The Racing Week On Wednesday - News Round Up For The Week Of 8th April

Racing season is now truly upon us. MotoGP kicked off ten days ago at Qatar, last weekend the British Superbike championship had their first race of the year at Donington Park, and this weekend sees a bumper crop of racing. MotoGP is at Austin, where MotoAmerica also kicks off its inaugural season since taking over the AMA series from the DMG. World Superbikes heads to the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, where they are joined by the Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 classes. It is going to be a busy weekend.

Despite the bustle of action, the amount of real news emerging has been limited. Teams and riders are too busy racing, absorbing the lessons of the first races while preparing for the next races, to be plotting and scheming beyond that. Here's a rundown of things you might have missed this weekend anyway.

And you thought the Stoner return was a surprise...

The Suzuka 8 Hour race is growing in stature. It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment at which this happened, but it seems fair to guess that Kevin Schwantz' participation in the 2013 race. While Honda had always supported the endurance racing classic by sending their top World Superbike riders, the days of Grand Prix riders competing at the event had long passed. Schwantz returning to racing at the event seems to have kickstarted interest in series once again, with some big names coming forward.

Casey Stoner's participation in the event had already been announced, the Australian flagging the event as a race he had always wanted to do, but his busy MotoGP schedule prevented him from doing it. That announcement kicked off a huge buzz around the event, but now it could get a second, possibly even bigger boost. According to ace Spanish reporter Manuel Pecino, writing for Sportrider Magazine, Yamaha is pressuring Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to race in the event.

Yamaha's participation is part of a bigger marketing push for the Japanese factory. According to Pecino, this is Yamaha's 60th anniversary, and the factory wants to celebrate it with a win at the biggest motorcycle racing event in Japan. A win would also boost the profile of Yamaha's brand new YZF-R1, launched this year to replace the old model, as a radically revised and updated version. Originally, Yamaha management asked both their factory MotoGP riders to participate in the event, but both men declined. However, when Casey Stoner announced he would be riding there for Honda, Yamaha have upped the pressure on the Movistar Yamaha pairing, trying to get them to race. No doubt they will face a barrage of questions about the situation this weekend.

The new-fangled R1

Winning the Suzuka 8 hour race will of course depend on how competitive the Yamaha R1 can be. Last weekend, we got the first glance of it competing in a high-profile national series, with the Milwaukee Yamaha squad putting the bike through its paces at the BSB season opener. Josh Brookes had a solid first outing on the bike, finishing in 6th and 3rd in the first double header of the season. The bike is handicapped to some extent by having to use the spec Motec electronics mandated in BSB, rather than the MotoGP-derived kit fitted as standard.

This weekend could provide a better measure of the R1. The bike will be raced at both Austin, in the MotoAmerica Superbike class, and in Aragon, where it will make its debut in the Superstock 1000 class. Both series allow the use of the standard ECU, which on the 2015 model R1 is extremely advanced. Of course, with Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier aboard the bike, the strength of the riders may outshine the actual bike. But the Superstock 1000 races in Aragon may give a slightly better look at the machine.

Whether the R1 is any good is still to be confirmed, but there is no doubting that the Kawasaki ZX-10R is a good standard bike. Shane Byrne leads the BSB series after the first round, having come 1st and 2nd in the two races, while James Ellison and Stuart Easton also took the honors on the bike, Ellison winning race 2 and Easton taking 3rd. Dan Linfoot put the Honda CBR1000RR on the podium in race 1, while Josh Brookes was 3rd in race 2.

2016 – Back to the future?

The basic rules for MotoGP for 2016 and beyond were laid down at Qatar, where the Grand Prix Commission met. Seven engines, 22 liters of fuel, and a minimum weight of 157kg were agreed upon, as well as a continuation of the concessions granted to manufacturers who have yet to score regular podiums or wins. A few minor questions still remain, especially surrounding tires, but some fans still remain confused about the plight of the current Open class teams.

