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Discussion in 'Racing' started by yooperbikemike, Oct 22, 2013.
Yep, I'm with him!
Seriously, why would you even bother as a racer or a fan? How does that meet the standard of a national race series?
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Hard times, indeed. Five, or even six races is not going to do much in the way of solidifying the future of the series. DMG (aka NASCAR) has never done what they said they planned to do.
No incentive for potential sponsors, no tv coverage, probably little if any real promotion of the actual races all add up to a dead race series. Tracks will lose money and not be back. Ditto the racers themselves, not to mention the manufacturers, those few that remain.
I get the impression that Daytona will happen whether or not AMA Pro Racing participate or not, as a one off stand-alone event. So that leaves four 2 day events spread over 6 months or so...
I'm pretty sure there are US club racing organisations that achieve more diversity of venue and a [much] fuller schedule than that!
I imagine anybody who races in the "series" this year is an enabler, possibly keeping the shambling hulk of US sanctioned Pro Road Racing limping on for another season, to the further detriment of the sport in the US and all associated with it, rather than giving it the quick mercy killing it has earned...
I also wonder if the AMA have a contract that requires some floor level of credible championship to exist before they can legally pull the plug...
My bet is that they'll cancel the season sometime after Daytona.
I'm sure that should finish the job of screwing professional motorcycle road racing in the USA for a decade or more...
Never mind, your best and brightest will find a home over here in BSB... well, the current generation of best & brightest. The next generation won't really have anywhere to develop their skills...
Best Idea I heard today: Merge the AMA series with the Canadian series.
What good would merging with the Canadian series do? Get to race on the shitty tracks in Canada and exposure to a market smaller than California?
OK, done being an ass (for now). I really don't see any possible benefit to merging with the Canadian series. Why would it be a good idea?
If done correctly, it could resemble the old SCCA Can-Am series. That garnered a lot of attention in the late 60s / early 70s. The BSB series ran a race or two in Holland, if I remember correctly, and that seemed to go over pretty well/
If they modeled the rules after either WSBK or the BSB, that could align it for North American riders to grow into international series.
BSB rules work pretty well, every manufacturer's bikes have the potential to be competitive, equipment is affordable, etc etc... use BSB rules for the support classes as well, and do something about free transport offered by series organisers for equipment between venues for participants you could have a healthy, thriving series, with all riders & mechanics have to do being jump onto a budget flight to the track for an AMA weekend...
So could the sixth race that might be added be the support races for WSBK weekend at Laguna in July.
I suspect Laguna, who were stitched up quite badly last year by the AMA, could do far better for a support program if it looked elsewhere...
I'm sure MSV (who run BSB) would happily work with them to put together a Transatlantic Match Race support programme against the cream of American racers... to pick an example of an alternative that probably won't say 'Oh. yeah, about that TV coverage... Oops!!' on practice day...
About AMA Pro Road Racing:
AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world.
Oh yea, can't forget this one:
They really love to pat themselves on the back, but I guess if congress can get away with it, anyone can
Things have shifted; and the generation (and the +/- 30 years that bracket it) that drove our American gas-powered car and moto culture (which fueled competitive racing) is passing. Probably happening in other markets as well.
Consider that the latest sportbike market, which at the top (1000cc) was being driven by boomers and at the bottom (600cc) by easy credit to younger people, has apparently (or at least somewhat) collapsed. So the manufacturers probably have less interest incurring the expense of racing in a national series.
Now the boomers (many of whom can't fit comfortably onto sportbikes anymore ) are moving into cruisers, nakeds, and adventure bikes; and the younger folks seem to be more interested in (relatively) cheap/utilitarian and "cool looking" (which is always subject to change and being directed) bikes.
I suspect there will always be a market for sportbikes/racereps, but probably no where near the volume in the past which fueled all the race activity it did.
So maybe we need a race series that reflect that changing set of facts. It might be far-fetched to imagine a 1800cc cruiser race series (would be fun to watch though), but a naked class (i.e., no clipons or side bodywork) would be reasonable.
But, otoh, sometimes they come full circle. Motorcycling was in a real funk at the end of the 70's and early 80's. Then it got spectacular and remained so for 20 years. So let's hope for the best (and buy a new bike this year!).
John Ulrich proposes a "Triple Crown" mini-series with a single Superbike and Sportbike at each event. Races would run on the Sunday of a "regional" racing series event (I'm calling these events club races). He is attempting to put together a TV package and sponsorship for the Triple Crown.
Take away the hefty AMA Sanctioning fee, combine with club weekends to share track expense and use the money saved for TV. Well, thats my summary which may not be accurate.
I think this could work with the right people behind it. I've known JU pretty well since Pocono Formula USA 1998. He's been a force in the sport for decades. Some say a negative force, but not in my book. He single handed launched the whole air fence/soft barrier initiative, and I have a son alive today, thanks to that initiative.
I think they would need a pretty big purse to go along with the three events. Something notable that would attract fans and generate interest/buzz within the motorcycle industry. Maybe $100k for the winner, $30k for 2nd and $10k for the last step on the podium. Big enough checks to warrant a memorable podium video.
Maybe dump the spec tire rules too, since it isn't an AMA Pro deal. If there is no spec tire rules then Dunlop will be allocating free race tires to their contract riders. Pirelli and Michelin might try to carve a slice of that grid too.
Yes I know changing tire brands requires a lot of set-up changes, but people are willing to work pretty hard for free race tires. Three events with a big purse makes it worthy of the effort.
Anyways, I hope a Triple Crown will surface. I might be willing to field an R6. I know a few others that would too, and with competitive riders.
I wonder about the big purse bringing out big names. Remember when Willow Springs offered the $50,000 purse for their own "outlaw" Superbike race* about ten years ago? None of the big factory teams showed up. Not one. The event was run after the AMA season but the factory teams all stayed home. Corporate control? Will Graves, Yosh and the KTM team attend the Triple Crown races? Maybe a TV contract will make a difference. Or maybe anything non-DMG will bring back fans. Who knows?
*It was good for Josh Hayes and Attack Performance which took home the big check two years in a row.
Yes I remember the outlaw races at Willow. They were a bust as you said. We went to Willow once in F-USA. Like Loudon, it is a 'homer's track. Not many newbies are going to string turns together there. Interesting place, though. A track for the brave... Racers who like fast on the edge love that place I suspect. Maybe Willow could be in the mix for the triple. I think that would be a good thing.