Following a MotoAmerica presentation at this 12 months’s AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, we had been in a position to meet up with residing bike legend Wayne Rainey for a fast chat. Rainey, a three-time 500cc Grand Prix world champion and AMA Motorbike and Worldwide Motorsports Corridor of Famer, understands simply in addition to the remainder of the bike business that partaking new riders at youthful ages is obligatory as a way to assist drive the game ahead. Rainey turned the president of the MotoAmerica collection in 2015 and has labored tirelessly with sponsors, producers, and promoters as a way to construct a neighborhood round bike roadracing in America with the hopes of cultivating expertise to tackle the world.
With the theme of this 12 months’s AIMExpo closely surrounding the engagement of recent riders, we requested Rainey how MotoAmerica’s championship is trying to develop its attain to those new riders and racers.
“Having the nationwide championship is necessary within the business in that we’ve new riders coming into it,” Rainey explains. “We’d like a aggressive collection. We began the KTM RC Cup collection three years in the past in MotoAmerica, and it labored very well. It did every little thing that we wished it to do. As a matter of truth, the final race went right down to the final flip, final lap. To see these youngsters driving the best way they did, they regarded a lot totally different than they did a 12 months in the past. You possibly can actually see that it’s working. These guys are concerned with everybody else, to allow them to go speak to their heroes and people who have been serving to them out. It’s been an excellent surroundings, and now that we’ve opened up the category to different producers, we must always be capable of get fairly a number of extra riders right here who weren’t in a position to get a motorcycle to race earlier than.”
It’s clear that, for Rainey, rebuilding the status of American roadracing is an ongoing battle and one which entails innovation and an enormous effort to interact younger racers.
“We’re going to focus lots on advertising and promotion of recent courses,” Rainey explains. “As it’s now, we hear that there will likely be groups subsequent 12 months that will likely be fielding 5 bikes. So naturally, we count on it to be very aggressive with numerous totally different manufacturers on the market. There’s going to be numerous youngsters on the market, and there needs to be some nice racing. We additionally raised the age cap a bit by three years to 25. Even after that, there’s the Twins class, so you’ll be able to work on that bike in all probability greater than any of the opposite courses.”
For racing followers who’re ready for, effectively, the subsequent Wayne Rainey, that is all excellent news. Along with cultivating the subsequent technology of racers, nevertheless, Rainey’s efforts can even create the subsequent technology of race followers. Give the lots a Colin Edwards, a Nicky Hayden, a Ben Bostrom, or a Ben Spies to rally behind, and they’re going to observe him throughout the pond and get hooked on the proving floor of American roadracing within the course of. The newest heyday of AMA roadracing within the ’90s and early ’00s additionally coincided with a relative growth in sportbike gross sales. Coincidence?
In America, it’s the uncommon roadracing fan who isn’t a rider. Get them into racing, they usually’ll get into driving as effectively.
The way forward for American roadracing is pushed by passionate motorcyclists. We’ve bought the fervour; Rainey’s bought the drive and the imaginative and prescient of one among America’s biggest world champions. If American racing is in his palms, we will all stay up for massive issues on the horizon.
Keep tuned for particulars concerning MotoAmerica’s new race class restructure, in addition to details about subsequent 12 months’s schedule.