Former Flat Track Canada National Champ Doug Lawrence is just about ready for his first National of the season, round two of the American Flat Track National Championship, coming up this weekend in Georgia. Lawrence will compete in the Harley-Davidson Atlanta Short Track presented by Hellbender Harley-Davidson at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock on Saturday, April 7.
“Atlanta, round two, was always part of the plan,” explained Lawrence prior to his next trip south. “We’re warmed up, and getting back in the game. This should be a good track for us, a forgiving track, it’s round and slippery, so that should work for us. The stage is set to get back on the pace.”
After skipping most of the American Flat Track series last season, this year Lawrence plans to compete on the tour full-time for the next couple of months.
“For Atlanta, it will be one motorcycle only, and that is our Harley-Davidson XR750,” confirms Lawrence. “We always had the plan to use the XR for the half miles, and then move to our new Kawasaki at the big (mile) tracks.”
Last month, Lawrence and his tuner/father Doug Sr. went south for the traditional warm-up events, bringing both their established XR and brand new Ninja twins. That program was a success, so now they are ready to get back on the premier Flat Track tour.
“We had two days with the Kawasaki testing at Savannah, and then raced the XR. Then we went to Volusia and raced the Kawasaki, and we were satisfied with the progress overall from those events.
“We had slow starts racing the XR, but we worked up good enough to get third, we were really going good on my kind of track, behind Brad Baker (Indian) and Kenny Coolbeth (Indian). As far as the slow start, my excuse is that it is tough to come off the bench!”
“At Volusia, we maybe should have ridden our XR, but we needed to race the Kawasaki, learn about that bike, so I knew going in that would be the harder plan. We were getting there with the Ninja, getting faster, and the shorter 15 lap race actually helped us.”
“We defiantly would have done really well with the XR at Volusia, but that wasn’t a goal. We got a 4th and a 6th with our Kawasaki, and we are getting there with the chassis and the handling in terms of set-up. Our whole mission for the trip south was accomplished, the lap times on the XR750 were fast, we are right there, where we need to be.”
“With the Kawasaki, we were about .2 of a second behind Jared Mees (Indian FTR750 mounted National Champ), so that is a positive. I’m not planning to race the Kawasaki on the Half Miles, it is there for the Mile races.”
“At Atlanta this weekend, the goal is obviously to make the Main event,” considers Lawrence. “With the new format down there, you only really have one shot to make it into the feature, and you can’t risk any kind of issue.
“Things have changed with the American Flat Track tour, and it will take some adjustments,” continues Lawrence. “People are riding all the time, practicing, where as ten ears ago, people were busy working on their bikes. Now the top guys have paid mechanics to look after their twins. It’s tougher now, and you have to be mentally stronger.”
“Things are really serious now, everyone is in this to make a living,” continues Lawrence of the revamped National Tour. “It is different to before, and the little guy doesn’t really get much play. I’m going to be that little guy who makes it out of the Heat race, who makes his mark. I respect these guys, and I want to be part of all of this.
“We will have to see how we make out with our new plan in this new atmosphere. After this weekend, we have a short break and then we are on the road for five races. J.R. Addison will be taking my bikes across the country, we will share expenses.
“After the big Springfield AFT National (May 26/27), the next weekend is the Flat Track Canada National at Welland, and we will take our single to that if everything works out. And I’m still trying to work out a program for Mopar CSBK, maybe a 600cc program for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in August.”
Among the supporters for Lawrence on the American Flat Track tour in 2018 are Town Moto, John Briggs, American Harley-Davidson, Arai Helmets, Full Bore, Side Boots and MotoNation.
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 22:03 Published in News
When we reached Doug Lawrence early (very early!) on Tuesday, March 6, he is heading south for the traditional launch of the flat track racing season. The 32-year-old former Flat Track Canada National Champ is in a van with his father, taking their twin cylinder “framers” to Georgia and then Florida.
