT Singles class.
In addition to consistent 20-40 mph winds over the weekend, riders were faced with rainfall at the start of race day on Saturday. With rain forecasted to hit again in the evening, the decision was made to condense the racing program to go from practice/qualifying straight into the Main Event, removing the Semis altogether.
Sitting pole for the Main Event, Kopp got off the line in fourth and he quickly made up two spots out of the first turn. He pressured the race leader for the first six laps before launching his KTM 450 SX-F into the lead just before the halfway point. Setting the fastest race-lap of any class all day, the young rider was able to pull a comfortable gap on the rest of the field early on but his teammate, Whale, came on strong in in the second half of racing. Despite a valiant late-race charge by Whale, Kopp was able to hold strong for a slim victory at Round 3.
Kody Kopp: “I’m feeling really comfortable on my motorcycle as of late. Hats off to my entire Red Bull KTM team. We put a ton of work in this offseason and I feel like we are showcasing exactly that. With the rushed program due to weather, I knew I had to make every session count. We had very clean racing in the Main Event and I couldn’t be happier to pull off my second win. Going to get back to work and start preparing for the double header in Kentucky next month!”
Whale, last round’s pole-sitter, earned a front-row start in the Main Event with third in qualifying and he powered his KTM 450 SX-F to a third-place spot off the line. Quickly slotting into second through turn one, Whale was passed early on by his teammate and he shuffled into third on the opening lap. It took a few laps for the Aussie to get back into a rhythm and that’s when he began his climb toward the front. Overtaking second halfway through the race, Whale put his head down and made a late-race charge to close the gap on his teammate in the final stretch. Despite a hard-fought effort, Whale came up just short as he crossed the line only 0.754 seconds away from his first win of the season.
Max Whale: “This round had a different vibe and it was really tough. We had some more rain so it was really hard to go from qualifying to the Main Event without kind of getting those pre-race jitters out in the Semi. I had a good enough qualifying time for a front row start in the main and the first lap is really what made me lose the race. I fought back hard in the last half of the race and ended up second but it was too little, too late.”
After three rounds, Kopp and Whale sit first and second overall, respectively, in the AFT Single Championship standings.
Next Race: Red Mile (Double Header) – Lexington, Kentucky – May 28-29, 2022
Round 3 Results – I-70 Half-Mile
AFT Singles Main Event
1. Kody Kopp, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Max Whale, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3. Morgen Mischler, Honda
5. James Ott, KTM
12. Travis Petton IV, KTM
16. Ryan Wells, KTM
AFT Singles Point Standings (After Round 3)
1. Kody Kopp, 70 points
2. Max Whale, 57
3. Morgen Mischler, 56
13. Ryan Wells, 18
15. Hunter Bauer, 12
16. Tanner Dean, 11