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Tuesday 4 April 2023

Progressive American Flat Track

Beach Does It Again at Arizona Super TT

Progressive American Flat Track TT master JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) added another chapter to his legend by reigning supreme at the ZO CBD Arizona Super TT presented by RideNow Powersports at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, on April 1st.

Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle 

Beach, who has now claimed victories in seven of the most recent eight Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle TT Main Events, ultimately proved worthy of his status as the heavy favorite coming into the weekend. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have to work for this one.

That work started in the race’s opening corner after initially getting displaced to third behind reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750 - ultimately 6th after losing his back-end) and points leader Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT - ultimately second).

The biggest danger moment for Beach came when Daniels took control of the lead two minutes into the Main. The on-form Daniels was stuck behind Mees on a track that presented few opportunities to pass and plenty of opportunities to mess up.

Almost exactly a minute later, Beach (literally) flew by Mees over the start-finish jump to slot into second. And almost exactly one minute after that he pulled a carbon-copy of the high-flying move on Daniels to take the lead for himself.

Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 890 Duke) eventually took third, with Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750) in fourth, ahead of Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) in fifth.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Dalton Gauthier, 2019 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles Champion (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) closed to within one point of the 2023 points lead with a precise and patient ride to victory.

Gauthier established himself as the favorite going in with his strong pre-race performance, but ended up corralled behind Chad Cose (No. 49 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450 - ultimately ninth) in the early going after Cose dove down from the outside of Row 1 to claim the lead coming out of the race’s opening corner.

Gauthier sat close on Cose’s rear wheel as they circulated the slick, one-line track, hoping to either find or force a mistake from the leader while facing heat from behind, with a long string of riders jammed up behind them, spearheaded by Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F - eventually second), who himself was flanked by Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F - eventually third) and Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F - who took fourth).

Just as the race approached mid-distance, Gauthier made his move, landing along and inside of Cose as they completed a jump and slid into the subsequent left-hander.

A late red flag added the potential for some unexpected drama to a race that appeared all but settled when Andrew Luker (No. 11 Rackley Racing/Keeran Racing Yamaha YZ450F) crashed with just ten seconds remaining on the clock.

That set the stage for a staggered restart and three-lap shootout. However, Gauthier successfully survived the second launch and cleared off to grab his first checkered flag of the season. The win was his third career TT victory and sees him remain the only rider in the field to have finished on the podium in every race this season. Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) completed the top five.

Next Up: After a three-week break, the series now heads for the Dallas Half-Mile (April 22), Ventura Short Track (May 6), the Sacramento Mile (May 13), and the Red Mile at Lexington, Ky., on May 27. After another three-week gap, Round 9 will be last in the sequence of Mile races, at DuQuoin, Il., on June 17. After which the first of a four-race run of Half-Miles kicks-off with the popular Lima, Ohio Half-Mile on June 24.