Replacing The European Championship: Is Making The CEV An International Series A Good Thing?

If there is one complaint made about MotoGP it is that it is an almost entirely Spanish sport. The three title candidates in MotoGP are all Spanish, the three title candidates in Moto3 are all Spanish, and Scott Redding has his hands full holding off another Spanish rider, Pol Espargaro, for the 2013 Moto2 title. Spaniards dominate in all three classes, and it has been a long time since the Spanish national anthem hasn't been heard on a Grand Prix weekend.

So at first glance, the news that the Spanish CEV championship is to fall under FIM control and host rounds outside of Spain looks like increasing the stranglehold the Spanish have over Grand Prix racing. By raising the importance of the Spanish championship and therefore diminishing the status of other national championships, the FIM is making the situation worse, and handing even more control to Dorna, who run both the MotoGP and the Spanish CEV championships.

Though superficially attractive, there are some fundamentally wrong assumptions underlying that analysis. At the heart of the fear is the misconception that Dorna's main aim is to promote Spanish riders. The opposite is true: Dorna's main source of income is the sale of TV rights, and selling them as broadly as possible. Having too many Spanish riders in the series makes it hard to sell to broadcasters outside of Spain, hence Dorna's push to get more non-Spaniards into the series, especially in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes. Riders from outside of Spain are receiving preferential treatment in MotoGP, while pressure is being put on teams to reduce the number of Spaniards in the top class. The signing of Pol Espargaro has been a major bone of contention between Dorna and Yamaha, the repercussions of which are not yet fully worked out.

Dorna's promotion of the CEV Spanish championship is part of that drive to get more non-Spaniards racing. For the past 10 years, the CEV has been functioning more and more as an incubator series, a place where talent - both rider and team - is nurtured and prepared for the step up into Grand Prix. The Spanish championship has increasingly seen an influx of foreign riders, using it as a place to hone themselves against strong competition and showcase themselves in front of the top GP teams.

Most of the top non-Spanish riders in all three GP classes have spent time racing in the Spanish championship - Bradley Smith, Scott Redding, Casey Stoner, Stefan Bradl, Takaaki Nakagami, Jack Miller, Miguel Oliveira, the list is very, very long - and even now, the series is full of riders from outside of Spain. The CEV Moto3 class - for many riders, the entry point into Grand Prix - was being led by Dutchman Bryan Schouten up until last weekend, and 8 of the top 15 riders are not Spanish.

The CEV has taken the place of the European Championship, a series which had been struggling for years, and became defunct when two strokes stopped being raced. As the European Championship waned, so the CEV grew, matched only in competitiveness by the German IDM championship and the Italian CIV championship. That the CEV should gain the upper hand over the other national series is hardly surprising. With Dorna running the series, the CEV already had stronger TV contracts than either the Italian or German series, and much greater promotional backing. The CEV had first low alcohol beer brand Buckler as title sponsor, and now Spanish petroleum giant Repsol. Neither the IDM nor the CIV had either the financial backing or the organizational support, being run by national federations. The CIV was the stronger of the two series, with backing from Italian oil company ENI, but even then, the level of competition inside the CIV was not the same as in the Spanish championship.

The disappearance of the European championship left a vacuum, which the CEV has stepped up to fill, in part at first, but no doubt with the intention of expanding to become a fully-fledged European series later on. The existence of a European feeder series is important, helping groom young talent and allow talent to develop outside of the intense scrutiny of a world championship. Young riders get a chance to get better, and late developers have a chance to prepare themselves physically and mentally before taking the next step to Grand Prix.

To this end, it is also important for an international series to have races outside of Spain, as the newly proposed series promises to do. By including races at circuits outside of Spain, it allows non-Spanish teams and riders to offer their sponsors exposure and networking opportunities in their local markets, making it a more attractive sponsorship proposition. It will offer teams from national championships an easier and cheaper chance to wild card, gaining exposure and experience to help them to prepare to move to the next level.

