DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - AMA Pro Flat Track stars return to the stage for another year at ESPN's Summer X Games in Austin, Texas for the Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing event at Circuit of The Americas on June 2 - 5. The X Games will be broadcast live on both ESPN and ABC.
"The X Games is an outstanding festival for the world's leading young extreme athletes and we are proud to once again have the AMA Pro Flat Trackers showcase our uniquely American sport," said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. "The action will be fast and furious and the redesigned track will deliver thrilling racing from start to finish."
During last year's Summer X Games, Kawasaki rider No. 42 Bryan Smith secured the inaugural flat track gold medal over top rival and reigning Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion No. 1 Jared Mees.
"It was great to win the gold last year," Smith said. "It was pretty special. I was the first one and pretty lucky to win it. To be back there again will be cool and I'll hopefully defend my gold medal and be the only guy with two flat track golds.
"I'm excited to be able to showcase what we have in flat track and how special it is and I hear the track will be better this year," Smith continued. "In order to prepare, my team and I treat it just like any other AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National, which is what our whole careers and lives are based around."
After leading the majority of the 20-lap race, Mees suffered a mechanical issue on the final lap which forced him to leave the track and miss the win, allowing Smith to take home the victory. Mees has something to prove when he returns to the X Games in June, and is guaranteed to be a frontrunner in Austin.
"X Games for me was a little bitter," Mees said. "Leading from start to almost finish and coming up a half of a lap short with a pretty comfortable lead was a bitter part of the season for me. It would've been cool to collect the very first ever gold medal, but unfortunately the gold medal is sitting on somebody else's shelf. I'm looking forward to going back because I'm motivated to go to every race and win. All in all I'm excited to be returning."
Sammy Halbert, rider of the No. 7 Harley-Davidson, finished second at the X Games while Factory Harley-Davidson rider No. 6 Brad Baker closed out the podium with his third-place result.
"Summer X Games was such an amazing experience," Baker said. "It felt so awesome to be able to compete for an X Games medal just like the famous athletes I have grown up watching on TV. I'm really looking forward to this year's event. I came up two places short of gold last year, so I'm really going to be pushing for gold this time. X Games is just an awesome experience whether you are an athlete or a spectator, so I'm pumped for many reasons."
The purpose-built dirt track has been redesigned by seven-time Grand National Champion Chris Carr with the goal of providing additional racing lines.
"The purpose of the redesign was to create more drama on the race track," Carr said. "The new track should provide more passing opportunities and will set the stage for a great show."
Two months prior to the Summer X Games, a full field of the world's best dirt track motorcycle racers will take on the newly re-engineered track at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday, April 9 during the Harley-Davidson Lone Star Half-Mile. Tickets for the April 9 event are now available and can be purchased at www.texasflattrack.com/
For more information about the 2016 Summer X Games, please visit ESPN's website at http://xgames.espn.go.com/