“We’re going to South Carolina for a Wednesday Practice Day, on their three-eighths of a mile track,” starts Lawrence, who is letting Doug Sr. handle the driving on this leg of the trip. “Then we head to Savanah, Georgia for another three-eights mile facility and another Test Day. On Friday, we race the opening AMA All-Stars round at Savannah, the series that is a step below the American Flat Track National tour.”
“Then it’s on to Volusia Speedway Park in Florida for another All-Star round. We’ll be back in Canada on the 17th, and then we will announce our 2018 sponsorship package. Right now, I can confirm that my long-time supporters John Briggs and Town Moto are on-board.”
Lawrence has some choices to make in terms of equipment, and one of the goals of the trip will be to develop their years-in-the-making, Big A-framed Kawasaki 650 Ninja Twin. As well, their established and successful Harley-Davidson XR750 will be available, and likely be the preferred option, at least initially, on the short ovals. For the first time, Lawrence is not bringing any single cylinder racers with his for his spring journey south.
“I think the Harley will be better at first, but the goal is to get up to speed with the Kawasaki. We have a couple of engine packages available for the Kawasaki, different set-ups. We want to get the most out of each package, and ride the bike that works the best for the specific track conditions.
“We’re uncomfortable with the idea of using the Harley a lot,” admits the junior Lawrence, referring to the rare, collectable and costly to run air-cooled v-twins. “We don’t want to waste the XR750. The bigger tracks will suit the Kawasaki for sure, it will be more reliable and have better acceleration off the corners. The cornering speed is higher with the Harley, but the Kawasaki works better in a pack situation.”
Lawrence has achieved significant success on American-based Kawasaki liquid-cooled twins, riding for other teams, during the past few seasons in the U.S.
“I’ve had a few offers to ride for American Teams, but to be honest, these opportunities appeal but the machinery would not be as good as our bikes. I know what it takes to win, and the key is preparation.”
Talking about the opposition at the major races south of the border, Lawrence explains that “the Indians will be good again in American Flat Track, there could be as many as ten Indians in a Main event, but the new privateer bikes will take some figuring out.
“My goal is to get up to the pace, and that shouldn’t take too long,” continues the racer known as Fresh. “We’re not going to do the opening American Flt Track round, the Daytona TT, but we are aiming for the second event a month from now at Atlanta. That track is ‘D shaped,’ another three-eighths mile layout, and this year will be the second year Atlanta is a National.
“My initial plans for this year involve a focus on the States, as well as some races in Canada, places like Welland and Ohsweken. Right now I have eight races of American Flat Track circled on the calendar, and then we will see how it is all going.
“Our plan is to do the initial sweep out West in the U.S., and then regroup during the break and see what makes sense. In Canada, we’re looking toward the possible all-Twins feature class in 2019 with Flat Track Canada, and the goal is to come up with a sensible plan with sensible budget numbers.
“Recently, it has taken at least two or three bikes to win the National Championship in Canada, and the Twins class would match us up with what is going on south of the border, and control some cost factors. This would also allow more young Canadian racers to compete in the States, too.
“For me, I aim to do less but be more focused, be happy with my overall effort and confident in the direction. I want to get back to where I’ve been in terms of success, and I can do that.
“I still plan to roadrace at the Mopar CSBK rounds if I can, but those plans are still in the works and I don’t want to spread myself too thin. It will be a weird year, it will be busy early in the States, and then we will make plans for the rest of the season based on how things are going.
Lawrence aims to open his 2018 National Tour in a month at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia, April 7. From there, he aims to head west to Texas, California and Arizona.
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 08:13 Published in News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 28, 2017) – An historic American Flat Track win streak remained in play despite facing its stiffest test yet today in front of a packed house at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to watch the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines contest the Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile I.