The downside, for both Spanish and non-Spanish teams, is the increased cost of participation. With races around Europe, transport costs increase, travel duration and the amount of time spent away from home and paying jobs is increased, and the barriers to entry are higher than before. Competing full time becomes a more costly undertaking, placing higher demands on teams, riders and sponsors. Though racing as a wild card will become much more attractive, participating full time is a greater challenge than before. Dorna will have to start offering improved financial support if the series is to expand.

There is also a risk that the FIM, which controls international motorcycle racing, is handing too much control to Dorna. The Spanish company already controls both the MotoGP and World Superbike championships, and by giving the Dorna run Spanish CEV championship international status, Dorna will have a virtual monopoly of international motorcycle racing. That in turn risks giving Dorna too much leverage over the FIM, and the power to influence FIM internal politics.

Yet outside of Dorna, there are few alternatives for the FIM. Competent motor sports promoters are very thin on the ground. The decline of the AMA Superbike series is a warning of how things can go wrong: the relatively successful series was handed to the Daytona Motorsports Group, a company well versed in promoting racing, having come from NASCAR and promoted the Grand Am series, as well as other two- and four-wheeled series. After the DMG took over AMA Superbike, a series of ill-advised rule changes were made aimed at making the racing more attractive. All those changes succeeded in doing is in alienating teams, manufacturers, riders, and more importantly, fans. TV audiences plummeted, as did attendance, and the series is now struggling for TV coverage. The plight of the AMA is so poor that top Superbike teams are electing to ignore their own series to race in the World Superbike series as wild cards, in pursuit of TV coverage and media exposure for their sponsors.

The lesson from the AMA is that it is safer to trust the devil you know than to throw in your lot with the unknown. Even the once so successful World Superbike series has declined in the hands of the Flammini brothers after the retirement of Troy Bayliss. It reached rock bottom shortly after being taken over by Dorna, but the rot had set in a very long time before the Spaniards got their hands on the series.

Will the promotion of the Spanish series to an international championship benefit all of motorcycle racing? That will depend on how good Dorna is at raising money for the championship, and at distributing it among the participants. Dorna has proven to be very good at generating money by selling TV rights, though at the cost of a broader audience, MotoGP having been sold to pay-per-view broadcasters and disappearing behind decoders. They have been far less successful at promoting the sport and generating sponsorship income, preferring to cannibalize income from teams rather than expanding to external sponsors. At least their record at distributing the spoils among teams is positive, as the payments to the teams in the Grand Prix paddock attest.

If Dorna can raise income from selling TV rights internationally to the CEV championship, then they can afford to support the teams inside the series. To sell those rights, they need to have broader international participation, with riders and teams from around Europe, and not just inside of Spain. If they succeed, then all of racing wins, by providing a broader and deeper talent pool. They must take care not to destroy national championships such as the IDM, CIV, FFM and Dutch ONK which serve as feeder series, both to Grand Prix racing and to the CEV itself. Most of all, they have to be careful not to destroy the series in Spain, by making it too expensive for Spanish teams to participate. The promotion of the CEV to an international series could prove most damaging to Spain itself.

Below is the press release from the FIM on the CEV Spanish championship:


The CEV Repsol comes under FIM umbrella

As from 2014, the CEV Repsol (Spanish Road Racing Championship), one of the most prolific feeder series to the MotoGP™ class, will be officially upgraded to an international Series, with events in other countries, and will move under the control of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). The FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is a great demonstration of the CEV’s class, with the current leaders of all three categories – MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ – Marc Marquez, Scott Redding and Luis Salom, all having graduated from it.

The CEV Repsol championship has hitherto been run under the aegis of the Spanish Motorcycle Federation – RFME. The move to the FIM is the obvious next step for the Dorna-run series, which will continue to be conducted in close cohesion with MotoGP in terms of rules and procedures, so that riders and teams alike can be fully prepared for the step up to the international stage. The Championship will be run on the current Grand Prix circuits in Spain and also on other circuits in Europe.

Its high degree of organisational quality is visible not only in the current World Championship leaders but also in past and present talent, as the likes of Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, Nico Terol and Julian Simon have all ended up as champion in at least one of the three categories.

