Daytona Beach, Fla., March 17—Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team rider Jake Johnson rode the all-new Harley-Davidson XG750R competition motorcycle to fourth-place finish at the Harley-Davidson Daytona TT presented by Politis & Matovina, the season-opening race of the 2017 American Flat Track (AFT) Twins series.
Piloting the new XG750R in its first racing action, Johnson battled on a tight-and-technical 0.6-mile TT course constructed in the infield of Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Starting from eighth place in the 25-lap main, Johnson charged through the field to miss a spot on the podium by just 0.516 second.
“The power and potential of the new XG750R was on display in Daytona tonight,” said Scott Beck, Harley-Davidson director of motorsports marketing. “The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team responded to a big challenge, bringing an all-new racing motorcycle to an all-new track format.”
Johnson turned his night around after a 12th-place finish in the first heat race moved him to the last-chance qualifier heat, which he failed to finish after a mechanical issue. Johnson was able to regroup and use a provisional start to claim a spot on the back row of the semi-final heat, and finished fourth to advance to the main.
“Nobody knew what to expect from this new track. I think we were prepared but I struggled personally early in the evening,” said Johnson, a two-time AMA Grand National champion who is in his first full season racing for the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team. “The Harley XG750R was strong all night but I hit the ground twice and the team had to scramble. We all rallied together. I’m really excited to be racing with this outstanding Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track crew behind me this season.”
The Daytona TT was the first outing of the season for the 2017 Harley-Davidson XG750R flat tracker, a competition motorcycle powered by a race-modified, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected Revolution X™ V-Twin engine originally engineered for the Harley-Davidson Street 750. The XG750R flat tracker motorcycle is not a production model. The Revolution X V-Twin engine is for sale through Harley-Davidson dealers today and can be modified for racing use by aspiring dealers and privateers.
The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team returns to action March 25 at the AFT Atlanta Short Track at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia.
The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team is proudly partnered with Vance & Hines Motorsports.