Honda has officially quit AMA/DMG Pro Racing, announcing that factory support will be withdrawn from the Corona Extra team.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.
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