When you take a close look at Larry Pegram’s racing resume you can’t help but think of one clichÃ©the guy is the Energizer.Â Larry cut his teeth riding flat track from the time he was about 6 years old.Â In 1988 he turned pro and focused on the Grand National Championship in AMA Flat Track for his first 5 years.Â He turned his attention to road racing in 1993 and just keeps going and going.Â Consistently a top 10 finisher, Pegram has one of the most accomplished records in AMA Superbike and Supersport.Â He’s raced with Ducati, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda and with high ranking teams including:Â Ferracci Ducati, Yoshimura, Hooters Suzuki and Hotbodies Racing Honda.Â
We caught up with him after returning from the AMA Superbike double header at Miller Motorsports Park in UT where he not only rides for his teamhe owns it.Â Pegram Racing is his full time job but when Larry needs to unwind, and relax a bit he hooks up with his old pal David Lloyd from Lloyd Brothers Motorsports and.goes AMA Flat Track Racing!
The Aprilia Flat Track Team, and Lloyd Brothers Motorsports has had the pleasure and benefit of Larry’s testing and race experience from day one of the Aprilia Flat Tracker’s development.Â The bike is definitely the first born of the Lloyd Brothers but Larry Pegram is first cousin.Â
Q:Â Many fans know you from your road racing career over the last several years, what has been your involvement in Flat Track?
A.Â I was flat tracking from the time I was about 6 yrs old on.Â I won a bunch of amateur championships.Â Finished 5th my rookie year and then 4th the next year as expert. Â After that I went full time road racing after won 3rd nationals.Â
Q:Â Larrywhat involvement have you had in the development of the Aprilia flat tracker?
A:Â I raced 125 and 25o dirt track with David (Lloyd) when we were like 12 or 13.Â We raced against each other through the years and just became friends. The Lloyds started out with a stock street frame and then put the motor into a purpose built dirt track frame.Â I guess the first time I rode it was 3 years ago at Springfield.Â I was leading the semi with that bike when the thing broke.Â It was all so new.Â Then they kept developing bike. They fixed the fuel problems and we put it in the main at DuQuoin at end of 2004.Â
Q:Â We read that the first bike out on the track was a handfulpowerful but the chassis needed work.Â Tell us about this?Â How is a tracker built?Â What does a good chassis have to have?
A:Â The bike has great power.Â Basically getting weight balance right is what you’re looking for.Â At first the bike was biased to rear. We kept changing things around to get more weight on the bike at the front.Â You’re always looking for more weight up front in the entrance of the turns and more weight on the rear at the exitfor traction.Â Dialing in a flat track bike is as hard to set up as anything I’ve ever ridden.Â
Q:Â Technically, what makes the Aprilia particularly well suited for flat track?
A:Â Its good cause of the power and because its 60 degree. That’s a big part if it.Â It’s a more compact package.Â The more compact layout gives you more flexibility with weight distribution.Â It also just makes the whole bike feel smaller when you’re riding it.Â And the power is goodespecially on bigger, mile, tracks.
Q:Â From all indications, it looks like the team is on the verge of something big. What do you see in the near future of the Aprilia team?
A:Â I think they’re doing a great job!Â It’s a matter of time before they win.
Q:Â Where do you think the bike will be in another year?Â
A:Â This is the first year that they’ve had the money to really develop the bike. With Aprilia sponsoring the team and all.Â Prior to that it has been an “out of the garage” type thing
Q:Â Tell us, in your words, about your recent race at Springfield?
A:Â When I rode at Springfieldthe bike was good enough to win.Â We had fuel issues and just some bad luck.Â Horsepower was the biggest thing. It definitely had good power.Â This was the first time I’ve ridden the Aprilia where I could get through the corners with the Harley’s.Â I wasn’t at a disadvantage anywhere in handling and had advantage on straights until it stopped running right.Â
Q:Â So you do flat track for a little R & R? What else do you do for fun other than race?
A:Â YeahI still enjoy doing it (flat track).Â I go back and do one every once in a while.Â I watch TV.Â Do a little supermoto.Â Now that I own my own team there’s really no time for anything else.Â
Q:Â You own and operate your own AMA Road Racing team, Pegram Racing, how’s that going this year?
A:Â Well we’re going pretty good. Â For the team, we’ve gotten a lot of great exposure just not the results I’d like to have.Â As far as dollars, we are doing well comparatively.Â We have to be the front running team in point vs. our budget!Â We’re out there fighting with Jordan guys for top privateer every round.Â We are right in hunt for all the non-factory bikes.Â We’re doing about as well as we can do right nowof course we always want more.Â
Q:Â What’s the main difference “on the other side of the pit wall” being a team owner?
A:Â Just having to worry about more stuff than just riding.Â Personnel.Â Budgets.Â Worrying about keeping everything “on track”.Â I’m not just showing up and riding anymore which is probably not good for my own riding.Â We want to hire someone to manage about 90 % of what I have to do now.Â We’ll get there soon.Â Â Â
Q:Â When will we see you at the flat track again on the Aprilia?
A:Â I don’t know right now.Â I haven’t looked at the schedules.Â We’ll get out again sometimeI just love it too much!Â