Indian Motorcycle Racing, the reigning four-time American Flat Track Manufacturer’s Champion, announced its 2021 race team and privateer contingency program.
Reigning Mission SuperTwins Champion Briar Bauman, along with Progressive AFT Champion Jared Mees (feature picture above), will return to the track and battle for yet another championship as the 2021 Indian Wrecking Crew.
In addition, fellow Progressive AFT Champion Bryan Smith and Mission SuperTwins rider Bronson Bauman will join Indian Motorcycle Racing as factory-backed privateers. Indian Motorcycle Racing has also committed over $266,000 in privateer contingency for the 2021 Progressive AFT Mission SuperTwins season.
What’s really interesting is that Smith will be riding for Crosley/Howerton Motorsports and will have his own unique chassis built around the Indian FTR750 motor. The Smith and Crosley/Howerton is known for excellence and innovation and will be fun to watch this season.
As former members of the Indian Wrecking Crew, both Smith and Bronson will compete in 2021 as factory-backed privateers. Bronson will pilot his same factory FTR750 race bike in partnership with Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City.
The two-man Wrecking Crew of Briar and Mees, which together combine for the last four championships, return in 2021 with its presenting sponsor, Progressive Motorcycle Insurance. The team will continue to be backed by S&S Cycle, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties, Alpinestars and Bell Helmets. Briar will receive additional support from J&P Cycles, while Mees will continue with support from Rogers Racing and additional sponsors.
“2020 brought its breadth of challenges for everyone, but watching Briar and Jared stay on top of their game and compete race in and race out was really a testament of their work ethic, dedication and drive to be the greatest,” said Gary Gray, Vice President of Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “For 2021, we’re excited to get back on the track, support Bryan and Bronson as factory-backed privateers, while committing a season-long contingency for our privateers.”
In support of its privateers, Indian Motorcycle Racing has committed over $266,000 in contingency, including $14,225 per race and a $25,000 championship bonus.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is eager to kick off the season with a two-rider lineup in the AFT Singles Class. Returning for her third season with the team, 19-time AFT Singles winner Shayna Texter-Bauman—wife of Indian rider Brian Bauman—will line up to once again battle for the top spot alongside new teammate and 2020 AFT Singles runner-up, Max Whale. The duo will compete aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION machine.
“I’m really happy to bring a two-rider program back to AFT, thanks in a big way to our new partnership with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC,” said Team Manager, Chris Fillmore. “I feel that our program will really benefit from having two riders this season. As teammates, Shayna and Max already have a good chemistry and it will be good for them to really push each other on and off the track. It’s also valuable to have two riders providing feedback when we’re testing and at the races. We look forward to getting Shayna back on the podium this season and furthering her achievement as the winningest rider in AFT Singles history. We’re excited to bring Max on board in 2021, he is young and very motivated for the top spot, so I expect his hard work to pay off. We’re really looking forward to seeing both riders achieve their goals this season.”
“Being a part of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is an honor that I am very proud of,” said Texter-Bauman. “I’m more motivated than ever to achieve the goals that I have set for myself in the 2021 season. The team has been working hard and we are all anxious to get back to racing.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s newest addition, Max Whale, will enter his fourth season in the AFT Singles Class. The Australian native has progressively climbed through the ranks over the last four years, taking home a respectable second overall in last year’s championship with two race-wins and four podium finishes. With an all-new bike and team behind him, Whale looks to battle up front this season with hopes of claiming the 2021 crown.
“Riding for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team this season, I feel like we have a really strong chance at the top spot,” said Whale.“I have been fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with the team in California during the offseason and it’s been awesome. I really feel at home on the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, doing a lot of testing and just enjoying my time out here. It’s been a dream of mine to ride for Red Bull KTM and I just really want to come out and do these guys proud and end up with the number one plate.”
The 2021 Progressive AFT season kicks off with a Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader event at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021.
photos by Tim Hailey and ATF, story by ATF with additions by Hailey