Brad Baker - 2014 Superprestigio Dirt Track Race Report
NEWS January 16, 2014
January 16, 2014 - Hey Everyone! First off I hope all of you had a great New Years and have had a great start to the brand new 2014 season. For me 2014 has already shown to be another steady upward climb in progression and success! There have been so many great things happen to me in such a short time that it’s almost unreal. From getting my own place and living on my own, to becoming the new Factory Harley Davidson rider, to hooking up with Fun Mart Cycle and Dyno Center riding amazing KTM 450 SX-F’s, and then just still realizing that I am the #1 Grand National Flat Track Champion that people refer to as the best flat track racer in the world! Those are just they key points! I have been blessed in so many ways and I am so thankful to be where I am! At 20 years old you can say that I feel like I am on top of the world. Even when I have accomplished all this there is no room for slowing down. I am still getting faster on the bike and I still have many goals I want to reach not only this year but for the rest of career. It has only just begun!
2014 started out last weekend as what will probably go down as one the most memorable events of my whole career. Around early December I was honored to be invited to the Superprestegio Dirt track event put on by RPM Racing with support of Moto GP World Champion Marc Marquez. The race would be held in the amazing Palau Saint Jordi Stadium in the beautiful city of Barcelona Spain. The Superprestegio event was initially held as a road race grand prix back in the 70s-90’s that brought out of a bunch of top named World GP riders. The race eventually lost interest in the mid 90’s and wasn’t revived again until this year when main promoter Jaime Alguersuri and Marq Marquez along with RPM Racing put their heads together and brought the great event back to life. Since a good majority of World GP riders cross train with dirt track nowadays and with the huge history of dirt track riders turned road racers that became world champions it was a perfect time to put on such an event as a dirt track race and make the dirt track presence known again on the world stage.
The event involved riders such as the Moto GP, Moto 2, Moto 3 world champions, Kenny Noyes and handful of other Gp riders along with other riders from all over the world that compete in all sorts of different racing disciplines. Kenny is the son of Dennis Noyes who promoted the first ever dirt track race in Spain with Jaime Alguersuri years ago. He started off his career as a dirt tracker in the states and now lives in Barcelona as a world gp rider. The race program was a pretty interesting format. There were three classes, The GP class, the open class and the Junior class. The gp class involved all the Gp road race riders, the open class involved at the DT riders and other discipline riders such as myself and the junior class was for young riders that all rode Kawasaki 140’s supplied by the Noyes Dirt track Camp. The way the program worked was you had to make it through several rounds of qualifying, heat races, and finish inside the top three in your class to earn a transfer spot to the super final race which would decide who was the fasts rider of the night. Would it be a GP Rider or an Open rider? As to be expected I pretty much laid the hammer to the competition in the open class the whole night. I set fast time in every session, got every hole shot and won by a huge margin in both heat races and the open main event. I knew this would not be my toughest race of the night though. Marq Marquez is an amazing rider and was the only rider close to my lap times the whole night. He won every time he was on the track except once and would be the rider to line up right next to me in the super final. It had shaped up to be the perfect showdown! Who was better, the GP World Champ or the Flat Track World Champ? It was pretty much a picture perfect race, we were side by side from the moment the gate dropped and swapping the lead several times. To tell everyone the truth I was holding back about 90%. My lap times were about a half a second faster during the earlier races but I wanted to make it a “Super” final, not a blow out. Marc was doing everything he could to keep me behind him, running me wide several times and pushing really hard. Finally the laps were winding down and I had to make a move to get by him and not let him run me wide again. I squared him up coming off of turn 4 and got the drive on him going into turn 1. Unfortunately, I was charging in hard and he did not want to let me by and tried to shut the door. There was hard contact between his handle bar and my knee and it took his front end out from under him and he hit the ground hard! That was not my intentions at all, it upset me a lot that our battle ended like that but like they say, when you mess with the bull you get the horns! I rode the last two laps out and did a nice American stand up wheelie past the checkered.. I was really happy that no one was upset after the race and even Marc told me it was not completely all my fault, it was just a racing incident.
The Trip was an outright amazing experience! I can’t thank Mark Gardiner, Dennis Noyes, Jaime Alguersuri, RPM Racing, and Marc Marquez enough for getting me over there and making the event possible! Also a huge thanks to KTM of Spain and KTM Racing for supplying me with an excellent motorcycle. I am really happy with my move to KTM and I think we have just started to turn some heads. I can’t wait for Daytona to show case my FMC Dyno Center KTM 450! I never thought I would get shown so much respect from so many people in a foreign country. Motorcycles are a way of life to many in Europe, they almost treated me better over there then they do over here! In total there was about 8,000 fans in the stands, 122 journalist at the event, 3 television crews, and around 150,000 people in the United States watched the live feed on cycleworld.com! By far the most exposure I have ever got and the whole sport of dirt track has received in a long time!! I have a tremendous amount of respect for Marc and some of the other GP riders! They are great dirt trackers for the little amount of time they have done it. Flat track has been on a pretty good comeback here in the states and I believe this event will boost its momentum big time.
Thank you to the rest of my 2014 sponsors and all of my fans. I can’t wait to get this season into full swing!!