Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A note from the Dept. of 'Holy Shit!'

I know that you all want me to write about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire launch, but a.) I don't want to scoop Motorcycle-USA.com, who sent me to New York, and b.) I am still digesting the aspects of the story that I plan to expand upon here on my own blog.

In the meantime, though, while we were all distracted by the idea that Harley-Davidson had gone all liberal and green on us, a story of almost equal significance almost slipped through the cracks.

What I mean is, after selling the commercial rights to AMA Pro Racing to Daytona Motorsports Group, the AMA just got back into the business of putting on a national championship.

Admittedly, the AMA has teamed up with Supermoto USA, to put on a national supermoto championship -- a class that AMA Pro Racing allowed to die on the vine five years ago. Still, I have to wonder if this isn't more evidence (along with John Ulrich's Superbike Shootout series, and rumors that Dorna's considering a North American regional championship) that DMG's monopoly over top-level motorcycle racing here in the U.S. is under threat.

1 comment:

  1. The AMA's getting back into SuperMoto with Supermoto USA will again prove to be a fiasco, as it was previously. To be successful, Supermoto needs to be staged as a full-on, full-view spectator sport in stadiums and enclosed venues like Supercross and the X-Games are. If they try to continue with big long tracks at outdoor roadrace tracks it will again fail. The best SuperMoto race I ever saw was the one Supermoto National sponsored by Honda and staged at the Irwindale Speedway NASCAR track about 7 years ago. Sitting up in the stands in comfort with your Coke and Popcorn you could see the entire track and all the action.

    As far as Dorna putting on an American Superbike Championship, they have to be smarter than that. The last 4 years of SBK World Superbike in the USA at Miller and Laguna Seca have been huge financial loses, with spectator attendance down under 3,000 people per event. While AMA only Superbike Nationals pull even fewer. It just isn't financially feasible any more to put on an outdoor roadrace in America, particularly with all our outdated and non FIM approved roadrace facilities. DMG leads the way in owning the worst roadrace tracks in America like Daytona International Speedway. They refuse to upgrade their tracks to FIA/FIM safety standards or make the infield viewing areas attractive for spectators. It's just better to stay home and watch it on TV.

    Even the US MotoGPs at Indianapolis and Circuit of the Americas have fairly low attendance numbers, and wouldn't be profitable for the race tracks if they didn't have major sponsorship from folks like Red Bull.

    First, we need to start with building better roadrace facilities and SuperMoto stadium tracks. But the current attendance does justify it.
    A major sponsor like Red Bull or Monster needs to step in and do it.