In an interview with the leading Spanish sports newspaper AS ahead of the first race at Qatar, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta laid out his vision for the series. His idea, he said, is to have twelve factory bikes and twelve satellite bikes from 2017 onwards. With the switch to the spec software from 2016, the advantage offered by factory electronics should disappear, he said, creating a much more level playing field. The idea is to have each factory supplying two bikes to a factory team, and two bikes to a satellite team.

That would require Suzuki and Aprilia also supplying satellite teams. Suzuki has been extremely reluctant to supply a satellite team in the past, the last of the privateer Suzukis dying out in the mid-90s. Aprilia has been more willing in recent years, but have only supported teams at a very low level. And KTM's plans do not include a factory team at all: the whole concept of the KTM RC16 is to build a bike for sale to private teams, to compete at a reasonable cost. KTM have, as yet, shown now interest in competing as a factory squad, an understandable decision given the high cost of such a move.

Just how close to reality Ezpeleta's dream will come remains to be seen. However, MotoGP is currently in robust good health, with bikes available and costs no longer spiraling out of control. MotoGP is not cheap, and costs are still rising. But they are not rising as exponentially as they did previously.

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Comments

The Milwaukee Yamaha is still got a lot of development work scheduled. The bike was raced at Donington in BSB with a standard road going fuel tank as the lower c-of-g underseat version wasn't ready.

The bike looks like it will get a lot of factory input at BSB & Moto America since there isn't a factory WSB squad at the moment.

Expect the R1 to be head and shoulders above the vintage fireblade by the time Suzuka comes round which will be a factor in getting the top talent to commit to the 8hr.

Cant wait to see how this bike performs at the TT as well, but thats another speculation for another day.......

Total votes: 59

That a bike can't run it's standard ECU in BSB. I understand why it's silly to let a bike run some space age aftermarket ECU that requires a team of electronic engineers to set up, but a bike should be able to run with what it comes standard with off the showroom floor for, even if it is advanced. I'll be watching the R1 superstock results with interest. Does this mean Yamaha also have to remove the gyroscope from the R1?

Total votes: 58

Finally, after many years in the darkness, American road racing sees a new dawn. Maybe.

I first heard the rumors at Indy last year, that Wayne Rainey and a few other influential folk might be putting together an all-new outfit for AMA racing, and that DMG might be on the way out. Lo and behold, it came to be! DMG had botched it beyond recognition. Such as: pretty much everything. I would be typing the rest of today if attempting to detail it all, so we'll just focus and get to the point. They had no credibility.

They had no credibility with the tracks, promoters, sponsors, racers, tv networks, racers, team owners, fans. They were arrogant, cheap, and disorganized, resulting in, among many things, an inability to make a schedule in a timely fashion, and hence the deals with the track owners, and hence a deal with any television network. (The pathetic state of moto-tv coverage here in the US is another long rant altogether.) I can't pretend to know all the details, but regarding the tv deals, the appearance was that DMG approached it like, "We're the AMA, we're a BFD, ya'll get down on bended knee and bring your checkbooks, so we may decide upon whom to bestow the privilege of showing Our DMGAMACYABS Racers to the enthralled masses". Or something like that. And the networks said, "no thanks". Or alternately, we have TONS of figure skating re-runs to show, or even Nascar, but thanks anyway.

But it's a new day. Now, I have utmost respect for MotoAmerica and it's founders. Also, for the teams and racers and sponsors and tracks and everyone who has gone out on this fairly long limb to work with, partner with, and support them. So much so that this is hard to say; I honestly mean no disrespect. But alas, here it is: What the hell is going on with the television deal? Here we are, the first round of the new series, excitement at fever pitch, the promise of "all events televised" in a much-hyped press release back in December, and...no tv. Well, sort of. Here's the schedule from CBS Sports Network, et al:

Wed 4/15 -- 8:00 PM EDT -- MotoAmerica Season Preview (several days after the start of the season...) This re-airs at 12:00 AM Thurs, and again at 11:00 Sat 4/18.

