Honda quits AMA/DMG racing, Harley to get spec series?

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AMA_Pro_Racing_Logo.jpgHonda has officially quit AMA/DMG Pro Racing, announcing that factory support will be withdrawn from the Corona Extra team. At the same time, the Daytona Motorsports Group is pursuing the inception of a Harley XR1200 spec class, describing that as a “priority.” Holy crap, the DMG drama just doesn’t end.
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Honda is quitting for all the obvious reasons. AMA Pro Racing events
continue to be poorly attended and scarcely televised – no change since
DMG’s taken over – while professionalism, organization and transparency
have gone out the window. American Honda’s marketing budget is much
better spent promoting its products directly, while benefiting from the
Japanese company’s participation in racing that people actually watch,
SBK and MotoGP.

Speaking about the bizarre interpretation of the rules that allowed the
entry of the privateer racers-only Buell 1125RR in AMA American
Superbike, American Honda senior vice president Ray Day said, “It is
very difficult for me to comment on the AMA/DMG acceptance of the Buell
in question as ashamedly it is evident we had an erroneous
interpretation of both the rules and the homologation process.” He then
continued sarcastically,  “This is an exciting new opportunity for all
manufacturers and I am ashamed to have missed this chance through our
inability to accurately analyze the current rules. Frankly, this could
really be fun.”

Before the dust from Honda’s departure has time to settle, DMG is
trying to create a new spec series for the Harley XR1200. Speaking on
that subject, AMA Pro Racing president Roger Edmondson said, “The
Harley category is quite clearly because we think it’s ludicrous that
that the largest selling brand in this country and the largest body of
motorcyclists in this country are totally ignored when it comes to road
racing. Those folks need a reason to buy tickets and help support our
events. That’s the concept.”

DMG is also considering a series for the Ninja 250, although not with
the same fervor, but has dropped talk of a 450cc single-cylinder class
due to lack of manufacturer interest. Apparently, of the big four, only
Yamaha expressed a faint interest in pursuing super-single racing.

While we do think a Harley XR1200 series would be neat, we’re pretty
tired of DMG and general and can only imagine that any series, no
matter how immaculately conceived, won’t be worth watching as long as
DMG is managing it. From concerns about safety expressed by Mat Mladin
to the lights going out at Daytona to various safety car scandals to
the whole Al Ludington thing, all we see are reasons to tune out, not
to tune in for good racing. We sincerely hope that somewhere, someone
in the motorcycle industry is seriously thinking of ways to revive the
USSB Championship.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

    I think Ray Blank’s confusing summation about Honda and whatever it is that the AMA series is doing is perfect.

    “Nothing is changing and with nothing changing we’re not going to change.”

    Um, yeah.

    • g

      Hey Grant, I don’t think you read that article right. You may have a couple of words misplaced.

  • JRA

    maybe the harley spec series is the answer DMG has for the problem of tracks not suited for fast Superbikes

  • http://garrettnelson.wordpress.com/ Garrett Nelson

    DMG is the worst thing thats happened to American Motorcycle Racing. It seems like they are trying to drive it into the ground. I can only imagine how their meeting with Honda went down. “OK this is how the series is going to be next year, and your going to like it.” Something like that was probably said to Honda Management. I also think that spec classes would be good over here. BSB has a few and they seem like a good place to build talent at a reasonable price. XR1200′s would be good, they run them in europe and it looks like good racing. Implying that Harley has been someone ignored by American racing is stupid thought. They are the ones who have ignored racing, so why should they be catered too? It just seems like DMG is taking AMA pro down the path towards NASBIKE and the current and past fans of road racing are going to be told to take a hike.

    • Dr. Gellar

      What you say about Harley is spot-on. Bad enough that DMG already have plenty of pie on their face for appearing to cater to Buell the way they have this season. An XR1200 racing class may turn out to be an interesting series in a club-racing sense, but it certainly won’t begin to fix the problems DMG have brought on the AMA Superbike series.