With participants from 23 different countries, the CEV Repsol is a great platform that welcomes talented riders from all over the world to learn their trade in one of the most professional environments outside the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. And with much of the current talent having already passed through the ranks over the years, the CEV Repsol and FIM partnership is sure to keep feeding talent for many years to come.

FIM President Vito Ippolito added: “The upgrade of the Spanish Road Racing Championship is a very positive move, which will give it a better exposure at world level. Many good riders take part in this Championship and then join the Grand Prix World Championship classes and show an excellent riding level. The time has come to give an additional force to this championship by making it into a real international series.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “I am very pleased about the new stage that awaits the CEV Repsol. That this championship is open internationally and now comes under the scope of the FIM means that all the work done in previous years has clearly helped to strengthen this championship and will ensure that it continues nurturing great riders that can make it into all three MotoGP World Championship categories.”

If there is one complaint made about MotoGP it is that it is an almost entirely Spanish sport. The three title candidates in MotoGP are all Spanish, the three title candidates in Moto3 are all Spanish, and Scott Redding has his hands full holding off another Spanish rider, Pol Espargaro, for the 2013 Moto2 title. Spaniards dominate in all three classes, and it has been a long time since the Spanish national anthem hasn't been heard on a Grand Prix weekend.So at first glance, the news that the Spanish CEV championship is to fall under FIM control and host rounds outside of Spain looks like increasing the stranglehold the Spanish have over Grand Prix racing. By raising the importance of the Spanish championship and therefore diminishing the status of other national championships, the FIM is making the situation worse, and handing even more control to Dorna, who run both the MotoGP and the Spanish CEV championships.Though superficially attractive, there are some fundamentally wrong assumptions underlying that analysis. At the heart of the fear is the misconception that Dorna's main aim is to promote Spanish riders. The opposite is true: Dorna's main source of income is the sale of TV rights, and selling them as broadly as possible. Having too many Spanish riders in the series makes it hard to sell to broadcasters outside of Spain, hence Dorna's push to get more non-Spaniards into the series, especially in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes. Riders from outside of Spain are receiving preferential treatment in MotoGP, while pressure is being put on teams to reduce the number of Spaniards in the top class. The signing of Pol Espargaro has been a major bone of contention between Dorna and Yamaha, the repercussions of which are not yet fully worked out.

Comments

Not surprised by this move,

Not surprised by this move, but what make it worst is the fact this just become another barrier for international talent to be noticed may they come from BSB, AMA, MFJ or whatever.

Its pretty sad when you think about it, but I really miss the days when you had talent that came directly out of international championships AMA, BSB or MFJ and many of those talent still being overlooked.

Total votes: 99

AMA Racing

The AMA series has a full season broadcast deal for 2014... an obvious improvement over this years fiasco. The racing, however, has been quite good.
Also, R. Hayden and D. Eslick cannot gain or lose championship standings by missing the last AMA Superbike round so the question becomes, why not?

Total votes: 82

No doubts the CEV

No doubts the CEV championship is a very professional series, but the insistance to go international straight away would murder it. BSB, IDM and CIV are all very strong as well, if it was me in charge I would start with just 1 or 2 meetings outside Spain, in either Germany or Italy. Allowing teams some time to acclimatise to the added logistics.
I thought Nakagami-san had spent a lot of time in Spain as he speaks English with a Spainish accent :-)

Total votes: 84

A little birdie

Told me that Dorna also has designs on acquiring the AMA series. Maybe 3 races in the US is part of their master plan. At this point I'm not sure if anyone could do worse than the people that DMG delegated it to. At least we'd get a domestic Moto2 series. Oh, its still spec engine and tire. Oh well.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 91

Exactly what America needs!

I would welcome a Dorna take over of the AMA. If they want American talent, and they very much do. It would be a good move to start controlling the series over here. It would also be nice to have a company that cares about Moto racing in charge. I would really love to see a moto3 entry class over here.

