Cycle News

Cycle News 2015 Issue 21 May 27

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 83 of 143

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARRY LAWRENCE T here was a lot of hype and anticipation for this year's Memorial Day Weekend Springfield Mile. Besides the excitement brought by the AMA Grand National debut of World Superbike legend Troy Bayliss, there was also the appearance of Daytona 200 winner Danny Eslick and a slew of riders in new seats for the summer. Yet for all the buildup to this year's Springfield Mile in the end it was the tried and true combination of Bryan Smith and his power- ful Kawasaki-backed Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports/ Villa-Esparza Kawasaki EX650- based flat track machine that VOL. 52 ISSUE 21 MAY 27, 2015 P83 Briefly... In the Springfield Mile Main there were five different brands of mo- torcycles—eight Kawasaki EX650- based machines, six Harley-David- son XR750s, two KTM 990 Super Dukes, two Triumph Bonnevilles and a Ducati 1100 Hypermotard. There were glitches with timing and scoring during the Main and initially the scoring sheets showed only Bry- an Smith and Jared Mees leading laps, however in reviewing the video it was clear that Smith led 21 laps, Willie McCoy led two and Sammy Halbert and Jared Mees each led a lap apiece at the start-finish line. Bryan Smith's Springfield victory was his fifth win at the famous Mile. Four of those wins came aboard Ka- wasakis and one on a Harley-David- son. Springfield was a milestone win for Smith. His victory was the 18th- career Grand National victory. That places him for the first time inside the top-20 on the all-time AMA Pro Grand National wins list. He moved out of a tie with Hank Scott and Steve Eklund and now is tied for 19th all-time with Jake Johnson. Smith's Kawasaki is sporting a new Kawasaki Green paint scheme since the team is now receiving backing directly from Kawasaki. The paint scheme tastefully also gives play to longtime sponsor Crosley Radio. Jake Johnson was notably absent from Springfield. He was slated to race a USC/Hart Racing Kawasaki at the event, but for a yet unknown reason Johnson and the team parted company. We reached out to John- son for comment. He did not talk to continued on next page

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