2015 brings with it a lot of changes for many AMA Pro Flat track riders. Jake Shoemaker is one of those riders entering this exciting season of change. Shoemaker makes the jump from privateer to factory rider, aboard the Bonneville Performance – Castrol – Triumph Motorcycles ride, sporting Shoemaker’s national number 55.
The team and their new rider spent several days testing at several tracks prior to the start of the season. Shoemaker comments on the changes he has had to make personally as a Triumph rider:
“The biggest adjustment I have had to make riding the Triumph is dealing with twice the torque. There is just a ton of torque that I needed to alter my riding style to. After a few laps I was able to get a lot more aggressive.”
The team is looking forward to one of the best seasons to date. The decision to bring Shoemaker on as the teams rider had much to do with his aggressive, hard charging riding style. Team owner, Bill Gately feels his new rider is the ideal fit for his team:
“ Not only is Jake one of the hardest working riders in the paddock, but he is able to understand the mechanics of the engine — we have even built one together — his feedback and understanding of the chassis dynamics and suspension-setup is the best I have seen in a rider. And, he can immediately come up with a solution to go faster.”
In 2014 Shoemaker was a top ten in AMA Pro points with 7 top ten finishes and found his way to the podium with a third place finish at Hagerstown, Md. and a second place finish at the mile and a quarter Virginia Mega Mile at Colonial Downs – New Kent, Va. Shoemaker was also the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track – Saddlemen Rookie of the Year.
Shoemaker has had the Bonneville Performance – Castrol – Triumph bikes out racing at a few non-AMA Pro National races. Non-national doesn’t mean there was a lack of talent or competition. What helped Shoemaker see the success he has had so early in his GNC1 career is his “never give up” attitude. In non-national events Shoemaker made the main and saw the podium each time the torquey twin Triumph rolled on the track, adding to Shoemaker’s pro podium count.
Next stop on the AMA Pro Flat Track Racing schedule is the historic Springfield Mile, a favorite of the air-cooled Triumph twin engine. Shoemaker hopes to improve on his 2014 Top Ten (9th) finish. Shoemaker feels very confident in his team heading into the Springfield Mile on Memorial Day weekend. Shoemaker shares his thoughts heading into the first mile race of the year.
“We have logged a lot of laps. We have learned a lot. We have made a lot of changes. I am confident we have a very competitive package for Springfield. The work our team has done together has really impressed me. I was able to spend a few weeks with Bill, at the track, back at the shop and let me say, this bike is fast! Opening it up on a tacky mile is going to be a lot of fun for me.”
Shoemaker was also excited to have been invited to the 2015 XGames in Austin, Tx.
“It was an honor to be one of those chosen to participate in the XGames this year. Not only am I excited for my team and our sponsors, but also for the entire sport and the other teams invited. This is our chance to shine on a new level. I’m confident we will see XGames fans become Flat Track fans!”
The team will be making special announcements in the near future regarding new sponsors for the XGames and the entire 2015 season.