AMA Pro Racing suspends Al Ludington, moves further into obscurity

Dailies -

By

hitler-speech.jpgWe’ve tried really hard just to ignore AMA Pro Racing, but as the whole series descends into farce, it’s hard not to become interested. All season, teams have been butting heads with the series’ Technical Director, Al Ludington, and his seemingly arbitrary interpretation of the rulebook. Is your name Mat Mladin? No? Go straight to jail, don’t pass go.

The whole thing has now culminated in Al being temporarily suspended after a video of a confrontation with racer Johnny Page aired on YouTube. You’ll find it below. In it, Al attacks Johnny for not allowing faster, more popular racers to pass him, despite Page’s insistence that his actions were in keeping with the series rules.
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It looks like Al’s suspension is for show only and that he’ll be
allowed to keep his job, continuing his personal vendettas and attacks
on lower level racers for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, the rest
of the world will be watching real racing in the form of SBK and
MotoGP.

Head over to RoadracingWorld, which is covering this whole thing much better than we can.

  • Isaac

    ‘The show’, so you’re saying the whole AMA SBK series is scripted?

    • generic1776

      Surprised?

  • FuchAl

    I meet Al Ludington a few years back in Monterey, what a asshole he was. Treated me like I was nobody.

  • Case

    I don’t know what the rulebook says, but I did watch that race and know that the Page guy got suspended. What I saw was a guy racing hard at the end. The leaders caught up to him but he was just working as hard as he could. If they need to change the rules (blue flag means get out of the way?) then they should do it now – shouldn’t be hard considering the way they run stuff. Just make something up – call it a “Buell Provision”. The series is a joke. One more reason not to watch it (assuming you can even find it on TV in the first place).

  • Dr. Gellar

    Johnny Rock Page ruined the show?? Hhahahaha…ooooh really!?!? Al Ludington needs to get a clue. The AMA/DMG show was ruined before the racing season even began.

  • http://www.designronin.com Design Ronin

    What a dick! Let’s all go slow so the script can run they way wankers like this guy wants it to.

  • Ron

    I stopped my membership severial years ago to the AMA because of the poor quality of and its even hard to call it racing because of the total inbalance in the field . It’s only gotten worse , I would have a problem letting these people run a lemon-aid stands

  • nick r

    Wow, isn’t anyone paying attention over there in Pickerington?
    That’s amazing, not surprising, but amazing. What a bunch of tools.

  • Nick R

    Hello AMA,

    Im a rider, road race fan, and fellow Ohioan. I adore good solid NATURAL competition, and races that go off without a hitch. However,, my friends and I have completely written off your Pro Racing series.

    I dont know if you are trying too hard, or not taking it seriously enough, but there is a glaring lack of competency showing through your management of what WAS a great race series. I know you know what I am talking about. But I wonder if you realize how you are alienating your fundamental fan base- its hard to catch WSBK, BSB and MotoGP- but we do.

    What makes me really upset is the way your very racers are being treated, and I’m not JUST talking about the Ludington video, although that tells all of us what this racing series means to you, and that makes us sick. Problems with your racers, such as the ones you are having now, only arise when the racing is unfair, mismanaged, and unsafe. These guys bust their asses to make your cash cow produce, and they are being completely disrespected.

    RACE FANS WANT FAIR COMPETITION, AND AN INVISIBLE RULE BOOK, WE DON’T WANT A DAMN SHOW, WE WANT A RACE!

    Please fix what is so glaringly broken with your PRO Racing series, quit alienating your fans and most of all your racers, and for GOD’S sake send that son of bitch Ludington, and cohorts back to Nascar where they belong.

    In the mean time, I’ll be rooting for Ben Spies.

