There has been so much smoke lately about Dorna doing something in the American market for road racing, that surely there must be some fire. Our sources, and the consensus in the MotoGP paddock is that Carmelo Ezpeleta has his eyes on a North American Championship, of sorts — a move designed to side-step issues with DMG and AMA Pro Road Racing.
With the France family perhaps responsible single-handedly destroying American interest in motorcycle racing, it should not be too surprising that the often unliked entity that is Dorna Sport, is being hailed as a possible savior of the sport in the United States. Whatever you think about those two entities, it is clear that something has to give.
Talking to Fox Sports 1, Ezpeleta tipped his hand on what he envisioned for the US market, saying that he has been talking to “relevant people” to create a program that will develop American riders for the Grand Prix Championship. Helping him spearhead that plan is none other than a certain Mr. Wayne Rainey.
Ezpeleta would not elaborate on his plan, so it’s not clear exactly what the Dorna CEO is brewing with three-time 500GP World Champion, though the news seems to fit previous rumors quite well.
As it stands right now, America needs not only a series that fosters and cultivates new talent, which means both technical and sponsorship support, but also needs a way to feed young American racers into Grand Prix racing’s Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP categories.
One of the obvious solutions would be to bring the Moto3 and Moto2 class formats to a series in the United States or North America as a whole. The formula has worked well in the Spanish Championship (CEV), where the series’ intermediate class follows the same class rules as the Moto2 World Championship.
Similarly with the Red Bull Rookies cup using slightly cheaper Moto3 equipment, that development series has turned out many strong riders in the GP paddock, and a more local format in the United States could work similar wonders (Americans in the Red Bull Rookies Cup have shown well, though never seem to find their way off of American soil afterwards).
Whether Rainey and Ezpeleta will be following a tobacco business model of getting them while their young, or creating a series that competes more directly with AMA Pro Racing remains to be seen, but with the American national championship on the verge of collapse, any solution at this point is better than the one currently in operation.
Source: FOX Sports 1