DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jared Mees repeated as champion of the Harley-Davidson TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Thursday night at Daytona Int’l Speedway, in the first event for the 2018 American Flat Track season.
Mees, from Plantation, Fla., is also the reigning American Flat Track national champion. He rode an Indian Scout FTR750 to the victory, beating J.D. Beach (Yamaha FZ-07) by 0.462 seconds in the 25-lap race.
“The last 10 days have just been wild,” Mees said, “with a lot of work, a lot of testing, just getting prepared.
“To come out and win Daytona two years in a row is just huge. We put another Indian win out there [at Daytona] for Indian motorcycles.”
Henry Wiles, Briar Bauman and Brad Baker rounded out the top five.
Thursday’s action continued the 77th Bike Week At Daytona lineup of races at DIS and also marked the second Daytona TT, an event contested on a unique 0.6-mile dirt-track layout built on top of the DIS tri-oval grass “ball field.” The course – featuring both left- and right-hand turns plus a mid-course jump – was designed by seven-time Daytona Flat Track champion Chris Carr.
Two classes of motorcycles competed: single-cylinder machines in the AFT Singles class and powerful twin-cylinder bikes in the headlining AFT Twins class.
The AFT Twins had three heats, won by Mees, Henry Wiles (Kawasaki Ninja 650) and Briar Bauman (Kawasaki Ninja 650). Semifinal races were won by Brad Baker (Indian Scout FTR750) and Mees.
The 15-lap AFT Singles main event was won by Dan Bromley on a KTM 450 SX-F, with Bromley avoiding two early incidents that took several riders out of the race. Earlier, Singles heats were won by Ferran Cardus (Honda CRF450R), Kolby Carlile (Yamaha YZ450F) and Jake Lewis (Suzuki RMZ 450). Lewis followed up with a semifinal victory; the second Singles semi was won by Cardus.
“All the preparation we put in is really showing,” Bromley said, “[but] I knew I had to ride a perfect race.”