Sun 4/19 -- 6:30 PM EDT -- MotoAmerica: Circuit of the Americas - Austin TX

And then something else at 7:30. A week and a few hours later than "live", and only one hour, presumably for one superbike race. Of two. And none of the other five classes. I guess this precious hour is so they can at least say, "Hey, we covered it!"

Also, the so-called live stream option, torque.tv, has recently been acquired by Motor Trend On Demand, (high-quality automotive programming to high-octane enthusiasts!), a pay subscription service, and their schedule for MotoAmerica is the same as that of CBSSN. Check out the site, click on "motorcycles", and enjoy the video showing lots of big air, big flames, and big t**s.

Would it be a safe bet that there may be some dissatisfaction among American race fans, regarding this non-broadcasting issue? I reckon there is. Okay, we may have to accept that we will never see the racing action from Austin. (I went in person the last two years for MotoGP, but that doesn't help much now.) It's probably far too late to change this fact. But can't MotoAmerica, or CBSSN, or someone, just explain it? Or say, "Oops"? Or, we'll make it up to you? By saying nothing, it begins to stink of the DMG days. Have we seen this movie before? Like, we're too stupid to notice or something. Move along, nothing to see here, (literally!). Shhhh, by New Jersey, they'll have forgotten all about it. What happens for Laguna? Or Indy? (Where MotoAmerica is to run with WSBK and MotoGP again, respectively.) Or will we only see the action from Austin and the rest when we buy the 2015 MAAMAFIMNARRC Season Review DVD at Christmas for $49.95?

More bizzare, upon (sorta) combing the internet, there is almost no mention in the moto press of this little broadcast omission. It's like everyone is afraid to even mention it, (or no one cares, which is possible), lest it hurt the feelings of Dorna, or A Network, or A Sponsor. Please, someone in the know -- What's the deal?

EndRant, thanks for listening.

Total votes: 69

For posting this! Not only a great rant, but didn't even know what to search for the tv schedule

Total votes: 63

I think the delayed TV deal was fairly well known. I knew about it and I'm from the UK. IIRC they had problems negatiating with the TV companies because MotoAmerica took over too late and the TV people all remember DMG. I probably read about it on Asphalt and Rubber. Otherwise I'd fully agree with your excelent rant.

Personally I'm looking forward to the start of the Canadian Superbike series. Last year I watched the whole series on YouTube for free. There aren't many bikes on the grid, the tracks look like our decrepit local roads and the bikes even have a key in the ignition but the commentator gets so carried away I loved it. The supersport races had some great action.

Total votes: 56

It was announced weeks ago that MA races would be televised on a delayed basis.

Total votes: 57

My mistake, re: anything about "live". However, in the 'normal' scheme of American tv coverage of motorcycle racing, one might expect to see, say, the two Superbike races and Supersport, delayed to Sunday evening, or maybe split between Sunday evening and as late as Wednesday night. As mentioned in first post, what we apparently have is one race, (hopefully - the schedule doesn't say what we'll be seeing - could be just highlights), a week after the event. Is this not lame? And to the original question, why this uber-abbreviation and tardiness?

Even in the darkest days of the series, i.e. last year, the (rare) races could be seen by live-streaming via fanschoicetv.com. It more or less sucked, as it could not be recorded or viewed on-demand. (Oh, we are spoiled, no?) But at least it was possible for those willing to sit at the computer at the designated time, like tv of an ancient era. Now the message is, "We want the series to be huge, but you must be present on site to see the races. Thanks for your support".

My point was credibility. Just because they said the event would be shown, and shown on delay, the state of this is no less pathetic. It's the court of public opinion, a much higher bar than some loophole as in a court of law. It's much harder to be cheered for than to be simply excused. I think MA would prefer the former.

Total votes: 54

in the delayed showings - I actually upped my TV plan to be able to watch the (hopeful) rebirth of American Road Racing. If they're all going to be delayed, then I see no need in keeping my current TV plan as I'm not going to watch races where I know who won already.

