Tuesday, July 18, 2006

AMA Legalizes Traction Control

I should quickly note that the AMA has legalized traction control in its Superbike and Formula Xtreme classes (e.g. modified classes). It remains illegal in Superstock and Supersport classes unless the system uses stock sensors.

I'm generally against traction control in production-based motorcycle racing, as I've mentioned before, so on the hand I'm not pleased with this decision. However, it brings the AMA in line with the World and British Superbike championships, and finally levels the playing field between the factory entries. I have no doubt that Suzuki has been using traction control whilst Ducati haven't. If I'm right, we should expect to start seeing Neil Hodgson and Ben Bostrom running much closer to the front. They could in theory run the system this weekend at Laguna Seca if the lads in Italy get to Fed-Ex on time. More likely is that they'll test with it first and use it at Mid-Ohio. It's obvious that the 999 can run with the 4-cylinder bikes if it has traction control - just look at Greg Lavilla in BSB and Troy Bayliss in WSBK.

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