Rider Spotlight: Brandon Robinson
NEWS July 19, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
AMAP: Where are you from?
BR: I’m from a small town called Oxford in Pennsylvania. Our last race at Hagerstown was as close to a home race as I could get. Even then, we were still two and a half hours out. I’ve been in Pennsylvania my whole life. I originally lived in Little Britain, then Nottingham and then Oxford, which is where my parents have part of a farm.
AMAP: A lot of other rides like Johnny Lewis and Jake Johnson are also from Pennsylvania… Do you get to ride on the ice like them in the winter time?
BR: Ice riding and racing in my part of Pennsylvania is pretty much slim to none. You’d have to head to northern Pennsylvania or New York. It’s a bad spot where it either doesn’t get cold enough to freeze the lakes or too cold and freezes the ground. Training in the winter’s pretty tough unless you head south or go north for ice.
AMAP: How’d you get into riding motorcycles?
BR: Compared to a lot of guys, I don’t really have a family history in this sport. My dad didn’t start riding until he was out of the house and on his own. Then I came along a few years later. So, he got me riding when I was the age of four. He got me going on flat track, and the rest has been history.
AMAP: What made you want to ride flat track more so than other types of motorcycle racing?
BR: My dad got me into flat track, but there’s a funny story about that. He used to race harescrambles on four-wheelers. Then, he accidentally showed up on the wrong day to a flat track race, but really liked it because he didn’t get as dirty and was off the track in a couple minutes. Though, he did have me do other stuff when I was younger. I did a couple arenacross and supermoto races, but flat track’s always been what I am best at, so I stuck with it.
AMAP: How do you feel like you’ve developed as a rider in AMA Pro Flat Track leading up to your Basic Twins Championship in 2008 and since then?
BR: For 2008, it was a great year for me. It kind of came out of nowhere, because no one really knew who I was. I won the championship and was fast qualifier my first national at Daytona. 2009 was my rookie season in the GNC Expert class. I was leading the Rookie of the Year points chase until I got hurt at Indy. I pretty much crushed my hip, pelvis, hip socket and lower back. For me, it’s kind of like I’ve had to rebuild myself and relearn everything. I had to teach myself to walk again, so it was tough to bounce back from that. A lot of people don’t’ remember it as much, because I came back pretty quickly. They told me I wasn’t going to be able to walk for a year, and I was walking within three months. I was back on the bike in six months. I pushed myself pretty hard. I feel like now, I’m as good as I once was, if not a little better!
AMAP: What are your thoughts on competing in the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Expert Class?
BR: It’s fun for one. There’s a very deep depth of competition among the riders in our sport. You go to a national where 20 guys who, on any given day, could win the race. You have your top-five standout riders who are on top all the time, but ever so often, there’s the not so well known riders who squeak in there. It just shows you the depth of our sport. Some riders are better at specific tracks than others, and everyone has their day.
AMAP: Is there a particular type of track layout that you prefer over another?
BR: It’s kind of funny because I grew up on a lot of clay tracks, and I feel like I excel on everything except TTs. The TTs have always been my weakest point, but I actually made my first TT national this year. I feel like my all-around game is coming in much more consistently now.
AMAP: What goals and/or expectations are you setting for yourself for the rest of the 2012 season?
BR: Obviously, I’d love to get a top-10, but there are a lot of tough guys. It’s going to be tough to do, but we’ve made every main event. I think there are only seven guys who’ve made all the main events. That’s one step in the right direction. I want to improve my finishing results in the main events this year. We had some bad luck with crashes in Lima and Springfield. Those put me a little bit behind the eight ball, but we’ve got some good races coming up. I know my Werner-Springsteen Kawasaki Twin is fast, so I’m excited for the Sacramento Mile.
AMAP: There has been a steady increase where the Kawasakis finish on the miles and half-miles. Can you give us some insight on the Werner-Springsteen Kawaski?
BR: Yeah, Bill and Jay have been working on the Kawasaki steadily for four-five years now making big strides on its development. I think people are starting to catch on that the Kawasakis are the way of the future. The horsepower on the Kawasaki is impressive on the miles, so it’s only a matter of time till more people do stuff to them.
AMAP: Are you excited to get on the West Coast and race at the Sacramento Mile?
BR: Yes, but I’m not too big a fan of the drive out there. I feel like it’ll be a good race on our Kawasaki. It’s really good on the long straightaway tracks. I feel like we have a good possibility of running upfront.
AMAP: What draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition or the speed?
BR: I think it’s everything. You can’t have one without the other. To be honest, if you like the sport for one reason and not the other, you’re not a true enthusiast. You have to love it all in order to love the sport.
AMAP: Do you see any hurdles that you will have to overcome to accomplish your goals.
BR: We have to get more consistent finishes. We’ve been consistently in the main, but need to get consistent finishes within the main now. The guys within the top-10 are finishing well week in and week out. We have to do the same. My biggest hurdle is going to be Peoria.
AMAP: Who is your racing hero?
BR: Obviously Chris Carr. The guy’s pretty much won everything when I was a kid and was a good person to look up to. The guys I race with now, Jake Johnson, Jared Mees and Kenny Coolbeth are great ambassadors for our sport and great people that I would emulate.
Brandon would like to thank his sponsors:
SINGLES - Action Motorsports, Big Daws Racing, Metro Racing, Derby Ridge Salvage, Arai, Phillips Florist, Saddlemen, Protect All, Pro Plates, ISC Racers Tape, Motion Pro, PMP Sprockets, Impulse Gray Moose, Maximum Fitness, Rvekus 44, Mitchell Mechanical, Hartman PhotoGraphy, Works Connection,PR2 Racing, Penske Racing Shocks,G2 Ergonomics, Spectro Oils, Jim Varnes, Jim Chapman.
TWINS - Werner/Springsteen Racing, Kawasaki, Arai, Sponseller, Derby Ridge Salvage, Wossner, Pro Circuit, Web Cam, Dynojet, Barnett, Cometic, Supertrapp, Millenium Technologies, K&N, EBC, Works Connection, Red LIne Oil, Metro Racing, ATI, Penske.
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