Before it sucked completely last year, they were at least showing the races the same weekend they took place. I can keep from finding the results out for a day or 2, but a week will never work.

Total votes: 53

...which doesn't seem to have been mentioned in the main feature above is the M1 getting what (I think) was the bike's first ever pole position. This was set on Sunday by Adam Jenkinson, a top line British Superstock 1000 runner on the Northern Escalators M1- that pole being set with a persistent misfire. That bike and rider was at least as quick as the Milwaukee bikes in pre-season, albeit with the standard, more advanced electronics package that BSB can't run. Working for a company that is a product sponsor of the team I know that there are a fair few parts they are still waiting for from Yamaha, via SMR, the team fielding Brookes & Parkes. On race day Adam broke away with three other protagonists for the title, took the lead and looked in control. However, a number of lurid slides meant he dropped off the front three for a safe fourth, well in front of the huge pack.
They're disppointed, but when I spoke with the team after the race, they know that the bike came late, doesn't even have a spare fairing, no history and a number of permitted parts that will improve things considerably.
If they get that lot into shape and Adam stays fit, this will be a very good season for the M1. I also think that the BSB bikes were closer to the sharp end than they hoped- Kiyo's crash putting Brookes out of contention when looking menacing.
Looking good.....

Total votes: 60

Yep, the TV package is a mess. However, it's not that surprising when you look at TV coverage of motorsport as a whole. There seems to be an industry-wide lack of understanding of the visceral thrill of a live race. From the deals to the scheduling to the actual coverage and the people presenting it, something always seems to get lost in translation. I have to say that Dorna do a really, really good job with the MotoGP season pass. Some people don't like Nick Harris or the team, but that's subjective. The camera work is astounding, the visual presentation of the spectacle is really, really good. MA needs that if they're going to bring back racing in America in this day and age. They're starting at the right place - the classes and the racing itself. The next step is to work on the SHOW - presenting the spectacle that is motorcycle racing in its complete glory. Give them some time. Let's see what Rainey and company can do. No doubt they have seen a few motorcycle races before and may have some idea of what they speak. First make the racing good, then make it accessible and beautifully packaged.

Total votes: 61

Fair comment, zlive. Ditto regarding Rainey and Co. I really, truly wish all the players and the whole series the best. Hope it was clear that I wasn't trying to rip on anyone or be the hater. A lot of people have risked greatly and no doubt generally busted their asses to make this thing happen. I suppose that's part of the whole issue with lack of coverage. Big stakes, big excitement, big lead-up, then big buzzkill. And no one saying a word about it is just...weird. But looking forward, the broadcast team should be first rate. (Jonathan Green, Colin Edwards, Christy Lee.)

And ditto re: MotoGP video pass, and probably most tv coverage outside the US. It is one hell of a show, they're killin' it, awesome. They've got me five years running!

Total votes: 54

No, I hear you - I share your concern. I do think the TV package is of prime importance and I hope they are working on making it better. Live races are essential to the long-term health of the enterprise. If networks won't pay what they're paying for NASCAR, tough crunchies I say. Negotiate a deal for live airing of the races, prove how awesome that is and how many people watch it, then re-negotiate down the line. That's what I want to see MA do.

Total votes: 54

When are the powers that be gonna learn---tape delay is NOT live---we'll already know who wins before they broadcast the race! This is third-world at best! Very disappointed that TV was not one of the first things on the menu---not an afterthought…
Reminds me WAY too much of AMA/DMG shit...

Total votes: 60

I feel like your attitude is one that a lot of fans will have, which is understandable! And the other big problem is a screwy TV schedule creates confusion, and confusion is not how you gain fans.

Total votes: 58

I am surprised no one has said anything about commercials. a lap and a half of racing then a commercial break, damn we just missed some intense racing, oh time for another commercial break. Motorcycle racing needs to be shown from start to finish w/o interruption. one reason i am so thankful that motogp and wsbk have video passes.

Total votes: 58

Back in the dark days of tape delayed races, we finally got live races because broadcast companies made money by people watching it.Give Moto America a fighting chance. Support them enough now so they can bring a better show later.

