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I think the last time any domestic superbikes from the US was shown in Australia was when Mat Mladin was racing (and winning) and even then it was a condensed highlights package, hence my referring to it as AMA. I know it's on there, they were saying Beach had 5 races over the weekend as well as practice qualifying etc. which is an insane amount of work.

Kinda confusing reading about "Superbikes" in a WSBK thread and nothing relating to the world championship, especially for those of us who only get the main event and miss out on the support races (which often can be better than the world superbikes, they certainly were at Philip Island at the start of the year that's for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I think the last time any domestic superbikes from the US was shown in Australia was when Mat Mladin was racing (and winning) and even then it was a condensed highlights package, hence my referring to it as AMA. I know it's on there, they were saying Beach had 5 races over the weekend as well as practice qualifying etc. which is an insane amount of work.
Sadly, the glory days of the AMA, including when Mladin was racing here are long gone. It started downhill when he was in his last years here....when DMG took over. I think he was so disgusted with them that he decided to retire.

That was a complete and utter disaster for American road racing. Those bastards completely destroyed the series. I forget which year but it was so bad there were only 4 races on the schedule.

The manufacturers for the most part abandoned the series, the tracks were starting to do the same. It was a few years before our local track, Sonoma Raceway even had a motorcycle event after that.

I think only Yamaha stuck around through that mess. So much for trying to NASCAR motorcycle racing. It wasn't ever going to work and anyone with a half brain cell could see that.

By some miracle, the whole heap of garbage ended up on Wayne Rainey's door step and he took the challenge and started American road racing on a path to recovery. It hasn't happened over night but it's getting better.

One can only hope that he can steer that ship back to something resembling the AMA Roadracing of the mid 1990s. When it was chock full of world class talent and the public was treated to great racing in several classes throughout a weekend.

Right now BSB is the standard for good national level racing.....at least from what Americans get to see. I'm sure Spain and Italy have excellent national level series as well...we just don't get to see or read about them nearly as much.

I really like that MotoAmerica has adopted WSBK-esque rules and procedures. Even if the tire sponsor is different, and there are a few things peculiar to the series due to licensing or other issues, at least the general procedures are the same. That makes the transition easier for US riders.

Having standardization like that is a huge help I think. The class structure might be a bit different but it still is working on the goal of developing riders capable of going to a world championship series and not doing so poorly that no one takes US riders seriously anymore.

As for JD Beach....that kid is an animal. He rode all 3 WSBK races as a wild card, and both MotoA races that he normally rides anyway. Plus he's doing AMA Flat Track series this year too. The same discipline that produced World Champs like Roberts, Lawson, Spencer, Rainey, Schwantz, Kocinski and Hayden. He's had a go in world class competition before. Maybe he can up his game and make it back there again.

Our only world championship rider right now is Joe Roberts in Moto2 and he's been on a crap pile of a KTM that hasn't been anywhere near the Kalex he had last year. Shame that. Would love to see him riding nearer the top ten in that class.

Otherwise, we might not see him back next year. 2 and out isn't going to get him anywhere. Not when others come back year after year before finally getting to the sharp end 4 or 5 years down the line....some even more than that.......sean
 

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Seems like J.D. Beach is doing his own sortof "Grand National" circuit type thing!

Danny Eslick was a damned fireball in the 600cc class, I had never seen anyone ride a 600 like he did, back when he was on a Suzuki. That 170mph get off of his at Daytona was amazing (something like 2011 I think). He's been on the flat track series lately, not doing well at all ... total back marker. (Now, if he can just keep himself out of jail ......).

It doesn't surprise me at all that AMA crapped on it's self in road racing. Just look at all the nonsense they created when they were Harley's best friend in the 80's and 90's in national flat track. As you said, hopefully Rainey can make a go of it and relight the torch. Before he took it there were some really dark days. Daytona wasn't even televised for a few years. I'm not sure that event even runs any longer.

Pikes Peak seams to be managed by the same club of nutjobs that AMA road racing was managed down the drain by (see pic).
 

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I didn't see the ESBK races, I don't have Bein channel nor subscribe online. But the Motoamerica races were plenty competitive. Based on which I guess Rainey and company are doing a good job. If he brings half the intensity he did to racing as a rider he will just about have to succeed.
 

