Brad Baker Targeting First Grand National Championship
NEWS October 11, 2013
Photo by Dave Hoenig
POMONA, Calif. (October 11, 2013) – With only one round of AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles remaining, Dryad, Wash.’s Brad Baker (Dodge Bros Racing/Harley-Davidson) leads the overall Grand National Championship by 11 points over Flint, Mich.’s Bryan Smith (Crosley Radio/Kawasaki). Ever since graduating to the elite GNC ranks in 2011 and winning the prestigious Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award, Baker has drastically improved as a rider each and every season since his debut.
“I’d have to say the two biggest reasons for my success have come from the experience that I’ve gained each season from competing at this level and the consistent improvements to my equipment that have been made every year,” said Baker. “My first year, I was on a Ducati. Not to knock on the brand but I definitely gave myself a better advantage when I switched to the Harley-Davidson the following season. Last year, I bounced around race teams and switched motorcycles several times trying to figure out what was the best fit for me. This year, I feel like everything is completely in sync. Kevin Atherton has done a tremendous job building my motorcycles exactly to my liking and has given me a machine that’s just as good as anything out there.”
At just 20-years-old, Baker would be the third youngest first-time Grand National Champion and the fourth youngest of all-time if he can hold on to his 11 point lead this weekend at Pomona. Baker locked up the AMA Pro Expert Singles Championship during Round 7 at Peoria earlier this year but won’t be satisfied until his No. 12 turns into a No. 1 plate for the 2014 season.
When asked if he would treat this race any differently than the others knowing he has so much on the line, Baker responded; “I plan on riding the same way as I always do at Pomona, which is to ride hard and try to stay smooth. My main goal is to treat it as any other race and know that I have confidence in my ability. I’m not going to try anything too out of the ordinary just because it’s the last race and the title is on the line. I believe the pressure is more on Bryan (Smith) than it is on me anyway. I’m just going to get on the gas early and get hooked up, something I always try and do.”
Other than his double-digit lead in the points, Baker also has history on his side heading into the season finale. Baker has finished in second-place in each of the last two main events at the Pomona Half-Mile.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the circuit,” said Baker on behalf of the LA County Fairplex where the Pomona Half-Mile will commence this Saturday. “The layout of the entire track suites me perfectly and I have always put up good results here. I’m very excited to get out there again this weekend and see what I can do. I’m not going to do anything crazy. The most important thing for me is to do well enough to bring home the championship.”
The table is set for an exciting final round of motorcycle racing action this Saturday, October 12, at the LA County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. for the Law Tigers AMA Pro Flat Track Finals. Will Baker clinch his first ever Grand National Championship or will Bryan Smith or Brandon Robinson shock the nation and crash his party? Only time will tell. For tickets and more information regarding the event, please visit http://www.flattrackfinals.com/ or call 818-881-6458.
For fans that are unable to attend the event, AMA Pro Racing will be live streaming multiple channels of in-depth and behind-the-scenes multimedia content on the AMA Pro Live streaming video website. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director's chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints while listening in on series PA announcers Barry Boone and Scottie Deubler. Alongside the streaming video content, AMA Pro Live features Live Timing & Scoring data and play-by-play commentary via Twitter.
Beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m. ET), fans will be able to tune in to watch live streaming of timed practice and qualifying, followed by opening ceremonies at 6:05 p.m. PT (9:05 p.m. ET). The day's racing festivities will conclude with the 16-lap J&P Pro Cycles Main Event at 9:10 p.m. PT (12:10 a.m. ET) and the 25-lap Grand National Championship Main Event at 9:40 p.m. PT (12:40 a.m. ET). As an added bonus for the fans, AMA Pro Live will continue to stream as the champions are crowned on victory podium following the races.
AMA Pro Live can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smart phone with Internet access. Log on and tune in at http://www.amaprolive.com/ft/.