  • fearnow

    Oy. I may have been the only one in the universe to have a smidegen of hope that DMG wouldn’t continue to try to stupidify everything they get their hands on, but….

    alas. Glad to see that all the $$ HD spends on lawyers and adverts is paying off. Shame about not having an engineering department, though. :(

  • http://dangerismymiddlename.com Paul Danger Kile

    Roger E started talking about the Harley class last year. For sure they already do Harley road racing in Spain, and it is said to be fun. Maybe it would be an incentive for the motor company to make sportier Sportsters? These races are called BBQ races in Spain. Here’s a vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KluDVy7PfOI

  • Gildas

    It would be fun if Honda got out of Moto2 too…

  • http://blog.cfetherston.com fetherston

    I can’t say I’m surprised about Honda pulling up anchor.

    I was at Daytona for that “race” this year. I’ve never been so “wtf is going on” at a race before in my life. Not to mention having it at night totally destroyed the spectating experience. Nothing like shivering your ass off in the top of the bleachers while watching little two wheeled specks.

  • Adrian

    DMG have obviously never seen any AMA flat tracking ..it’s amusing that they choose a bike which the bulk of Harley riders would never consider a real HD..now if we had a spec series with full-dress Electra Glides on slicks that would be worth watching.

  • HW Pfabe

    NASBIKE? That’s perfect. That’s exactly what they’re trying to do.

    Does anyone have a link to some sort of summary of what went of with the Buells being allowed in? I’ve heard bits and pieces of it, but not a whole lot.

    I have to say, I am especially disappointed that the 450 singles won’t be happening. I was actually REALLY looking forward to that. Is there some sort of motard-type league out there where they could find a home (I’m probably really betraying my own ignorance with this question).

  • Marcel

    Welcome to the Asscar/HD Old Boys Club

  • Gildas

    Just to to put this in perspective on how low AMA has gone… Last time I followed AMA races I think the big talk was about Yamaha OM and Honda RC30 and RC45…

    My memory is hazy…

    And I also thought girls where iky and from another planet and that santa was cheap not getting me a moutain bike with 21 gears.

    G

  • Gildas

    Just to to put this in perspective on how low AMA has gone… Last time I followed AMA races I think the big talk was about Yamaha OM and Honda RC30 and RC45…

    My memory is hazy…

    And I also thought girls where iky and from another planet and that santa was cheap not getting me a moutain bike with 21 gears.

    G

  • Gildas

    Dang – double post… And only half the effect.

  • William O'Dell

    wtf…is DMG TRYING to ruin racing? Is DMG trying to make themselves MORE of a laughing stock than they already are? Seems they are not satisfied with trying to make AMA racing in the joke that NASCAR is, but taking it to another level….WWF. What’s next…mangling their own rules to allow Orange County Choppers into Superbike? Saftey Golf-carts?

    Geez, I’d almost rather WWF….no, can’t stomach that either.

  • Paul Miller

    This would be my first year learning about the AMA. It seems that they can’t remember their own mission statement or else no on is at the helm to listen to it’s members. I’d like to join the AMA, but have doubts that I’d be just paying for a useless magazine subscripton:

    Dingman said. “By placing AMA Pro Racing in the hands of people with a proven record of excellence in motor sports organization and promotion in a fashion similar to our successful partnership with Live Nation, the AMA will be able to focus its resources on its core mission to be a member advocacy organization.”

  • PeteP

    A couple of years ago, it was hard to imagine how any organization could screw things up worse than the AMA, when it comes to racing. DMG has proved that vision false.

    Similarly, the MX series has lost spectator attendance due to the shift to Saturdays, and the scheduling mess. Luckily, they are still pulling decently on TV, though. They haven’t done anything really stupid, like institute pace Quads.

  • Slick

    Lets hope they don’t screw up AMA Flat Track, some of the best racing in the world.

  • moorefire

    Rodger Edmonson and Tony George must be soul mates…

  • John Pearson

    For the first time in years, the wife and I attended NO AMA/DMG events in 2009. We would average two to three races a year. What we DID do was to invest our money to see the NHRA Nationals in Charlotte. Man, what a class act. First-rate organization with a clear vision. In comparison, DMG is a running (bad) joke. So it’s either MotoGP, WSB, or 8000 HP nitro-methane monsters. Good bye AMA racing.

    John