MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
The death of bike racing in the US?
I’m at Sepang, where the pitlane reverberates to the sound of two dozen MotoGP bikes warming up for the second pre-season test of the year.
Despite criticism and the slings and arrows of the global economic crisis (which has now been going on longer than the Second World War), MotoGP isn’t in bad shape. There are more bikes on the grid than at any time since the glory days of the 990s, when the free-spending tobacco industry paid most of the bills. And there are more rounds than ever before; at least there were until the Brasilia race dropped off the calendar.
Contrast this to the fortunes of America’s AMA Superbike championship, which is in deep, deep crisis.
A few weeks ago I was in the States to interview Udo Gietl – the genius engineer behind the BMW twins that won the first US Superbike championship in 1976 – and our conversation ended with a few words on the current state of racing in his country.
“The sport is dying in America, no question about that,” said Gietl, who like all good engineers likes to get straight to the point.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.