Shayna Texter is part of the KTM factory-backed American Flat Track Singles team in 2019, alongside teammate and defending champion Dan Bromley. She’s a fierce competitor in the class, taking third in the championship in 2018, scoring three wins and five podiums along the way. Second or third best isn’t going to cut it for Texter in 2019 however, and she’s been hard at working getting her physical and mental training in order so she can to take the title this year.
Following graduation from California University in Pennsylvania, she and boyfriend Briar Bowman headed to Florida to get to work with legendary trainer Aldon Baker.
“I’ve been working with Aldon and just trying to get physically and mentally as prepared for the start of the season,” Texter explains. “Aldon’s trying to help me accomplish some of my goals and make sure that I’m as good as I can be going into the start of the season.
“Obviously I want to win the championship, and in order to do that you got to win races and podiums. It’s no stranger to anyone who follows the sport—I’ve been so close to winning the championship so many years.”
One big problem area in Texter’s arsenal has been TTs, and it’s something she’s working hard to remedy.
“So Aldon’s been working with me with the TTs and just trying to get comfortable. I don’t have to win the races, but you certainly got to be out there scoring points. So we’re trying to attack it as best as we can in baby steps, and hopefully we can get the job done this year.”
That hasn’t always been the case, but a few bumps along the road have impacted Texter and made TTs quite daunting.
“As an amateur I did pretty well and then I had a couple accidents on TTs and some pretty big crashes and just kind of mentally got worn out. When my dad passed away in 2010, I was just kind of like, dude, I’m not riding these anymore. I hate them. I took five years away from them. In 2017 I was leading the championship and it was like, holy cow, I got to go ride these TTs. So it was a little bit of a struggle, and now I’m trying to make up for that lost time. It’s a little bit of lost time and then it’s a little bit of the mental game as well, just being confident, riding loose, and not being terrified of the jump. So it’s just that whole little other side of racing that sometimes you have to face.
“TT racing is a lot different than ovals. They have right-hand corners. They have a front brake. They have a jump, if not more than one. So there’s a lot more variables. Then to add to that, we race a lot of other guys that just race TTs only that come from other forms of racing, whether it’s hare scrambles, motocross, supercross, off-road. They come in and just race our TTs only because they do so well at it. Then we’re faced with the challenge of racing with guys that we’re not necessarily used to racing with. That’s a whole other uncomfortable setting as well. I think it’s just that whole total package. I needed to go out there and attack a TT like I attack a short track, half mile or mile.”
Baker’s already been a big help in this regard, getting Texter’s training schedule on point and incorporating special flat-track training areas into his compound and boosting her moto skills.
“He actually built me a TT track around the supercross tracks for me to get some laps in. He actually is in the process of building a flat track, but with all the rain out there on the East Coast, and the West Coast included… It’s actually underwater right now. So he built me a temporary one around the supercross track so that I can still get my laps in.
“I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of motocross as well. One of my struggles is just being confident over the jump, so I’ve been kind of cross-training a little bit over there. Just trying to get that obstacle out of the way. So a lot of us do motocross. Then of course we do flat track when we can. It’s a lot harder for us to train flat track during the week because there’s not a whole lot of facilities around that just have open trackdays.”
Baker’s notoriously hard process hasn’t bothered Texter one bit so far, largely as a result of her desire to get that title in 2019.
“He’s no joke, and obviously he’s worked wonders on the supercross guys. Our sport’s a little bit different than supercross. It’s not as strenuous as it is in supercross. But he still has a fitness plan for me and a riding schedule throughout the week that he expects me to adhere to. He wants the best out of me and I of course want the best out myself. So if you want to win races and championships, you’re going to be self-motivated anyway. So it makes it easy.”
And that’s Texter’s plan for the coming season and beyond, to get more wins and finally score that title. The 27-year-old isn’t ruling out a possible move up to the Twins class in the future if the opportunity arises either.
Her drive has already served as a huge inspiration to many, especially as an example to women riders who face the pressure of contending in a hugely male-dominated industry. Never giving up is her mantra, and so far it’s served her well.
“If you have a dream or a goal, you need to go out there and attack it and push. The easier route is quitting, but the hard route is of course not giving up. For me, if I had given up 19 years ago or nine years ago or whatever, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. So you got to keep pushing when the times are hard and enjoy the moments when they’re good.”