Total votes: 95

AMA "Racing"

As an American, I'm very sensitive to the decline of AMA. I must disagree that the racing is good at this point.

Nicky and Colin have been more vocal lately regarding the virtual lack of talent coming out of AMA and capable of progressing to the world stage, and there is little to point to that situation improving.

Regardless of how you feel about Ben, he's the last rider in the last 4 to 5 years to show any promise on an international level. This is a huge problem, DMG can shoulder much of that blame. It's no secret that motorcycle riding is big on the West coast, yet I live an hour North from Laguna Seca and can tell you there is virtually zero promotion for the AMA race this weekend(yes they'll be there with the WSBK folks).

They even pulled the WSBK billboard by my house a couple of weeks ago which also made no mention of the AMA series. I understand there may be some advertising issues in that scenario, but still the fact of the matter is that the only people who know about it, already knew about it - hopefully that makes sense.

It's really concerning to think that Americans have done really well in GP racing in terms of championships won, so where is that talent now? If the racing is decent why would teams rather focus on wildcard rides in another series?

Total votes: 95

I agree with Scruffy

I'm a couple of hours North of Laguna Seca. In fact, Sears Point is only a half hour from my house. Thing is, about the time Ben left the AMA for WSBK, things were already starting to fall apart.

Then DMG came along and alienated everyone. Not just riders, and Factory teams (unless your name happened to begin with B and end with uell) but the fans too. Dumbed down racing might work in NASCAR, but those of us who were passionate about the sport, were intentionally alienated in order to attract a newer and ostensibly less educated (about motorcycle racing) audience.

That did not sit well with many. Myself included. DMG turned AMA racing into a joke. Not a funny one either. No rider promotion (like driver promotion in NASCAR). The show suffered, fans walked away and now the series is teetering on the brink of complete irrelevance.

Josh Hayes showed the world what he could do in WSS. He finished second to the World Champion on his one and only race weekend on the bike(4th in the race IIRC). He managed a top ten in his one and only MotoGP outing. He's the reigning AMA champ and that's as far as his offers went. Not a peep from DMG/AMA Pro Racing. None. No mention of a repeat invite. No incentives to hire him to a world championship team in any class. Nothing. Not like back in the day when riders seemingly were guaranteed a world championship ride if they could win an AMA title.

A complete overhaul is needed. If the AMA series is overhauled, and we have a WSBK spec superbike class, and a Moto2 class at least then, maybe there will be a stepping stone path to world championship racing for our domestic riders.

If the racing rules become something recognizable, and the riders are able to show what they can do, maybe, just maybe the fans will return. It still has to have excitement. It still has to have the draw of the most powerful bikes in the land. But it also must be accessible to everyone. Not just the passionate, and not just the newbs. Unfortunately, immense damage has already been done.

New stars must be made, promoted, advertized and reported on in our national magazines/websites. Teams have to build a following up. Brand names have to be established. None of that is easy or cheap.

Finally, the politics that ruined the racing in the first place have to be buried before things can move forward. Simply making it so only the factory teams can win is what drove the AMA into the mess it is currently in. Unfortunately, the process could take a decade or more. Most fans don't have that kind of patience.

Total votes: 102

Regulations

Ben Spies didn't ride a WSBK-spec machine until 2009. Hopper didn't ride a Superbike before he went to GP. Cal Crutchlow never rode a Moto2 bike, and he wasn't great on a WSBK. Fans who complain for WSBK rules and Moto2 bikes are like yuppies who refuse to be seen in anything other than a BMW. It only matters if vanity is the primary objective. Britain abandoned WSBK rules. BSB didn't come crashing down, and no one accused MSVR of being an evil empire.

AMA SBK was a facade, like Disneyland. Everything was perfect as long as you didn't peak behind the curtain. If you did, you'd see that the manufacturers were buying TV time, not being paid for the AMA show, and the funds were being siphoned from other motorcycling segments. It was the economic crisis that brought AMA SBK to its knees. DMG are just the people who don't really know how to fix it.

