Daytona Motorsports Group, the controversial new owner of the AMA racing series, has announced that it will do business under the name AMA Pro Racing and has released initial details of its new road race series. As of next year, there will be three classes: Factory Superbike, American Superbike and Daytona Superbike. Click through for details on all three.
This will be the premier series for factory teams (hence the name)
running liter bikes. The class will run World Superbike rules as of
2011, operating under the current AMA Superbike regulations until then
to allow the teams to make the transition. Teams will be allowed open
tire selection and unlimited testing, while qualifying will be limited
to a single bike. This will be the final and headline race at most
events. An AMA spokesman describes the class as, “Works bikes,
salaried star riders, rules written by and requested by the
manufacturers, special tires, no-holds barred superbike racing by the
strongest teams in America.”
The second tier class will feature privateer teams racing alongside
factory-supported ones. Control tires and fuel will be used, as will
homologated bikes and parts. Testing will be limited in an effort to
reduce costs, making the class more appealing to smaller teams.
Qualifying will be by Superpole arrangement, meaning the ten fastest
riders in practice will take part to determine the grid.
Designed for 600cc bikes, it’s rumored this class could also feature
675cc triples (allowing Triumph, and possibly MV Agusta to compete) and
maybe even 1200cc air-cooled twins. The power-to-weight ratio and
maximum horsepower will be limited, although we don’t know what figures
to expect for this. All competing bikes and the parts they use must be
homologated for the series. Like American Superbike, fuel, tires and
testing will be controlled and qualifying will be by Superpole.
Full rules for all three classes will be published in September.
Our initial take on this is that the major fears of manufacturers and
fans — that racing classes would be fundamentally altered and
standardized in an effort to turn bike racing into something like
NASCAR — haven’t come to pass. The three classes sound extremely
similar to what already exists. In the paranoid environment that
existed before this announcement, the Motorcycle Industry Council went
so far as to issue a request for proposal for an alternative racing
series, it remains to be seen what will come of that, although we’d
hazard a guess at nothing. Of course, the true measure of any race
series isn’t its rules and regulations, but the quality of the racing
it’s able to create, the way it promotes itself and the size of the
audience it’s able to attract. We’ll know more about that next April.