About AMA Pro Flat Track
- Learn more about AMA Pro Flat Track GNC1 Twins
- Learn more about AMA Pro Flat Track GNC1 Singles
- Learn more about AMA Pro Flat Track GNC2
AMA Pro Racing sanctions many disciplines of motorcycle racing, but the oldest and most traditional is flat track - sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing. While the roots of flat track racing date back to the early 1900’s, it wasn’t until post-World War II that the sport evolved into its current modern structure, a uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other, at speeds over 130 mph. In short, AMA Pro Flat Track provides one of the most thrilling spectacles in motorsports. AMA Pro Flat Track is comprised of two diverse yet equally exciting classes which produce incredibly competitive racing:
AMA Pro Flat Track GNC1
The “Bad Boys” Of Dirt Track Racing
As the premier class, these Expert riders travel the country competing on four different styles of tracks:
- On Mile and Half Mile tracks, the big twins, putting out 90+ horsepower, race bar-to-bar at speeds in excess of 130 mph.
- On Short Tracks and TTs, the spirited nature of the single-cylinder production-based 450cc bikes make for races filled with exciting passing.
Fields are comprised of bikes from major manufacturers such as: Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Ducati, KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph and others.
AMA Pro Flat Track GNC2
The “Stars of Tomorrow”
The AMA Pro Flat Track GNC2 class is geared for cultivating young flat track talent as riders hone their skills on the way to the Grand National Championship. Up-and-coming competitors make their mark in racing aboard production-based 450cc motorcycles offering up to 60+ horsepower. Racing at speeds upward of 100 mph, GNC2 riders compete at Mile, Half-Mile, Short Track and TT courses, battling it out on motorcycles produced by: Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, KTM, Yamaha, and Husqvarna to name just a few.
The History of the Grand National Championship
Prior to 1954, the fast and smooth Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds was the nation’s focal point for flat track racing. Although riders competed at various tracks around the country, the Springfield Mile remained the most prestigious event - a single 25-mile race that determined the winner of the coveted AMA National Dirt Track Championship. In 1954, the AMA announced the establishment of a Grand National Championship series consisting of 18 points-paying races. While the AMA Grand National Championship format was predominantly made up of flat track events, a number of road race nationals were included to show the versatility of the machines and riders. As the sport grew and machinery became increasingly specialized, the AMA recognized the need to separate these two disciplines and in 1986, flat track and road racing became two distinct AMA Pro Racing championships.
In 1997, a group of flat track team owners, race organizers, and AMA board and staff members developed a plan which became known as Project 2000. While the plan included new developments in broadcasting, sponsorship and marketing of AMA dirt track racing, Project 2000 also called for measures to support young competitors coming up through the ranks, and major changes in equipment rules. The equipment rule changes were considered with the goal of bringing more manufacturers and teams into flat track racing at the Grand National level.
In 1998, a set of guidelines for a new 1000cc engine formula were developed by a committee of racing professionals and AMA technical staff. Shortly thereafter, designers and team owners began to develop Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati and Harley-Davidson prototypes using the 1000cc formula. These prototypes were tested during the 1999-2001 race seasons as part of the AMA SuperTracker development series.
In 2001, performance data gleaned from the SuperTracker series was used to integrate larger engine formulas into the Grand National Championship series rule set. The SuperTracker series was discontinued at the end of the 2001 season, having served its purpose as a development and research platform.
In 2006, the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship was restructured to consist of two divisions: AMA Pro Grand National Twins events are now held on mile and half-mile courses best suited for the power output of twin-cylinder motors and AMA Pro Grand National Singles races are held on TT and short track courses where the power range of single-cylinder motors is preferable. AMA Pro also offered the Grand National Pro Expert Twins class, which ran as a support class at select events to provide aspiring racers with experience on twin-cylinder equipment.
In 2009, AMA Pro Flat Track was restructured to include a support class for young competitors coming up through the ranks. The AMA Pro Pro Singles class competes on 450cc single-cylinder production frame machines at all events: Short Track, Tourist Trophy, Half-Mile and Mile.
Following the completion of the 2009 season, AMA Pro Racing restored the overall AMA Pro Grand National Championship, which had been suspended in favor of individual Grand National Expert Twins and Grand National Expert Singles Championships. The individual GNC Twins and GNC Singles championships are given to commemorate the riders that collect the most points in each respective division, and the overall Grand National Champion is now declared as the rider with the highest point total after combining the points earned at all GNC Expert Twins and GNC Expert Singles events. The AMA Pro Grand National Combined Championship comes with the honor of running the coveted No. 1 plate during all Expert rounds on the following season’s schedule.
In 2010, the first season of competition with the new championship structure in place, Jake Johnson accumulated the most combined points and was crowned AMA Pro Grand National Champion. The New Jersey native was able to successfully defend his title in 2011 without taking home either of the individual championships; Jared Mees and Sammy Halbert took home the Expert Twins and Expert Singles titles, respectively. In the ultra-competitive Pro Singles division, Michael Martin ran a very consistent season to finish atop the point standings, and will run the No. 1 plate during Pro Singles events in 2012.
In 2015, the two classes were renamed GNC1 and GNC2 to pay homage to the list of Grand National Champions in the sport's storied past and make a clear distinction between the two for new fans.