SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Jesse Janisch not only furthered his claim as the preeminent TT master of American Flat Track’s Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys class in Saturday night’s Springfield TT, he seized the AFT Singles championship lead straight-up in the process.
Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems Dallas TX/Öhlins Yamaha YZ450F) appeared to be facing an uphill climb to keep his perfect 2019 TT win streak alive heading into the 15-lap Main Event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds due to the impressive pace of scrub-jumping two-wheeled legend Ryan Sipes (No. 264 Red Bull/Leatt/KTM 450 SX-F).
Sipes stole the holeshot from pole and threatened to pull an immediate gap. However, the ISDE superstar threw away a likely victory on lap 3, allowing the rear end to get around on him mid-corner and he fell to the dirt.
Janisch gladly picked up the reins and registered a series of flawless laps at the front. The result wasn’t without any addition drama through, as a hard-charging Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) kept him honest all the way to the checkered flag.
Rush worked overtime to find a way past last year’s Springfield TT winner (and reigning class champ) Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). Once through, he slashed into Janisch’s advantage but failed to get close enough for even a Hail Mary attempt on the final lap.
The win was Janisch’s third in three TTs this season and his fourth TT win in a row dating back to last year’s Peoria TT.
His big night was made even more monumental due to the misfortune of title rival Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450). Gauthier entered the event as the AFT Singles’ points leader, but was unable to advance past the heat races after being assessed a 10-second penalty for twice jumping the start.
As a result, Janisch now leads Gauthier 111-96 following 6 of 18 rounds. Additionally, Rush and Bromley have also moved into striking distance with 91 and 90 points, respectively.
“Getting the win was absolutely awesome,” Janisch said. “It was unfortunate for Ryan, I think he definitely had some speed on us today, but I’m certainly going to take it. The Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas team has been awesome this year; I think my results speak volume for how great the team has been and how much they’ve propelled me forward.”
Spanish flat track star Ferran Cardús (No. 377 Bullet Strong Racing/Vanilla Cycles Honda CRF450) got the better of a hyper-aggressive Chad Cose (No. 49 Parkinson Brothers Racing/Ritchie Reynolds Racing Honda CRF450R) in a tight duel for fourth.
Cole Zabala (No. 51 RMR/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Honda CRF450R) picked up sixth ahead of Max Whale (No. 18 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki KX450F), Andrew Luker (No. 11 Keeran Racing/Baker Racing Kawasaki KX450F), Michael Inderbitzin (No. 54 Pacific Tub & Tile/Mark Strock CRF450R), and Ben Lowe (No. 20 Roof Systems/Bruce Lowe Excavating Honda CRF450R) who rounded out the top 10.