Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner-Springsteen News Release
Irvine, Calif. (June 3, 2011) - Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner-Springsteen’s JR Schnabel fought hard to secure a third-place finish at Round 6 of the AMA Flat Track Series in Springfield, Ill. The Springfield TT, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Monday due to heavy rains that inundated the track over the weekend. Although Schnabel knew the Monday race would be more difficult due to the track’s changing conditions, he got off to a great start taking the win in the Dash for Cash. When the gate dropped during the main event, Schnabel maneuvered to the front of the pack early and got in pace behind the leader. He was attempting to reel-in the leader, but got caught up in a battle with another rider and finished the race in third place. Also showing good speed on his KX(tm)450F was Kawasaki rider Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., who finished the race in sixth place.
Now in his 15th year of competition in the flat track series, Schnabel is a veteran of racing who knows what it takes to get on the podium. He came into the Springfield TT event feeling confident on this familiar track with his KX450F dialed-in. Although the track conditions were less than ideal, he powered around the track with confidence and found the podium by the end of the race.
“The TT has always been a good event for me,” said Schnabel. “In the past I’ve won this race three times and landed on the podium eight times. They watered the track Monday morning, so it started out slick, but eventually dried out. When the track dries out it’s easier for the bike to step sideways out of the turns so you have to be careful and really work the throttle through the corners. After the gate dropped I got behind the leader and was pacing him really well, then Jared Mees got behind me and we started battling. We swapped paint a few times and traded position battling for second, which slowed us down so the leader was able to pull away. We had a pretty good battle going most of the race, but he got around me one last time before the finish. I ended up coming home in third, which I’m not thrilled about, but since the season started out kind of slow for me, getting back on the podium felt good.”
Since Schnabel first climbed on his new KX450F at the beginning of this season, he has been working to fine tune the bike to his specific riding style. To ensure he would get the most out of his bike, his team spent a day testing the bike in Springfield to get the suspension dialed-in. With the suspension fine tuned to Schnabel’s riding style, he was much more comfortable charging through corners as he fought for the podium.
“I like to get on the throttle, hold on, and hope for the best,” said Schnabel. “When the track dries out that’s not the best riding style. This is my first year with the Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner-Springsteen team and on the KX450F. We had a test day before Springfield so we knew we were going into the race with a good setup. Now that I have the suspension set to my riding style, the KX450F has been working great. I can two-wheel slide around corners really well without the bike stepping out or snapping sideways, and I don’t need a rut to hold my line. The steering and handling of the KX450F are clear advantages versus other bikes I’ve ridden in the past.”
Ninja on the Horizon
In two weeks, Schnabel and the Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner-Springsteen team heads to Round 8 of the AMA Pro Flat Track Series in Hartford, Mich., where they will be competing in the Hartford Half-Mile on the Ninja(r)650R. Schnabel will stay on the Ninja 650R for the next five rounds of competition before returning to the KX450F at Round 13 in Castle Rock, Wash.
AMA Pro Flat Track Series – Round 6
Illinois State Fairgrounds – Springfield, Ill.
May 30, 2011
TT Expert Class Results
1. Jake Johnson, Honda
2. Jared Mees, Honda
3. JR SCHNABEL, JR., MONSTER ENERGY/KAWASAKLI/WERNER-SPRINGSTEEN
4. Steven Bonsey, Honda
5. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha
6. KENNY COOLBETH, JR., KAWASAKI
7. Matt Weidman, Honda
8. SHAUN RUSSELL, KAWASAKI
9. Brad Baker, Honda
10. Chad Cose, Honda
TT Expert Class Points Standings
1. Jake Johnson, Honda, 121
2. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha, 120
3. Jared Mees, Honda, 89
4. KENNY COOLBETH, JR., KAWASAKI, 87
5. Brad Baker, Honda, 82
6. Chris Carr, Honda, 68
7. HENRY WILES, MONSTER ENERGY/KAWASAKI/JONES BROTHERS, 64
8. Johnny Lewis, Honda, 63
9. Jimmy Wood, Honda, 52
10. JR SCHNABEL, JR., MONSTER ENERGY/KAWASAKLI/WERNER-SPRINGSTEEN, 45