The Brainerd MotoAmerica round was host to the opening round of the Royal Enfield BUILD. TRAIN. RACE. (BTR) Road Race Program where seven women, who have spent months designing, building and training aboard their Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 motorcycles, finally got to chase the checkered flag.
The historic exhibition, showcasing the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and an all-women field of builders/racers, was featured alongside the pro ranks of MotoAmerica, the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America.
Starting with Thursday’s Dunlop tire test, all the way through to Sunday’s exhibition race, the BTR Road Racing women took part in all of the practice and qualifying sessions.
With only two official training dates on their Continental GT 650 race bikes, the ladies were thrilled to gain the added track time on Thursday. Dunlop stepped up with a fresh set of tires for the BTR participants—a welcome surprise that was above and beyond Dunlop’s original commitment to the program. Ohlins was on hand for the BTR women with suspension support, helping the racers make adjustments throughout the practice sessions.
A standout star rose to the top throughout the weekend—BTR Road Race’s CJ Lukacs stormed to a dominant victory on Sunday ahead of Becky Goebel and Trisha Dahl. Lukacs led every lap and was able to take the victory, despite a hard get-off in Saturday’s practice session that sent her tumbling. The former pro motocross racer was a bit sore but able to get her Royal Enfield sorted out in time for qualifying, and ultimately the final race on Sunday.
“I am overcome with emotion,” said Lukacs. “This first event, being in the pits of MotoAmerica, seeing the fans, the excitement, going through testing and practice, track walks with Melissa Paris and Josh Hayes, has been unreal. Seeing ourselves on TV and our journey and program being talked about is the coolest thing ever. To have this race win means so many amazing and different things to me. I’m super excited for our next round and I couldn’t be more grateful to Royal Enfield for making this a reality.”
“I had a blast today out on the Brainerd track with my newfound family,” said runner-up Becky Goebel. “I’m just so happy to be feeling comfortable on a racetrack and getting into the idea of racing and learning a new motorcycle discipline. For me, this whole program is about having fun and finishing. Today, that was exactly what we did and that’s what’s cool and gratifying about the Build Train Race Program.”
Third-place finisher Trisha Dahl, who edged out Alyssa Bridges for the final podium position, echoed the sentiment. “What a dream come true. This winter when I started this program with Royal Enfield, I would daydream about what race day would look like and this far exceeded my vision. I’m very fortunate to be one of the seven ladies chosen to race this beautiful GT 650. I can’t thank Bree Poland and Melissa Paris enough. They have put so much time and effort into making this program successful. These ladies aren’t just my teammates; they’re family now.”
Royal Enfield is ecstatic to see the hard work of the participants, the sponsors, and the MotoAmerica crew come together on the track for the opening round of this historic program.
“Having an all-female road race team has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I’m thankful for Royal Enfield and our team in the UK for supporting this effort,” said Breeann Poland, Marketing and Communications Lead – Royal Enfield Americas. “I’m so proud of all our participants, and blown away by the support of all our BTR sponsors. The fans loved the experience and the entire MotoAmerica paddock welcomed in the women as part of the family. We are looking forward to the next two BTR Road Race races with MotoAmerica in Pittsburgh and Barber.”
Royal Enfield BTR Round 1 Results – Brainerd MotoAmerica
1. CJ Lukacs
2. Becky Goebel
3. Trisha Dahl
4. Alyssa Bridges
5. Michaela Trumbull
6. Kayla Theisler
7. Scarlett Grosselanghorst
Visit https://motoamerica.com/standings/ for detailed results.
BTR Road Racing will be back in action August 13-15 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania for the second of three rounds.