American Flat Track: More From The Castle Rock TT

American Flat Track: More From The Castle Rock TT

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By KTM Factory Racing:


Round 12 – American Flat Track Championship

CASTLE ROCK, Wa. – The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team had a good showing at Round 12 of the 2022 American Flat Track Championship in Castle Rock, Washington. Team rider Max Whale navigated a hectic AFT Singles Main Event to finish on the third step of the podium, while teammate Kody Kopp fought hard to come back from a near race-ending crash to clinch a valuable 10th-place finish at the Castle Rock TT.

Taking place in conjunction with an amateur event at Washington state’s Castle Rock Race Park, Saturday’s racing proved to be just as exciting as the atmosphere with a packed crowd on-site throughout the evening. In addition to guarding his AFT Singles Championship points lead late in the season, Washington native Kody Kopp had perhaps an additional incentive to fight for the top spot in front of a home-state crowd, and he started off strong with a second-place qualifying position. Whale, on the other hand, had a more tentative start to the day, qualifying ninth overall in the class. Starting on the second row in Semi 1, Whale was able to pick up one position early in the race to secure a fourth-place transfer into the Main Event. Kopp lined up in Semi 2 and he powered his KTM 450 SX-F to the front right off the start, commanding all eight laps to victory.

Whale had his work cut out for him with another second-row start in the Main Event but he put his head down and charged all race long, despite a trio of red-flag restarts unfolding over the course of the 23-lap race. Locking in third later in the race, the Aussie maintained a fast pace through the final stretch to secure his seventh podium finish of the 2022 season.

Max Whale: “It was an awesome track, a lot of fun, but it was really hard to pass on and hard to race on because it was super tight and one-lined. I ended the night with P3, which was awesome from where we started. I felt off the in the first session, not like myself, but I got better every session out there. Sitting second row going into the Main Event, I just rode smart and made a few passes and then a few incidents happened that helped me get up a spot or two and I ended up P3. I can’t thank my whole team enough!”

For Kopp, a bad start in the Main Event set him back early on but he fought through the first restart to bring himself up to second-place. Poised to engage in a battle for the lead, Kopp and the rest of the field endured a second red flag situation and he ended up losing a spot after the re-start. While pushing for the leaders, Kopp suffered a big crash that sent him and his machine catapulting into the air late in the race. The Red Bull KTM crew quickly went to work making repairs on the bike and the points leader was able to join the re-start on the last row, working his way up to a 10th-place finish. Salvaging valuable points, Kopp was able to further extend his lead by two with five rounds remaining in the series.


Kody Kopp (12) on his Red Bull KTM at the Castle Rock TT. Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Kody Kopp (12) on his Red Bull KTM at the Castle Rock TT. Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

Kody Kopp: “I got a terrible start in the Main Event and set myself up to have to fight through the pack on a track that you can’t really pass. After the first restart, we were back to fifth and I worked my way up to second and we were coming – we had a line figured out that we were making passes with and then had another red flag while sitting second. I got passed around the outside and got a little flustered so I pushed a little over my head and tucked the front on a right-hander and threw away my shot at the win. We had some work to do on the bike but luckily my team, they work really hard, and I want to thank them for everything. We were able to end up P10 on the night, which isn’t terrible considering we had a to start from dead last after the restart. We actually gained two points in the championship, so head-up going into Sacramento next weekend.”

Next Race: Sacramento Mile – Sacramento, California – August 20, 2022

Round 12 Results – Castle Rock TT
AFT Singles Main Event

1. Dalton Gauthier, Honda

2. Trevor Brunner, Yamaha

3. Max Whale, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 


9. James Ott, KTM

10. Kody Kopp, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 

AFT Singles Point Standings (After Round 12)

1. Kody Kopp, 243 points

2. Morgen Mischler, 197

3. Dalton Gauthier, 185


5. Max Whale, 173

8. James Ott, 100

10. Hunter Bauer, 74

17. Travis Petton IV, 54

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