MINNEAPOLIS, MN — New AMA Pro Flat Track GNC1 champion Bryan Smith, Brad Baker and Jared Mees have all signed with Indian Motorcycle, which is making its return to the Flat Track ranks next season.
The three riders were announced at the American Motorcyclists Association Flat Track Awards banquet, following Sunday’s Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track race in Santa Rosa, California. The trio will be known as the Wrecking Crew, which is a tribute to the famed Wrecking Crew of the 1940s and 1950s that included Ernie Beckman, Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill.
Smith, 33, from Flint, Mich., began racing BMX at age six. He then moved to Flat Track and Ice Racing at age seven and has been competing at the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship level since 2001, gradually climbing the ranks every year.
In 2015, Smith competed in his first X Games, winning gold in the Flat Track event. He earned his first Grand National Championship this year.
Baker, 23, originally hailing from Dryad, Wash., is the third youngest Grand National Champion in the history of the sport. Baker won his first two races at the Hagerstown, Maryland and Pomona, California half-miles.
In 2011, Baker was the GNC Expert Rookie of the Year. He took a dominating win at the Santa Rosa mile on Sunday afternoon.
Mees, 30, won the AMA Grand National Twins championship in 2009, the AMA Grand National Singles championship in 2012 and is a three-time unified AMA Grand National Championship (GNC1) titlist, having won the premier crown in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
This year, Mees also became a Gold Medalist in the X Games. He won last year’s Superprestigio of the Americas and also topped the Troy Bayliss Classic in 2014.
Mees’ race bike will be handled by legendary flat track tuner Kenny Tolbert and Ricky Howerton will be the team manager for Smith and Baker.
“Indian Motorcycle has a DNA in motorcycle racing. We will continue that push towards excellence on the street and in competition with the introduction of the Indian Scout FTR750,” said Gary Gray, product director for Indian Motorcycle. “AMA Pro Flat Track racing is highly competitive and we leaned on a global team for this factory effort and have engaged some of the best riders to exhibit our commitment to this legendary sport. That said, we are entering the series to do one thing – win.”
The new Indian Scout FTR750 that all three riders will be aboard next year is powered by an all-new,race-only 750cc V-Twin that was developed in-house for professional flat track competition. The chassis and overall design comes from the team at the Indian Motorcycle’s Medina, Minnesota headquarters,with input from experienced race team personnel.
The No. 3 Indian Motorcycle FTR750 made its debut on Sunday, piloted by AMA flat track racing legendJoe Kopp in Santa Rosa to a seventh place finish after starting on the inside of the front row, winning theDash for Cash, taking the holeshot and leading the opening lap.
“Our team worked hard and had a pretty confident feeling coming into the weekend,” said Reid Wilson,director of marketing for Indian Motorcycle.
“Our goal was to make the main event, a great achievement for a 100% new motorcycle racing a highly competitive GNC1 class. Joe was outstanding on the motorcycle and taking a strong win in the dash for cash was an epic first AMA Checkered flag forIndian Motorcycle since the early 1950’s.”
“With our performance this weekend, and the announcement of the new riders, we are showing our commitment to both the sport and the history and future of Indian Motorcycle.”
CREDIT: Indian Motorcycle