Monday, 29 May 2017 11:13 Published in Rider and Team Releases
@harleydavidson • @HarleyCanada • #LiveYourLegend – Discover more with the 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring lineup.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 22:59 Published in Multimedia
Inside Motorcycles was invited to the grand opening of 1903, a Harley-Davidson-branded cafe on the hip Ossington St. strip between Queen West and Dundas in Toronto. Attended by a mix of Harley reps like new Managing Director Anoop Prakash and Creative Director of General Merchandise at H-D in the US Karen Davidson, media and industry insiders, dealer reps and a gaggle of hip Toronto moto culture enthusiasts, the grand opening featured a DJ, Jumpstart stationary test rides, BBQ ribs and sliders, craft beer, themed cocktails and a whole lot of coffee and snacks that the shop will continue to sell daily.
The vibe of the new venue is relaxed, open, airy and welcoming. Stop by with friends and hang out on the couches or check out the tools and vintage paraphernalia on the walls. It's sure to become a destination for Harley enthusiasts from outside the city as well as a welcoming urban spot for those who make Toronto their home. Check out our gallery from the grand opening!
View the embedded image gallery online at:
Friday, 17 June 2016 15:33 Published in Industry News
MILWAUKEE (May 26, 2016) – @harleydavidson // A new-generation Harley-Davidson® flat-track motorcycle is ready to race. The Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® Factory Team is unleashing the XG750R, its first all-new flat track race bike in 44 years, to battle in fierce, adrenaline-filled competition on dirt ovals across the U.S. The XG750R will make its official competition debut Sunday, May 29, at the AMA Pro Flat Track Springfield Mile in Illinois.
Powered by the fuel-injected, liquid-cooled Harley-Davidson Revolution X™ V-Twin engine, the XG750R will be raced by Factory Team rider Davis Fisher on the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines flat track series. The new XG750R motorcycle is strictly for race competition and will not be offered for sale at this time.
The new flat tracker is powered by the 750cc Revolution X™ V-Twin engine designed for the Harley-Davidson Street® 750, a motorcycle built for maximum urban maneuverability with rebellious Dark Custom™ attitude. Tuned for the track, this modified Revolution X engine will power the new XG750R in the extreme heat of competition as it fights to be first to the finish line.
The race-modified Revolution X engine and a racing frame for the XG750R were developed by Vance & Hines Motorsports. Vance & Hines also is the partner for the factory Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines drag racing program where V-Rod® motorcycles have won eight of the past 12 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing championships.
“After decades of flat-track racing success behind the Harley-Davidson XR750 flat track motorcycle, we knew it was time to develop the next-generation Harley-Davidson to compete in one of the best spectator racing sports out there today,” said Kris Schoonover, Harley-Davidson racing manager.
Fisher, in his first season racing with the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Factory Team and a rookie on the GNC1 series, will be the first racer aboard the XG750R. The 18-year-old racer from Warren, Ore., won the 2015 AMA Pro GNC2 championship.
“We wanted a young rider with plenty of raw ability for the XG750R program, and Davis proved himself in the GNC2 class,” said Schoonover. “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring an emerging talent like Davis up to the GNC1 series to develop the new bike alongside an experienced champion like Brad Baker.”
Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Factory Team rider Brad Baker, 23 years old and the 2013 AMA Pro Grand National Champion, will continue to race aboard the proven Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle while Fisher races the XG750R through its developmental stage.
“The XG750R has shown great potential in testing and the first few races this season,” said Schoonover. “But as with any new racing motorcycle, there will be work to do. We’re excited to continue testing the XG750R in real world competition, and as we make our way through the season, we will evaluate the performance of the bike and our factory riders to see if Baker might switch to the new bike.”
Friday, 27 May 2016 11:28 Published in Industry News
@HarleyCanada • TORONTO, ON (April 18, 2016) –Shaped by nearly 60 years of heritage and stripped to the essential elements of a pure riding machine, the new Harley-Davidson® Roadster™ motorcycle is at home in urban landscapes and on twisting roads and makes a bold visual statement even when standing still.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 16:17 Published in Industry News
2015 Flat Track Canada reigning overall National Champion Doug Lawrence doesn’t mind the interruption on a Saturday night – the first period was not kind to the Leafs on “Hockey Night in Canada.” Lawrence took a break from pre-season preparations, and Pro team sport frustration, to discuss his plans for the upcoming season.
