AMA Pro Racing Goes Inside the Mind of Brad Baker
NEWS May 15, 2013
Photo by Dave Hoenig
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 15, 2013) – Brad Baker, one of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles’ rising stars and 2011 Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award winner, gave us insight as to how he’s handling his three consecutive runner-up finishes in all three Grand National Expert main events this season.
AMA Pro: You’ve started this season with three straight second-place finishes. What are your thoughts on this?
Baker: Consistency is always the key to winning a Grand National Championship so it’s definitely pretty awesome to begin the season with such a solid average in the points. However, it’s definitely a bitter sweet feeling knowing I’ve come so close to winning and have come up short every time so far this year. I want to get that win as soon as possible but I realize I’m still pretty young in my career and know that wins will eventually come.
AMA Pro: Since graduating to the premier Expert class in 2010, you’ve yet to clinch your first main event victory. You’re obviously on the brink this season but what is it going to take for you to get over the hump and nail down your first victory?
Baker: I just have to be better at the end of each race. I always seem to start out exceptionally well but there’s always one rider there that’s always studying me the whole time. The last last five laps have been my Achilles heel this season and I just need to be better towards the end.
AMA Pro: What is the most important thing you must do to make sure you finish stronger in future races?
Baker: I believe the most important thing for me to remember late in the race is to look for different lines. Sammy got me at Stockton because he found a different line coming out of turn four on the 20th lap. He found that extra little edge that helped him seal the victory. The track changes a lot throughout the day and it’s my job to make the appropriate adjustments.
AMA Pro: Do you feel any added pressure to get that first Expert main event victory?
Baker: A little bit. I just want to get it done because I know there are a lot of people behind me and supporting me. I’ve come so close so many times and I know it’s all there. Between my capabilities, my motorcycle, and my team, I know we have what it takes to get it done. I heard once the first when comes, the rest come easier. My biggest focus though is to continue building up points and maintaining consistency.
AMA Pro: Other than going faster than everyone else, what is the main thing you focus on during a race?
Baker: My main priority is to figure out the lines early on. Every rider’s goal is to figure out ways to give themselves advantages by finding lines that no one else can see. My goal is similar; to figure out the lines on the track and think strategically about different ways I can maneuver myself through the pack in the most efficient manner.
AMA Pro: You’ve been successful on both the single and twin cylinder motorcycles this season and in years past. Do you prefer one over the other?
Baker: It really doesn’t matter whether I’m on a twin or a single. I prefer tracks that are racy and provide a lot of traction. I believe tracks like these separate rider’s capabilities. I like being able to ride as hard as I can.