    -Nick Randall
    Wooster, Ohio
    Kawasaki KZ650

  • Tony

    This is ridiculous. He did not ruin anything. The blue flag states hold your line and no intentional blocking. That is it. They are ruining what what could have been a decent series. I am sure Al had an ear full from Yates but in reality this argument should have never took place. I like most here will be watching World SBK and leaving AMA to the writers. I guess this is becoming “sports entertainment” like wrestling.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    SBK and MotoGP are much better racing series because they are accountable to the fanbase. Attendance in Germany for the GP last week was about 100,000 people, and god knows how many people were watching it on the teevee and internets. MotoGP and SBK have to keep the riders as well as the fans happy in order to keep the sport going. AMA/DMG barely has a fanbase (How many people go to these races anyway? And how many people watched it on tv?), so the management can do what it pleases as long as its star racers are content. AMA has been pretty terrible for years, and this seems like a death spiral.

  • Sid

    Fuck you Ludington, you bitch. You want to talk to a racer that way, then fuck you.

    • Nancy

      I’m with you Sid. Fuck that prick ludington, he should be shit-canned and black-listed from working in the sport. It would be my honor to kick this man in his sac.

  • M.P.

    Hitler would be proud?

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    “Section 7: Race Rules And Procedures 7.14 Flags / Lights vii. Blue Flag: Indicates to a rider that they are about to be overtaken. Riders are advised to keep their line and allow the faster rider to pass. Riders disregarding this flag may be blackflagged at the discretion of AMA Pro Racing.”

    Ludington states in the video above, “You don’t hold your line, you get the fuck out of the way…”

    Ludington – would you then send out your incompetent safety car after racers collide?

    You are not leading nor are you working with the field to make the best out of everyone.

    Simply amazing how certain people in ‘management’ get their positions.

    • Isaac

      Yeah it is amazing how they do (slurp, slurp, slurp), LOL.

      Seriosly they should call the series – since it’s scripted – Real Riders of the AMA. You know like the TV show The Real Houswives of Orange County. Who infact do not perform any such duty a housewife does.

  • steve

    this whole AMA pro thing is a farce… top to bottom, the buttered rules, fake bikes (buell), arbitrary rule enforcement, “pace” cars… now this

    this is 1 step closer to a bad imitation of pro wrestling.

  • generic1776

    Remember, the AMA sold the series to DMG.

    While the AMA may be to blame for selling and not leasing the race series, so that they would retain some degree of control over the series.

    In the current business plan, I do not believe the AMA gets a vote in how things are run.

  • chili sv

    Perhaps I’m just being vane Wes, but are you trying to bait me with that picture?

  • http://www.DucCutters.com/ Bill Johnson

    AMA has a long history (pre-DMG) of treating the riders of non-factory teams and fans like shit. There just a bunch of good ol’ boys trying to make money.

    Take a look at the ten’s of people in the stands at Dayton this year. They just don’t care as long as they can get there hands on the factory team money.

    I won’t even get into how they chased the the Ducati Factory team out of the series to protect there Suzuki cash flow.

    Just a bunch of ass clowns making the U.S. racers look bad…

  • Hosenpants

    Wait a minute. This rider is the subject of a reality show? Suddenly video comes out of some bureaucrat doing a bad job of seeming to read the rider the riot act? I’m not buying it.

    Maybe the rider knew, maybe he didn’t, but I believe that this video is nothing but a ham-handed stab at drama (good or bad) for the show being filmed. I’m just suspicious enough to think that DMG thought to make a stink out of this SO it would end up on air. Why not simply call the guy in and say: “You didn’t obey the rules, $1000 fine. You get two more chances until you can’t race any more. Period. You may leave.”

    While I agree that the race series is tanking, I think there is more to this episode than meets the eye – follow the money. I’m assuming folks watch reality shows for the train wrecks, not the balancing of check books.

