I've never had much of a taste for flat track racing as a spectator, but Saturday night changed that. I took my son out to a local track to spectate, as I have a few friends who participate at the "club" level. We had an absolute blast, watching everything from kids on 50s to young men on custom framers to old guys on vintage 2-strokers. The racing was fast, furious, and highly competitive.
The highlight of the night was watching Cory "Shrimp" Richard, a Cajun kid from southwest Louisiana. This kid is only 12 years old, about 4.5 feet tall, and weighs about 70lbs dripping wet. You'll never guess what he rides...a fricking CRF450R!
And he runs in the "pro" class! And this ain't no detuned 450...it's modded as much as the rules will allow. The bike is lowered, of course, as it's setup for flat track, but it's no lower suspension-wise than any other bike out there. The only thing they've done to accomodate his lack of height is to dish the seat. His biggest disadvantage is that, on the starting line, he has to hang off to one side to hold the bike up.
Once that little sucker gets going, though, he takes no prisoners. He's on the podium in every race, and usually at the top of it. I'm waiting on some photos and video, and hope to get them posted here. Here's the only one I have at the moment, but it's poor quality...