Friday, December 4, 2009

The Death of Privateer Racing?

I've tried to give DMG the benefit of the doubt. I really have, but their recently announced changes for the 2010 season are the end of it.

First off, Moto-GT is gone. Forget about it. No more.

In American Superbike, the purse is only paid for 1st ($3,500), 2nd ($2,000) and 3rd ($1,000) place finishes, based on the entire weekend, not for each race. If you and your team come in 4th place- tough. You get bupkus.

The picture is a little better for Daytona class, with bigger payouts (five, three and two-thousand for 1st, 2nd and 3rd) and payouts go deeper, with 4th through 10th places getting $1,500 and 11-20th places getting a thousand bucks each.

SuperSport class will pay $1500 for a 1st place finish, $1,000 for second and $500 for third through 10th.

Now think about this. How much would you have to spend to transport your bike(s) to an AMA race, pay for hotel room(s), food, gas, tires etc for each weekend of racing? Could you pay a mortgage or rent and support a family? Likely not.

DMGs new rules spell the end of the professional privateer.

Maybe it's time for something along the lines of the rodeo model. AMA ProRodeo sanctions rodeos put on by local rodeo producers and keep tabs of points totals. Purses are determined and paid out by the local rodeo and riders choose which ones to go to. You want bigger names are your rodeo, you put up a bigger purse. The result is a lot more rodeos, from small, locals-only rodeos where a new guy can get a little experience, to the bigger, more well-known rodeos that attract the top 15.

In southern California alone, we could have races at Willow Springs, Chuckwalla, Auto Club speedway and Las Vegas. Travel a little further and you can add Laguna Seca, perhaps Infineon.

If racing means anything to the manufacturers, they're going to have to get in the game with sponsorship money and use it to help shape motorcycle racing in the USA into something worth watching.

More on this topic at the sites below:
Hell for Leather
RoadRacing World
Superbike Planet (incidentally, never a friend of Buells)

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