“I’ve been busy, lots of logistics, getting ready for the season opening in Daytona for the Grand Nationals in March,” started the 30 year old Mississauga, ON-based racer.
“Before that, I’m heading to California to ride for a few days. I’m going to Paris Speedway, nothing is really like the Daytona Short Track but Paris is something like that, and of course it is just important to ride. One of my main sponsors, John Briggs out of Santa Barbara got a bike for me to ride, it’s like my current Honda, and I’m flying out with Bryan Smith to get some work in the sun.”
“Then I will ride two test days before Daytona, in South Carolina and near Tampa, I’ll use my regular CRF450 bike in the Nationals and take my older Honda to thrash in practice,” continued Lawrence. “The older bikes doesn’t’ have all the nice little trick bits, but it works just fine. We’re also aiming to do some Dynojet Dyno work at Brooklin Cycle Racing with Rob Egan before we head south.”
“After that, well I have six bikes to get ready for the season, Canada and the U.S., and I don’t want to rush – it’s a lot of work, lots of details. It’s stupid really!
“Regaining the Canadian title is our first priority, then the X Games, then the AMA rounds. I don’t know anything yet about the American Superprestigo (slated for the fall), and the rumor has it we are going to start something similar in Canada – that sounds like a good start.”
When the AMA Pro tour gets to the bigger tracks, especially the Springfield Mile events, Lawrence will revert to his Harley-Davidson XR750 twins, provided by an existing sponsor in Indianapolis.
However, prior to the April AMA National rounds at the Circuit of the Americas, Lawrence aims to start testing a brand new bike – a Kawasaki 650 twin, currently coming together under his father’s care.
“We’ll have the Harleys for CotA, but we should have everything we need to run the new Kawasaki,” confirmed Lawrence. “There are so many little things to work on, sometimes I really would prefer I didn’t know the things I know!”
“The Kawasaki is actually pretty easy to build, even though we haven’t had any help from Kawasaki. Briggs got us the engine, we had the wheels and forks, and we bought the frame and triple clamps. Aaron Humphrey in Pennsylvania built the frame, he was recommended by Joe Kopp and Mike Hacker.
“The frame has the same kind of linkage set-up as the old Honda 750s,” explains Lawrence of his new chassis. “Steve Beattie will do the forks and the shock, and then we’ll start testing. Once we have some feedback, our aim is to get to the point where the Kawasaki as good, or better than our Harleys.
Lawrence hasn’t done any riding on the ice this winter, explaining that “the ice isn’t always such a good idea, it can teach you some bad habits – there is really too much traction, so it isn’t that helpful for flat track.” Meanwhile Lawrence might make one ice appearance in Canada this winter, indoors in Kitchener next weekend, if time permits.
Another activity that is on Lawrence’s mind is roadracing, following his brilliant debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last summer, winning the inaugural Kawasaki Ninja 300 Cup series.
“I want to put something together, maybe ride a Mopar CSBK round or two, probably on a 600,” explains Lawrence. “It depends on a few things, but that is for sure another goal. I want to be in good shape if I do that, do some pavement practice, and I might try to get some riding in when I am down in Texas at CotA. I talked to Jason DiSalvo about his School, so that is certainly an option.”
Sponsors for the 2016 Lawrence Racing campaign include Town Moto, Parts Canada, American Harley-Davidson, OneSpeed, Klotz Canada, Alpinestars, HJC, Thor, Saddlemen, Motion Pro, K&N and Brooklin Cycle Racing.
Saturday, 06 February 2016 21:57 Published in News
Super Hooligans paddock at the Orleans Casino Arena for the Superprestigio of the Americas Flat Track event in Las Vegas, November 21. Picutred, the Harley-Davidsons of the Broken Homme and Suicide Machine Company squads, including riders "Guardado", Shaun Guardado, Gabriel Vidrio and Joshua Johnson, await practice around the tenth mile oval.
Thursday, 03 December 2015 23:31 Published in News