Total votes: 76

AMA

AMA SBK was a marketing facade before the AMA sold the series to DMG. The motorcycle market was hot, and profits were rising, but the underlying market fundamentals were weak. The average buyer was over 40-years-old, and they weren't buying sportbikes. The US distributors convinced the Japanese to reinvest regional profits into AMA SBK, which would serve as a branding platform to attract younger buyers. Because Suzuki has abnormally high US marketshare, the Japanese were amenable to the US strategy.

When the motorcycle market came crashing down, the racing executives were the first people to be dismissed. Their strategy had not worked. Tens of millions had been spent running factory teams, supplying parts to privateers, and buying advertising time so TV companies would show the races live, but the negative trends were not reversed. AMA SBK was a house of cards, built on loose consumer credit. AMA SBK was basically worthless, and only the filthy-rich imperialists at NASCAR offered respectable money via DMG.

The rules could be better, but what plagues the AMA now is what plagued the AMA before. Suzuki & Yamaha want to race 1000s (Suzuki mainly). Honda and Kawasaki want to race 600s. If they don't both get their way, AMA loses half of its manufacturers.

Total votes: 62

I can understand that

I think the same principles apply everywhere. Sports bike sales are falling worldwide and the manufacturers are more reticent about whether racing has a cost benefit to their product sales. The question is, does sports bike sales falling mean that interest in bike racing falls with it? Funding is reducing from the manufacturers and the big advertisers to TV companies, and as interest dwindles, so they are reluctant to pay big money (or cover at all).

Look at the way WSBK has been going this year; attendances appear to be plummeting and the grid is shrinking like a burst balloon, not helped by the fact that the stars and characters (like Biaggi, Checa) are retired or about to.

Total votes: 79

Precisely. For years I've

Precisely.

For years I've been reading internet gurus talking about how the rules package and new management had ruined AMA roadracing. These gurus managed to completely overlook the fact that sportbike sales in the U.S. have utterly collapsed, and that professional roadracing exists to sell sportbikes.

The underlying market fundamentals remain weak. At a recent Yamaha new model intro, the company showed a chart of eight years of motorcycle sales trends in the U.S. Not only have motorcycle sales in general collapsed, but the sportbike segment has declined more than any other category. Know why the series is struggling to get TV coverage? No one is buying the bikes they are racing!

And on the club racing front in the U.S., the Formula 40 and Formula 50 classes are getting bigger than ever.

Yeah, the AMA rules could be better. But people always have bitched about them. Mladin's Superbike of the early 2000s was estimated to cost $1 million. Hayes' bike is a bargain by comparison. It appears to me that the only National level series that are doing well now don't pay the riders much and exist due to non-traditional economic structures (i.e., BSB being operated by a company that owns the racetracks upon which BSB competes, Repsol's involvement in the Spanish series, etc.)

Total votes: 83

So what if you're not Spanish?

I agree with you on most points David, but you seem to have missed one thing. All national championships are in big trouble because of the switch to Moto3. In BSB there are only 6 Moto3 bikes on the grid, al others are 'old' 125's. It's the same in Moto3/125 in the Dutch ONK and German IDM (which has almost deceased), only in Italy's CIV there are a lot of Honda's, some Mahindra's, some Oral's and a just a few KTM's. But, in order to compete in the Spanish CEV you need that very expensive Moto3 bike, which almost no-one can affford. With the 125's there were possibilities for everyone to find an older bike, maybe not a superfast one, but something which was allowed to compete and show your talents on. For Moto3 there are only new i.e. very (!!!) expensive bikes. I don't see Dorna bringing money to Dutch, British, German or Italian teams to buy and mantain those bikes. So, I think the move towards making CEV even more a leading feeder class isn't a bad one. It's just the timing is very much off as all national sersies are really struggling because of the switch towards these new bikes.

Total votes: 81

International CEV

Turning CEV into an international series could be another Dorna bargaining chip. Dorna have to work with the MSMA in WSBK via the SBK Commission, and we know how effective the MSMA are at getting things done. Check the MotoGP technical regulations if you've forgotten. Dorna can use the CEV regulations to apply pressure to WSBK.