Truthfully I often watch MGP sometimes days later even though I have a subscription. I can't always get up at 5am to watch live. I have a family and get busy. I know I am not alone.

Total votes: 53

... can next revive the Daytona 200.

Hopefully MotoAmerica have a successful year and the 200 will be in the series next year.

Total votes: 56

I'll be astonished if MotoAmerica is ever involved with the Daytona 200. There's 2 reasons I don't see it happening. 1> The France family (aka DMG) owns Daytona and don't want their replacement holding races there. 2> Safety due to tire issues. They've been damn lucky in the past decade that no one has been killed with tire failures that have occurred. YMMV.

Total votes: 49

I really don't understand the hold on the streaming deal. Folks were able to get the Daytona 200 to stream on Fanschoice.tv and I assume that deal was put together quickly. I was pleasantly surprised at the coverage and stream quality.

"We've been getting a lot of questions regarding live streaming," MotoAmerica CFO Richard Varner said. "At this point I can say that we've made the investment, we've developed the capability to do the live streaming, and now we're negotiating to get our product up on the Internet for our fans."

I really hope this one week delay crap is a stop-gap measure until they get something worked out with streaming. I could care less about watching on the CBS channel since coverage will be horrible and the commercials kill the excitement and continuity of the race.

Streaming is a perfect medium for motorsports. You can control when to watch, whether live or on replay, no commercials and some cool new features like multi-angle shots on MotoGP. Get an Apple TV and you don't even need to get off the couch to start the stream. TV as a delivery medium has begun it's slow death and MotoAmerica can hopefully capitalize on fan interest and available technology (whatever Dorna is doing is great stuff).

Total votes: 53

I used to be heavily into Volleyball here in the US. I did tournaments (sports are something you *do*), went to national events to watch and watched on TV.

The AVP went from plunk your chair down courtside, play on the courts after the tourney ends for the day (it *is* a public beach!) to paid admission to the main court, guards around at night. TV coverage was edited and cut out the "boring" parts and then went Live when the admission started.

A few tournaments with the finals being a blowout and that was the end of AVP on NBC with low ratings. Coverage disappeared to ESPN late at night. The tape edit was much lower quality. AVP sunk lower then DMG superbike class.

I like Live when I can discuss it around the water cooler at work, but I'm ok with a better quality taped version. Often the live event in the US gets shortened for a higher rated show. Imagine watching a race/tournament and have the last few laps/points cut off for a "quarterback passing competition"...

Total votes: 49

I sent them emails to show support and excitement, got a couple of positive responses and then ... crickets. I've heard even less than you have because I did not scour the internet. How do you grow a series without reaching out to your core audience? Mass emails cost next to nothing these days and their website doesn't even have a mailing list you can sign up for (that I could find).

The TV coverage though I can kind of understand. If you are shoe-stringing a budget, you have to rely on a media deal to foot the bill for coverage costs. Cameras and camera crews are costly. You have to make money before you can take on those costs if the organizers don't have enough to start with (which is what I think). My question is, how do you make money if no one can see your product? Its the chicken and egg problem.

I think their hope is that those who see them in support of MotoGP and WSBK later this year flock to the CBS website where they can show sponsors and investors the viewership numbers. The danger is that it can show potential or disinterest. Besides, hasn't that been tried before?

I think you need to put it out there for people to see. Only then will popularity increase and the money follow. Unfortunately, no one really wants to take that risk with a series that has been pretty awful since Spies and Mladin left.

I would love to have a national series worth watching but like you Expresso, I am concerned that they are repeating the same mistakes from the past. Disappointing to say the least ...

