Texter Up To The Flat Track Challenge

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Shayna Texter has completed her rookie season of AMA Grand National Flat Track. (Larry Lawrence Photo)

Shayna Texter completed her rookie season of AMA Grand National Flat Track this year. Writer Larry Lawrence profiled Texter in the November issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine. Here is an excerpt from that feature:

Shayna Texter has completed her rookie season of AMA Grand National Flat Track. (Larry Lawrence Photo)
Shayna Texter has completed her rookie season of AMA Grand National Flat Track. (Larry Lawrence Photo)

Shayna Texter faced challenges on multiple fronts this season. Not only was she racing in the Grand National class for the first time, but she was trying to develop the Latus Motors Racing/Castrol Triumph.

During the Memorial Day weekend event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, where she debuted on the Triumph, Texter and her team ran into an issue where the bike would get into a high-speed wobble at the end of the straightaways. Texter bravely tried every trick she knew to get the bike to settle down, so she could qualify for her first Grand National main event. Ultimately the bike went into such a violent wobble that it nearly threw her off during a qualifying race. She wisely backed off the throttle.

The team gusseted the Triumph Bonneville’s frame, it calmed down (although did not solve the wobble), but in the process made the already heavy package even heavier. After being used to winning in the Pro Singles, Texter — faced with an underdeveloped machine — had to recalibrate her goals in the premier AMA Grand National class.

Texter was always realistic about her chances during her rookie season. She felt she could be competitive, but the key element she claimed was practice time on the bike.

“I definitely think with the support of Triumph I can do well,” Texter explained. “One of the biggest things I keep expressing to them is the importance of seat time. If we get enough seat time on the thing I think we can be competitive. You know those guys have so much track time on their motorcycles and that’s one thing as a rookie that you’re at a disadvantage.”

The one major milestone many thought would happen this season did not. It was hoped that Nichole Mees and Texter might both qualify for a Grand National main event, which would’ve marked the first time two female riders qualified for an AMA Grand National flat track feature. They each qualified for four nationals (through the season finale at Pomona, where the feat might yet be accomplished), but somehow never together at the same event.

One might think a natural rivalry between Texter and Mees would develop, but quite the contrary. Both women are highly supportive of one another. The two have become good friends. Texter said she looked up to Mees and often goes to her for advice as she progresses in her racing.

Mees and Texter have become crowd favorites. When Mees won the dash on the Springfield Mile a couple of years back she got a standing ovation that lasted for a good minute. Texter, too, routinely gets among the biggest applause when riders are introduced.

“I definitely feel the appreciation the fans give us,” Mees said. “And when I’m signing autographs I constantly have people tell me, ‘My daughter or wife learned to ride a motorcycle because of you.’ Or they say because of me their wife or daughter comes to races with them. That’s a good feeling and I think Shayna and I do help inspire and give confidence to girls who want to ride.”

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