Friday, March 07, 2008

Groundbreaking in motorcycle racing

It's worth noting two major shifts in motorcycle racing that are occurring this weekend:

1. MotoGP is running its first-ever night race, in Qatar on Sunday. After numerous tests, there was virtually unanimous agreement amongst riders, officials, press and spectators that it works very well. Formula 1 will stage its first night race later this year in Singapore, and no doubt everyone involved in that effort will be taking a close look at this Sunday's race.

One funny thing is how teams are tackling the unique challenges of running at night. Team members have struggled to identify their own bikes on track, so Kawasaki have placed an illuminated Japanese character on the front of their bikes. How's this for imagination: the character reads "front"!

2. The AMA has sold all of their Pro Racing properties to a consortium led by the boss of Grand-Am and Moto-ST, Roger Edmondsen, and boss of the Daytona Speedway, Jim France. Unlike Dorna and Flammini's deals with the FIM to lease commercial rights for MotoGP and World Superbike, this one has involved an actual sale. The only thing that is leased is the AMA name. I'm not sure whether this is the smartest move on the AMA's part, but it does indicate a strong motivation to be rid of Pro Racing once and for all. Now that it's in the hands of a proper commercial promoter, we can expect many changes to make the show more interesting and fan-oriented, although those changes will be brought in gradually throughout 2008 and over the off-season.

1 comment:

Pee Wee said...


The AMA sold the rights to their professional racing to an entity that is headed by Roger Edmondson, a cat that they ran off, stole his road-racing series from, were sued by him, and lost the subsequent lawsuit to......irony personified.