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Good to meet you and your missus today. Wish we coulda sat around shootin’ the breeze but I had to get back to my missus......sean
It was nice meeting you too. Being my first time at Laguna Seca, we were running all over the place to make sure we saw everything that we wanted to see. I’m going through my photos (took about 900 over the weekend), but I got some pretty decent shots from the race. Here are a few that I’ve gone through...






One of my few shots of Bautista-
 

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MotoAmerica Superbike:

Looks like Wyman (Ducati) broke his left wrist in the 1st lap/1st turn collision crash, he had surgery yesterday at 8am and is looking forward to Sonoma on August 10/11.

Gerloff set a race lap record, and a top speed of 152mph during his win for Race 2. The week or so prior to this race he was in Europe handing out business cards and getting his face out there for a hopeful MotoGP ride as soon as next year (so he hopes). The 7 second lead at the end of Race 2 at this Laguna Seca race surely won't hurt his prospects.

Tony Elias won Race #1, but for whatever reason(s) the powers that be in his team decided to add more trail to his Suzuki which screwed him out of a Day 2 win ... that bike was so bloody fast on Day 1 they should have not even touched it.

In case anyone didn't understand my remark about "laying the bike down on the right hander in the Cork Screw and laying on the bike" ... that was Elias' celebration after winning Day 1.

Here's a 3 minutes highlight video of Race 1 .... FFwd to 2:45 to see his odd celebration in the cork screw after winning Race 1 ...





Here's a short highlight reel of Gerloff's Race 2 win, and ultimate overall win ... right around 1:15 or so he does a 150+mph wheelie going into turn 1 and nearly gets bucked off. You can see Elias' off-pace run as well, they should have just left that Suzuki alone after his win in Race 1. Gerloff got by Elias early and just left town, riding out of everyone else's life.



 

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Resolution of those clips looks better than what I saw on Motoamerica this weekend.
Anyway, good stuff. :yeah:

I'm glad nobody seems to be doing burnouts and shit in the middle of the track on the cool down lap.
Remember Bubba Shobert and Kevin McGee.
 

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Resolution of those clips looks better than what I saw on Motoamerica this weekend.
Anyway, good stuff. :yeah:
Right on! ... :smile2:

I'm glad nobody seems to be doing burnouts and shit in the middle of the track on the cool down lap.
Remember Bubba Shobert and Kevin McGee.
... or NASCAR ... or those tractor pulls (the ones the run on diesel).

... cough ... hack gag ... patooie .... cough snort cough ....

:laugh:
 

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Good and accurate sentiment, but there should be a few corrections here in case people look at this down the road.

This is a mix of opinion as well as experience in working with Yosh and a few of the other teams of that era. Mat was likely the best Superbike racer that has ever won the US SBK championship (whatever it has been called). The guy was simply amazing. There were surely more talented riders, but never a better racer. He beat everyone, from Hayden, to DuHamel, to Gobert, and so on.
His retirement was the result of a perfect storm, which also helped consume the old AMA SBK series.
First, with his contract up as the collapse of the US economy happened- and more specifically, the motorcycle industry shrinking by 80%- he didnt have the same opportunities to earn a living. He was making near $5m a year, and would have likely had that cut down to $1m or less. For a guy like that, it wasnt worth the risk. I mean, he won 7 titles- its not like he had motivation to win another for 20% of the pay.

And, the collapse of the SBK series was not entirely the fault of the DMG regime. The sale of the series from the AMA was one of the better decisions they could have made, as this really wasnt in their core mission. Look to DMG for anything from 2008- on. So, certainly, they helped to destroy it, but it was more about timing than anything else.
The wholesale restructuring of the rules package was actually something that had been asked for by all of the major teams for years. It was impossible to compete with (at the time) Yosh. By reducing the level of the bikes, they thought that they could entice more teams to try their hand at SBK.

If it wasnt for the economy falling off a cliff, it might have worked, despite DMG's arrogance and incompetence. Keep in mind, the manufacturers has already abandoned the series by 2008, with Honda, Ducati, and Kawasaki long gone. Larry Pegram did get some support from DNA, but the only factory representative teams were Yamaha and Suzuki.
Looking back, grids were more full than they are now, as the class structure was more affordable (in theory).
Also- while the number of events shrank, it never got to 4. And, that is only a reflection of participation by riders, which in the grip of a major recession had decided to save their money.