Or perhaps WSBK is going to pull away from its European roots, and Dorna feel there is an opportunity to run CEV as a continental series.

Total votes: 82

The most mention of AMA...

I've heard in years. But there are a few items missing in the analysis. When DMG announced they were buying the series, one of the items they promoted heavily was the greater exposure they would give to upcoming riders. It never happened. Minimal, if any TV exposure, and less from announcers. All coverage for those outside the top five declined, and it became nearly impossible to even find a race televised. I know more, from TV and internet coverage, about the world championship competitors than I do about AMA participants.

A second consideration is the size of the country, which seems to slip the minds of everyone outside North America. It's 3,000 miles—over 4,800 km— across the country; a difficult trip for anyone footing their own transportation, Funding a race team becomes a daunting endeavor. Dorna has already stated the importance of the US market—sorry Canada and Mexico—by the fact of our three GPs, which, coincidentally, are spread throughout the country, and Indy, three hours away, prices its race to be more affordable than an AMA race at Mid-Ohio, 45 minutes from home. Having raced for 43 years and never being any further west than Wisconsin, I know the expense involved, and I don't even have a mechanic to travel with me.

If Dorna believes in the US market, let it invest in the sport here. Their ownership of the series, and sponsorship of same, could allow our racers to race bikes equivalent to the world stage. I wonder what GP tech had to spend to fund their effort? By bringing international race teams to the US, American racers could learn more about how international teams prepare to compete.

There is not a NASCAR fan who believes that the Ford, Chevy, or Toyota in their driveway has anything to do with what is raced at Daytona or Watkins Glen, but they might buy a Fusion or a Camry to support their team, and in our sport, a Goldwing, or a V-Strom for the same reason. It's not all about sportbike sales.

Total votes: 82

NASCAR vs. AMA SBK

NASCAR and AMA SBK are not comparable. NASCAR equipment is for sale, and the teams purchase the racing equipment with money from sponsorship and commercial rights. NASCAR is self-funding. Therefore, manufacturer expenditures are primarily broad-based branding and B2B networking, which gives them more flexibility for what they promote and sell.

In AMA SBK, the equipment (beside the stock bike) was not for sale, and the private teams generally required subsidization. The money from other motorcycle segments was being spent on "technological development" for SBKs and FX bikes. If 1000s and 600s aren't really selling, the manufacturers are simply throwing away their profits. The Japanese reached this conclusion when it all came crashing down, and many racing people were sent home.

Production racing should be self-funding, and the manufacturers need to centralize bike construction and service with homologation specials.

Total votes: 76

Making the point

I think in some way you made my point. But more specifically, it is NASCAR specifications that are for sale. In a way, isn't that what Moto2 and Moto3 are supposed to be. Spec machinery for sale to anyone. Of course Dorna needs to tighten up the rules to prevent one manufacturer from dominating the playing field, or let one manufacturer develop the powerplant, or the chassis, or whatever, But that's for someone else to decide.

I'm not really sure what your point is about manufacturers throwing away their money. Maybe it's just a new paradigm that's required. Motor companies sell product based on several factors, and a big factor is technological superiority. It doesn't matter what motorcycle uses the technology.

If Dorna is settled on an international standard for a farm—entry-level—league, it should sponsor it in a way that allows world-wide participation on an equal footing, and that includes the US, South Africa, Australia, the Pacific Rim, and anywhere else an interest exists, like South America. And I think these are all places where either by ridership or by economic status, Dorna, MSMA, and FIM see growth potential.

I think you raise a good point regarding homologation machinery, But again, it is something that needs to be scrutinized. Maybe no factory teams for starters. Just rambling thoughts.

Total votes: 82

Sportsbikes

Even though people aren't buying sportsbikes the racing still effects brand recognition. Ducati sell Monsters, Multistradas, Diavels, Hypermotards and all manner of others - none of them are raced but you see plenty at a GP or WSBK event at Phillip Island. Racing is about motorcycling and if the motorcycle market is just as big overall then you'll still have the brand loyalties develop in spite of the fact the bikes on track bear no resemblance to what's in the garage.