Total votes: 57

First, great points felixg2000, and thanks to everyone who has engaged the topic of MotoAmerica's race coverage. As I had looked around the internet yesterday, to borrow your expression, all I 'heard' was crickets on the subject. (Man, that is funny. Comic timing at it's best, in your version.) I suppose based on the thesis-sized volume of my first post, it's apparent that I rather care about the subject. But really, I'm not obsessed, honest. I work, I ride, do chores, wrench the bikes, all kinds of stuff - and follow racing. The post(s) may be long, but it seems that's what it takes to give this subject a proper airing, as the whole thing is rather complicated, (at least from my twisted perspective). However, I am a) Glad that a discussion has been sparked up, and b) So f*****g sick of being foiled at nearly every turn, running a gauntlet of bs, and/or being mugged and shaken down constantly, just trying to follow the one sport I really get off on. WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO HARD?

And now for something completely different. Mr. Emmet: Grazie Mille for, well, having this great site and forum here for all of us motonuts. I'm ever-amazed at the quality of journalism and depth of analysis. The insights are truly inspired, and the forum discussions absolutely first rate. I've been reading for about four years now, and check it out nearly every day. But yesterday was my first post. FNG, the cherry is no longer. I've been close, oh, maybe a hundred times, and finally did the deed. For better or worse. Promise, most of my posts will be much shorter than the novelette of yesterday. And this one. And just one more after this.

On this note, I need some advice. I attempted to post a little idea on the forum of MotoAmerica's website, (twice), below today's press release regarding tv coverage, and apparently they would rather not release/approve it. I completely understand, as it was somewhat long. (Can you imagine?) As in, it makes my first post on this forum from yesterday look like a tweet. I believe the material within would be a good addition to the discussion here regarding the race-coverage topic, but I don't want to appear to be grandstanding, or break any rules, etc. Hey, I'm a rookie. What should I do? Let it fly to see if approved? If this be the case, I'd understand if it didn't make the cut. I realize there's a certain brevity to the posting protocol, (obviously, eh?), and this may not be the place for 'articles' from wildly underqualified, hyperbolic lunatics such as myself. Any thoughts from Mr. Emmet and/or anyone would be appreciated. Cheers.

Total votes: 46

Total votes: 48

I understand and appreciate that everyone wants MotoAmerica to be live or at worst have same day coverage, right now. I also understand and appreciate how much time, effort and money is involved in getting a national series like this going. Especially when you start from scratch. DMG and Roger Edmundson did exactly what they wanted to (not for) AMA RoadRacing, they drove it into the mud and treated it like a unwanted cancer on the ass of society, at many levels. That includes the way the riders, factories, aftermarket folks, fans, etc. were all dealt with. It will take some time to rebuild that, it's not a snap of the fingers project. Those that follow this website are hardcore fans, we aren't your average bike racing fan that watches here and there. I would hope that instead of berating what's being done, folks would show some understanding and give support to this group that I know care strongly about roadracing in the US and want nothing more than to bring it back to the glory days of the past.

Do they have everything perfect right out of the gate? Of course not, I personally didn't expect them to. I've been a fan of this sport for well over 4 decades and I've also had the opportunity to meet and get to know Wayne. I've been lucky enough to have spent numerous hours bending his ear (and others) during delays due to fog at testing at Laguna Seca, etc. You won't meet anyone that cares as much about or is more dedicated to this sport than Mr. Rainey. The one thing I've always admired about him is his work ethic and determination. I know without doubt that he's as dedicated to all of this as anyone can be. I was elated when I heard talk last spring that he was thinking of trying to do something with roadracing here. The summer brought even more solid rumors of it happening and then it was finally announced. If there's anyone that can make it work, it's Wayne. He's not only got the connections to get done what needs to, he's also got the drive and perseverance to see it through. How about we give it a chance before screaming and bitching about some of the things that aren't yet up to the level that many want to see? They've gathered a great group of people to tackle this endeavor but these things can't be built overnight. Anyone that has a clue about being in business understands that you don't go from nothing to everything overnight. At least not usually, that's the exception when it happens, not the norm.

Instead of bitching and whining about things, show some support. Go see one of the races when they are close to where you live or are closest to where you live. Get your riding buddies and friends to go with you. If we don't help them make it a viable series, who is going to? I've contacted them asking when they might have t-shirts, stickers, etc. available for people to purchase and I'll be helping that way as soon as they are available as well as attending any races I can to show support as well. I'm always astonished that it's always about instant gratification in today's society.

