Living in New Hampshire, I take great interest in the annual Loudon Classic. The issues of track safety and weather seem to never end. Why doesn't the AMA schedule everything a day earlier with the races on Saturday instead of Sunday ?
Then if it rains, they can retry on Sunday. Running the race on Monday in front of no fans isn't going to move motorcycle racing forward.
I personally think racing is awesome, and racers are exceptional athletes, but the marketing of racing as a sport is pathetic.
Interesting reading at Roadracing World. Grant tried to mediate between the AMA and the racers (full of quotes). He basically told grant to get lost! I didn't see it on any other website so check it out.
I felt like I was in high school detention, I couln't go anywhere and at the end I was punished! I arrived at Loudon at about 10 am and did nothing but eat hamburgers, I was siting next to a bunch of Yates friends or family up in the stands that were doing some serious drinking. If there was a race, there was no possible chance that they would of seen anything past 10 feet, they had fun. But for the rest of us that were there for the racing, the way it ended was bad for everyone. There should not be any power games in PUBLIC between the AMA and the factories. If it is not safe to start or not sensible to start, then the racing should be re-scheduled. I was sitting all the way up in the stands in front of the podium and I could see all the rangling going on, I wanted the racing to start, but only if it was safe or sensible, and after the many hours of trying to dry the track, it looked like bad weather was about to drop in. The AMA said "let the racing begin", the factories said "no way" and the only good that came out was that some local Loudon racers will have a story to tell for the rest of their lives. The one about how they got a podium at an AMA national superbike race.
I ditched work for an hour to go watch it. WOW. Sufficient credit has nto been given to Eric. He was freaking awesome. Mladin was trying everything to pass him, but Bostrom was just plain faster. Not only that, Matt was riding his best and the bike was performing well. Freaking incredible ride Eric.
Maybe I should have included a smiley at the end of my post. My point was that Kawasaki needs very badly to update/remake the ZX-7 that they are selling to the public, and winning a race (or several races, or even a championship) in AMA Superbike doesn't change that fact, in part because the ZX-7R that you can buy is almost completely unrelated to the superbike that Eric Bostrom rides (and rides very well, IMHO).
Have you ridden a ZX-7r recently? Must not, because if you had you would relize that they are heavy and terribly slow by todays standards, actually by 3 or 4 years agos standards. It is a testiment to E-Boz being a great rider in order to put himself on the top box.
I joined the AMA to support motorcycling, and motorcycle racing. The more I hear about the AMA's daily goings-on, the more iastounding it is that the AMA is able to maintain this facade.
The AMA's behaviour at Loudon last weekend, its dealings with Edmondson and Dan Lance (whom they hired as a safety professional, then attempted to banish from AMA events when he pointed out that they were not living up to their obligations to provide safe racing conditions), and the continuing saga of the airfence (where is it?) leave little doubt in my mind that the AMA doesn't give a about racers or racer safety.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to withdraw my membership, but i'm not going to shut up either.
The AMA, and VanDerSlice, can't keep this up in the face of public scrutiny and outcry - so if you care about Eric Bostrom, Nicky Hayden, and all the other racers out there, you owe it to them to go check out the Breaking News section at RoadRacing World and read about their shennanigans:
I rode one last week, and it is heavy and outdated, but not actually a bad bike if you a) modify it enough to race in superbike, or b) don't race. My point was simply that it's not as if they race a completely different bike while the other guys are on stockers, they're all playing by the same rules and no one's bikes are the same as what's in the showrooms. The Kaw is a good enough platform that the race bike can still snag a win now and then and be fairly competitive for the most part. Of course it's mostly the rider, it's always been that way unless one bike really makes a design jump.
And by the way, thank you for refraining from using smileys, das. No one wants to see that $#&%.