  • andy

    Consider if you were Aaron Yates people!!! Last lap, fighting for the lead, you come upon a lapper, 28th place, NOT FIGHTING FOR ANY POSITIONS! Yes he held the line, no he did not allow the leaders to pass. I was screaming the same obscenities Al Ludington was while I was watching that A-hole f-up the race! The video is hilarious! yes JRP should get some type of slap on the wrist. Yes AMA Pro racing is farcical. But I haven’t seen good racing like Barber in a LONG TIME!! People, did you watch both races?? Josh Hayes doing the double? did you watch the Buell vs. Kawi vs. Yamadog in the “sportbike” class?? Danny Eslick doing the double? great racing! At great cost of course…

  • Scott

    real racing…
    WSBK
    WSS
    SX

    scripted club level garbage…
    DMG

  • aeolus

    That video was shocking for its language and the ignorance of the rules and Page is to be congradualted for keeping his cool. I can see Scott Russell taking that crap! Ludington would have lost some teeth that day. But the announcers for Speed did ridicule Page for holding his line perhaps because it is customary in European 2 and 4 wheel racing for lapped racers to give way and not knowing the rule book, I unfairly thought Page was being an ass. I’m guessing, but it seems the vast majority of bikers (Harley riders) don’t support racing at all and the AMA is trying to reflect that and sign up more of the H-D contingent by passing off the racing to an outside outfit. If the fan base continues to diminish I imagine things will even get worse. The real outrage is the Buell in the DSB class. That is grotesque! Paradoxically, the racing was pretty good last week.

  • Adrian.

    After reading some of the comments made by Ludington to RRW in their articles ,I don’t know why they don’t just throw the rulebook away as it seems anything goes in an effort to get manufacturers into the “show”.

    It’s a pity that reasonable people like Erik Buell and Johhny Rock Page had to get mixed up in this s#%&show.

  • Adrian

    ” ..What a dick! Let’s all go slow so the script can run they way wankers like this guy wants it to… “

    This reminds me of the Seinfeld joke about racehorses talking to each other before the race….

    I’ll be first ,you place, we don’t want anyone to get hurt ….its the same old feedbag.

  • carlos

    i give credit for the guy not giving up. last place or not. it still a race till “you” cross the finish line. not till the top 5 get pass the finish and you just say “aww fuck it. i might as well just pit and go home”.

    if that’s the case, then just have a race with 5 racers. one for each popular manufacturer. otherwise it’s just like nascar when the have the guys that start a race and then pit with “malfunctions”, and that’s their whole purpose. just to start, but never to finish. just pick up a small check and do it again the next “race”.

  • Smitty

    Like it or not, he followed the rules and held the line. Hate the rules, don’t hate the racer. For what it’s worth, I’m always at the edge of my seat wondering how the race leaders are going do deal with those situations. Just another obstacle to skillfully deal with. That’s kind of exciting too.

  • Tyler

    Blue flag: hold your line. whats the confusion?

  • Geezerpome

    What a Joke!! all Very American!

    WSBK is the only series that maintains it’s integrety, the AMA may have a huge buget but money doesn’t buy Class.

    Good look to Ben Spies, the only Man Flying the flag the flag for the US racing at the mo, ya can keep your politics cheers.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      “…all Very American!”

      wrong. It’s a very small part of American motorcyclists, road racing, and poor management. The majority of us know the bullshit. Generalized speech gets zero credibility.

  • Matt

    The AMA sucks now… well even more now! the racers and manufacturers should start their own series with rules based on WSBK with a spec tire etc. That way when SBK comes to town all our boys can wild card and just plug and play! kind of like the merging of baseball football and soccer leagues… we don’t need this NASCAR bullsh!% alienate the manufacturers and riders so you can sell potato chips crap! Al Ludington sucks a$$!!!!! you and your patronizing vindictive teardown BS can go rot in hell!!! enough said…..

  • Zeitgeist

    If anybody races you know the fact that sometimes people get in the way. I personally do not want a backmarker panicing and dropping his line in front of me. If I am a skilled enough rider to come all the way round or catch the previous wave(which was the only way I caught DFLers) I had to use my skill to pass clean and safe. It shouldnt matter what the guy in front does even if he is a backmarker. Unless his lines are erratic and intentionally blocking which is also unsafe then it should be his discrestion when to move off line in a safe place if he doenst like the pressure.