Yamaha was the only manufacturer to put real resources into the series from that point on, and they basically wrote the rulebook for the new MotoAmerica. They had also miscalculated: they thought the recession would last 2 years, and that sportbike sales would come back...so they poured in resources in both classes.
They were wrong. The sportbike market is off 80% from 2006, and shows little sigh of coming back anytime soon. This year, Yamaha has put more resources into AFT, and pulled them from MotoAmerica. In this context, Ben Spies' comments likely arent that far off, despite what the people at MotoA say.
Further- Wayne and the rest of the MotoA people are doing a fantastic job in every way. We support a few teams there, and hope they grow and prosper, but the industry has simply changed in the US, and there are structural issues that will need to be addressed here before it returns to the 'glory days'.

Finally- JD is a hell of a rider, and racer.
Eslick is probably one of the most gifted riders to ever race the series, but has had lots of issues to deal with over the years. His lack of results in AFT this year are mostly bike related- he rode a XR750 at Lima- a bike which is basically an antique, and still made the main event.

Attendance figures for Laguna were good this year, so lets hope this trend continues. MotoA is doing a lot with a little. Hopefully they can hold on until the money returns.
I suspect that the manufacturers will not return, as there is simply no way to recover costs in the US. Sportbike sales dont warrant spending money here on pro racing, and until that changes...


Sadly, the glory days of the AMA, including when Mladin was racing here are long gone. It started downhill when he was in his last years here....when DMG took over. I think he was so disgusted with them that he decided to retire.

That was a complete and utter disaster for American road racing. Those bastards completely destroyed the series. I forget which year but it was so bad there were only 4 races on the schedule.

The manufacturers for the most part abandoned the series, the tracks were starting to do the same. It was a few years before our local track, Sonoma Raceway even had a motorcycle event after that.

I think only Yamaha stuck around through that mess. So much for trying to NASCAR motorcycle racing. It wasn't ever going to work and anyone with a half brain cell could see that.

By some miracle, the whole heap of garbage ended up on Wayne Rainey's door step and he took the challenge and started American road racing on a path to recovery. It hasn't happened over night but it's getting better.

One can only hope that he can steer that ship back to something resembling the AMA Roadracing of the mid 1990s. When it was chock full of world class talent and the public was treated to great racing in several classes throughout a weekend.

Right now BSB is the standard for good national level racing.....at least from what Americans get to see. I'm sure Spain and Italy have excellent national level series as well...we just don't get to see or read about them nearly as much.

I really like that MotoAmerica has adopted WSBK-esque rules and procedures. Even if the tire sponsor is different, and there are a few things peculiar to the series due to licensing or other issues, at least the general procedures are the same. That makes the transition easier for US riders.

Having standardization like that is a huge help I think. The class structure might be a bit different but it still is working on the goal of developing riders capable of going to a world championship series and not doing so poorly that no one takes US riders seriously anymore.

As for JD Beach....that kid is an animal. He rode all 3 WSBK races as a wild card, and both MotoA races that he normally rides anyway. Plus he's doing AMA Flat Track series this year too. The same discipline that produced World Champs like Roberts, Lawson, Spencer, Rainey, Schwantz, Kocinski and Hayden. He's had a go in world class competition before. Maybe he can up his game and make it back there again.

Our only world championship rider right now is Joe Roberts in Moto2 and he's been on a crap pile of a KTM that hasn't been anywhere near the Kalex he had last year. Shame that. Would love to see him riding nearer the top ten in that class.

Otherwise, we might not see him back next year. 2 and out isn't going to get him anywhere. Not when others come back year after year before finally getting to the sharp end 4 or 5 years down the line....some even more than that.......sean
Seems like J.D. Beach is doing his own sortof "Grand National" circuit type thing!

Danny Eslick was a damned fireball in the 600cc class, I had never seen anyone ride a 600 like he did, back when he was on a Suzuki. That 170mph get off of his at Daytona was amazing (something like 2011 I think). He's been on the flat track series lately, not doing well at all ... total back marker. (Now, if he can just keep himself out of jail ......).

It doesn't surprise me at all that AMA crapped on it's self in road racing. Just look at all the nonsense they created when they were Harley's best friend in the 80's and 90's in national flat track. As you said, hopefully Rainey can make a go of it and relight the torch. Before he took it there were some really dark days. Daytona wasn't even televised for a few years. I'm not sure that event even runs any longer.

Pikes Peak seams to be managed by the same club of nutjobs that AMA road racing was managed down the drain by (see pic).
 
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