Crosley Brands Kawasaki Rider Bryan Smith Crowned 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track Champion
September 25, 2016 | Santa Rosa Mile | Santa Rosa, Calif.
Foothill Ranch, Ca (September 26, 2016) – Bryan Smith arrived at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California this weekend with the AMA Pro Flat Track series points lead, and prepared to claim the crown. With a podium finish at the Santa Rosa Mile Smith did just that, winning the 2016 GNC1 Championship aboard his Ninja® 650 powered machine giving Kawasaki both the riders' and manufacturers' championship.
Leading into the Main Event, Smith remained focused and when the green flag dropped he immediately began to battle for position at the front. Within a few laps Smith and one other rider were able to pull away from the pack while battling for the lead. Smith began to lose touch with the leader but remained focused on the goal of winning the championship. Knowing that his current position was enough to win, Smith began to settle in and check off the laps. In the final laps, championship hopes began to weigh heavily as his only championship rival closed the gap. A dramatic battle played out on the final laps with Smith being able to take the advantage over his championship rival, taking the checkers and holding the championship points lead.
"I'm confident and I love the mile long tracks," said Smith who was the fastest qualifier leading up to the heat races. "I don't really have a strategy, that's the good thing about myself and mile racing, I have a lot of experience. I'm one of the older guys and you can't really make a plan ahead of time, you have to be able to react when you're out there. Luckily, I have some experience to back up my reactions. It still seems like a dream to win the championship. The last few laps were the hardest I've ever raced, the track was extremely slippery and my competition was closing the gap on me. I put every last drop of energy, finesse and talent into those last five laps. I can't thank Kawasaki enough, everyone from the company that supports me, I love them!"