    Ludington has always been a bit of a chump it came with his team. Many racers and tuners have egos and will show their asses given half a chance.Just dont bring your mom with you when you go to chew someone else out but thats a different story.

  • vic

    in the various european soccer championships people have gone to jail for doing what that prick just did,i don’t like the sport but you have to respect their etic code
    honestly if the organisers want to survive this recession they should get rid of guys like him pronto,i imagine that a lot of sponsors would back out if their name would be associated with such behaviour

  • Matt

    It is not that he didn’t let “more popular racers in front of him” it is because he is a hazard on the racetrack because he is a slow rider with an inconsistant line who because of his actions is capable of changing the outcome of a race.

  • steve

    One thing you guys seem to forget is that the so called ‘backmarkers’ are still very, very fast, they are not novices and the certainly dont ‘panic’. In a 20 lap race, you only have be be 2 seconds a lap slower to be 40 seconds behind at the end. Add in the first lap where backmarkers are already quite a way behind as they cross the line and you can see that you dont have to be that much slower than the leaders to get lapped in a long race. That is why the cutoff at the top level is only around 105%. The point is they are not slow and they should be respected as much as the guys at the front.

    The other thing is that the when passing a lapped rider, it is safest if they hold their line, that way they dont do anything unexpected and you can plan your way past. Having a rider being forced by the rules to ‘get out of the way’ and veer off line at the sight of a blue flag could lead to disaster.

  • Nasbike

    If this was real then why is Page wearing a mic? Camcorders have a hard time picking up crisp sound in a quiet room from 10 feet away. There is no way one would get the sound quality this clip has standing 30 feet away outside of a garage at Mid Ohio.

    • aeolus

      Gosh, do you think it was staged? Maybe it’s because they are yelling.

  • Motominded

    Watched MotoGP, 250GP, 125GP,and WSBK today and all season.

    Races i wanted to watch/visit after seeing DMG run the Road Atlanta race, NONE! AT ALL!

    AMA is nothing now.

  • PJ

    I’m sorry, but I cannot believe the absolute absurdity of comparing AMA Pro Racing to Adolf Hitler. This displays an utter lack of respect and disregard for those who fought and died to destroy the Third Reich and all the evil it stood for.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Get a life.

  • Brian May

    My wife and I have been attending the AMA races at Road Atlanta and Barber for years….not anymore. This video confirms what we’ve suspected since the DMG deal went down.

    I grew up going to NASCAR races, lovED it up until a few years ago when DMG started turning it into a “show” series instead of a race series. No wonder the grandstands at NASCAR races are empty and the tracks are having to sell $100 tickets for $20 just to get people there.

    F*#K the DMG. I’m done with them, period. And knowing the SPEED Channel is owned by DMG (or close enough) I’m going to join the WSBK and MOTOGP websites so I can watch the coverage there and I encourage others to do the same. Besides the SPEED Channel (for the most part) has become a channel for tow truck operators and “theme” bike heads.

    Good night DMG…enjoy the impending DARKNESS.

  • Shrike

    What a douche. The AMA Pro series just lost my complete respect. I will never watch another race as long as DMG owns it. In fact I will be letting the AMA know that if they continue to allow them to use the AMA name I will be discontinuing my membership. What “Show” was that idiot talking about. It is a race not a show. This moron needs to go to the WWF and let us race.

  • Bill

    al [the luddite] ludington was so far out of line as to be unblievable. The sad part ,even though he has been fired, is that he was obviously voicing what the higher ups think.
    The ama and dmg are the biggest problem in racing.They are only interested in money and how many people they can suck in.
    The guys in my day [roberts ,lawson, spencer ] would have hung a pass so hard on that guy he would still be spinning around. Back markers pay money to race. If they get in the way, well THATS RACING.