Former Flat Track Canada National Champion Doug Lawrence of Mississauga, ON., will make his first American race appearance of the 2017 season at the Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half Mile at Raid City, South Dakota, on Tuesday, August 8. The 14th event on the American Flat Track National Tour is part of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
In a just-negotiated deal, Lawrence will ride a Kawasaki Ninja 650 twin for the Weirbach Racing group out of Iowa, one of 25 entries in the Feature class, AFT Twins, presented by Vance and Hines. So far this season, the new works Indian FTR750s of Bryan Smith, Brad Baker and Jared Mees have dominated the revamped American Flat Track tour.
“The Weirbachs are father and son, and I’ve known them for what seems like forever,” explained Lawrence, who will fly to the states just long enough to attend the Rapid City National Round.
“This will be my first ride with this bike, this team. They were looking around for a racer, and they called me and wanted to see what we could do. I’ve known them from the track, and they’re good guys.”
Lawrence would not confirm that the ride could lead to other opportunities with the Weirbach Kawasaki, but did concede that other events, later in the year, had been discussed.
“So far, I’ve really tried to concentrate on my Mopar CSBK Nationals program with Suzuki,” explained Lawrence, currently sitting second in the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year standings in the road racing National tour. “I’ve done a little Flat tracking at Welland, just to keep up to speed, but my focus is now on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the two Superbike races for Suzuki August 19 and 20.
“After Mosport, I will figure out what is possible with the rest of the Flat Track Canada and American Flat Track series, with their remaining 2017 events. There are a few races I would like to hit, like the Springfield Mile National, so we’ll see what comes of this entry in South Dakota. There are a few possibilities.”
The Weirbach effort is backed by Kawasaki USA, Racing Unlimited, Durelle Racing, CP Pistons and Rods, Web cams, Spectro, Shorai, Cheeney Engineering, G2 Ergonomics, All Balls Racing, Firecoat Custom Powderworks, Fourdee’s Graphics, Sunoco, Supertrapp, Yoyodyne and Pit Poss.
Lawrence’s sponsors include Parts Canada, HJC, Alpinestars, K&N, Saddlemen and Motion Pro.