Inaugural Sturgis Buffalo Chip TT Presented by Indian Motorcycle

Sunday evening, front of of a massive crowd of Sturgis rally goers it was am electric atmosphere at the new Buffalo Chip track for Round 13 of the 2017 American Flat Track Championship. The AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main event was a most unpredictable affair, featuring three red flags, an all-but certain winner who didn’t win, and a crasher who did. Ultimately, the checkered flag went to Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650), who secured his second victory of the season in most impressive – albeit unusual – fashion.

But even Bauman was forced to admit that the evening seemed destined to fall in the favor of American Flat Track’s all-time TT king, Henry Wiles (No. 17 DPC Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650). Wiles started the Main from pole and looked to be well on his way to a record-extending 18th career TT win, even through a pair of red flags that twice reset rapidly expanding advantages to nil.

However, on the race’s third start, it was Wiles himself who forced the next appearance of the red flag. The TT-specialist’s steed started leaking oil and second-placed Bauman was the first to fall in Wiles’ wake, bringing about an immediate stoppage to the action. Wiles’ bike was too extensively damaged to repair in time to make the subsequent restart. Meanwhile, Bauman was promoted to the front of the field despite his crash as a result of not having caused the incident. Bauman took full advantage of this final twist, breaking away from the pack to back up his Lima Half-Mile victory in style. Jake Johnson raced the team’s Harley-Davidson XG750R competition motorcycle to a third-place finish.

Title leader Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) finished a strong second in sharp contrast to chief rival Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750), who crashed in the early-going and could only salvage 12th place after remounting.

The AFT Singles race was every bit as predictable as the AFT Twins Main was unpredictable, but that made it no less fascinating. As widely expected, national champion road racer and burgeoning TT legend Hayden Gillim (No. 95 Cycle World Suzuki RMZ 450) put on another clinic to score his second wire-to-wire TT victory of the season.

1 Response to “Inaugural Sturgis Buffalo Chip TT Presented by Indian Motorcycle”

  1. 1 Hillbilly Jim Aug 10th, 2017 at 6:42 am

    As a wise man predicted the competition is fierce and several brands share the podium. This is as it should be and all is well in the land of two wheeled excitement!

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Cyril Huze