Total votes: 83

Racing development

The effectiveness of racing as a branding exercise is not really in dispute. The question is how do you fund the specialty racing equipment and parts.

In WSBK, the manufacturers spend millions developing prototype swingarms, frame brackets, gear sets, engine internals, and other racing components. As kburns68 pointed out, few people are dumb enough to believe NASCAR affects their Camry. Few motorcyclists are dumb enough to think SBK parts affect the development of their cruisers, dirt bikes, and Goldwings.

In most production racing series, these useless parts are paid for sponsorship money from the private teams and from TV revenues. In some series, like WTCC, they also attempt to make the racing modifications production relevant so they racing budget may have an impact on future production vehicles. In WSBK the racing parts are not production relevant, nor are they funded by sponsorship and TV revenues from the private teams. The unsustainable financial model leads to series decline, just as it did in AMA SBK, regardless of the manufacturers' branding strategies.

There are certain things you don't do in racing. Spending shareholder money on valueless production racing parts is one of those things. AMA SBK learned that lesson the hard way. WSBK is learning that lesson the hard way. The MSMA actually tried to prevent this outcome when WSBK was rebooted for 1000cc, but the Flamminis were convinced a conspiracy was afoot, and they ditched the MSMA's framework, rather than modifying it to suit their purposes.

Total votes: 79

NASCAR, AMA racing and rules

I think you miss my point about the rules. Sure, riders have gone on to WSBK without first having ridden one. Doesn't make it easier on them does it? The point is, having a cohesive set of rules that are easily recognizable. WSBK is the standard for superbike rules. They are well established, led to great racing for more than two decades. Why not just follow them instead of making up a whole different set of rules, some seemingly on the fly. Same rules for modifications, same rules for running a race, same rules for starts, same flags etc... That way, if an AMA rider does manage to get a shot at a WSBK race, they are already familiar with the rules and prepared to race rather than familiarize.

As previously stated, DMG was supposed to promote the series, the riders, the teams and the sport the same way NASCAR is promoted. That never happened. They did try to dumb it down but that back fired. Capitalizing on the existing stars, promoting and developing new stars, teams and brands is what NASCAR does best. This was supposed to be the strength on which DMG was going to build up AMA Pro racing. It hasn't happened. I doubt that it will.

Yes, AMA Superbike was a facade. Everyone knew it. As soon as the AMA sold the rights, things were headed the wrong way. Not that they were headed the right way under AMA stewardship either. The series had real potential. There were established stars whose names were well known. There were up and coming stars who were making themselves known and there were privateers who could make a real show given the chance (Dale Quarterly anyone?) All the series needed back then was the right marketing. Promote what you have, develop what you need and let the racing speak for itself. Somewhere along the way, that train derailed itself.

Personally, I think DMG is looking for a way out....but I don't have any evidence to support that claim. The loss of television coverage was the first sign....the loss of tracks on the calendar was the next. Teams jumping ship to get some tv coverage from another series instead of competing in the final...the signs just keep coming. I'll be at the WSBK races this weekend. Who knows, maybe the AMA guys will surprise the regulars. I hope so. The series needs every shot in the arm it can get.

Total votes: 89

Elephant in the room

"the CEV grew, matched only in competitiveness by the German IDM championship and the Italian CIV championship"

How many current WSBK or MotoGP stars came through the IDM or CIV? How many came through BSB?

What national series is already international, with races in three countries? (Hint, they were at Assen last weekend!)

Which series organisers have successfully implemented a lower cost, less electronics rules package that has promoted great racing while keeping safety standards high?

And yet there is no mention of BSB or MSVR in this article.

Total votes: 76

There's no way to replicate

There's no way to replicate the BSB/MSVR model on an international basis. You're have to have Dorna purchase most of the tracks that GP and WSBK racing takes place on.

Total votes: 73

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