Patience.

Total votes: 69

Well said my friend. DMG and Edmonson was a disaster for American road racing. Wayne Rainey and MotoAmerica is a Godsend.

Go to the races and bring some friends!

PS: The reason the Datona 200 was on fanschoice.tv live is that the France (sp?) NASCAR family owns fanschoice.tv.

Total votes: 53

Agree, well said. MotoAmerica deserves full support, and they certainly have mine. I'll be at Indy if I have to crawl, and maybe Barber. I'll buy a t-shirt or three, no kidding. And I can't imagine anyone questioning for one second their commitment to American road racing, the polar opposite of DMG. Wayne Rainey is a true hero, his determination and motives simply unassailable. Hey may be the only man on earth who could have brought MotoAmerica so far, so fast. To be clear, these things are NOT at issue here.

From first post: "...I have utmost respect for MotoAmerica and it's founders. Also, for the teams and racers and sponsors and tracks and everyone who has gone out on this fairly long limb to work with, partner with, and support them. So much so that this is hard to say; I honestly mean no disrespect. But alas, here it is: What the hell is going on with the television deal?"

The ONLY thing I've seen, (and propogated), any bitching, (and whining), about is the UNavailability of coverage, which is likely only very loosely in their control*. Every other aspect of the series, imho, has been nothing short of brilliant, and I'm glad you pointed it out. The classes, the rules, the schedule and venues, the partnerships with MotoGP and WSBK, the promotion, everything. All the things DMG had destroyed, come to think of it. The turnaround is nothing short of miraculous. Your post is appreciated, as it's good to be mindful of the things we should be grateful for. Amen.

RE: Going to races. Many on this site have probably seen a high-level race in person, if not most. To any who have not: DO IT. You will never be the same. It's simply gobsmacking. My first were a few club races as a kid, but my first big-show race was Indy MotoGP 2009. Friday morning practice, standing at the rail on the front straight only about thirty feet from the riders going by... Run up to the rail, hear the wail of 18k rpm, going through the gears, of this bullet you can't quite see yet for the chainlink. Then he's into view, blasting by, and gone in a terrifying explosion of speed and sound, absolute moto-porn. It was Pedrosa at about 195 mph. In the rain. I couldn't speak for ten minutes. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I've been back every year since, to COTA twice, even saw BSB at Oulton Park.

I think the whole coverage thing can be distilled to just two points. 1.) The commercial broadcast tv model, (especially in the US), is hopelessly broken. It has been for quite some time, and it's insane to keep trying, expecting a different result*. (No reflection on MotoAmerica, this is true for all but stick-and-ball sports. And Nascar.) This speaks directly to the point of "patience". Will the / a network 'get it' next year? Really? I'd put a fiver on Norfolk-n-Way. 2.) This broken model will do NOTHING to attract new fans*, will alienate many on the fence, and probably even some of the true faithful.

Finally, as to screaming and bitching about the things that are not yet up to the level we would like - If the media and sponsors do not hear loud and clear that the status quo of coverage is unacceptable, and that there is fanatical and widespread support for more and better coverage, it won't change. What shall we do, stay silent? Pleading and stomping about and begging to see the show is not berating, it's actually a show of support in itself. We're starving for the series, and we want to see a lot more of it than just the races we can travel to in person. The fans need to be just as determined and impatient as the organizer when it comes to access for all.

*There's a better way(?) Free Video Pass. On it's face it sounds ridiculous, but I believe otherwise and just can't figure out where to post the 'full' case for it. Maybe due to ADD-OCD, whatever, it's about 1900 words. Q's: Is it insane to post something that long? (Besides being insane to write it, I know.) Related - Are there forum rules to be found on the site? Or etiquette otherwise? Sorry, I'm just, admittedly, pretty clueless in this area, FNG, etc. Thanks.

Total votes: 50