For The Sake of the Game [Updated]

12/09/2009 @ 2:51 pm, by Jensen Beeler27 COMMENTS

For The Sake of the Game [Updated] mavizen 08 560x375

UPDATE: You can find Azhar Hussain’s response to this article on Brammofan.

Last week when I wrote my op-ed, I was content to say my piece on the issue of TTXGP/Mavizen conflict of interest, and then move along with other things. But considering the response the piece got, not only by Azhar Hussain himself, but also by others in the industry, as well as the recent announcements of Zero Motorcycles and Mission Motors entering the TTXGP racing series, I thought I’d give the issue another pass. Ignoring the name-calling, accusations of professional misconduct, and general pettiness that followed, I wanted to address and few things that have developed in this space, and why I’m still thankful the FIM split from TTXGP.

Somewhere in the words of last week’s op-ed piece, the notion was created that I had definitively found the reason why the FIM split from TTXGP; whereas the true purpose of my writing was to discuss the conflicts of interest at hand, and what it could mean to the landscape of electric motorcycle racing. I thought that point was clear with words like “While we may never know the FIM’s true reasoning in its resolve to distance itself from Azhar Hussain’s TTXGP series, I suspect…” and labels like “op-ed” instead of “news”. I was, however, of course wrong.

But perhaps part of the confusion stems from the fact the article’s publication coincided with a well-written article written by Ivar Kvadsheim (published here in English, and here in Norwegian). If you haven’t already read that piece, you owe it to yourself to do so. It not only provides some background on the issue, but also frames the argument of how the FIM’s rule book mimics, almost word for word, the one developed by TTXGP. If you’re looking for in-depth coverage on the growing electric motorcycle racing scandal, I suggest you look beyond this writing, and the gray box of A&R, you won’t find it here. What you will find here is a reaction to some of the responses I’ve seen about the conflict of interests at hand with TTXGP and Mavizen.

One of the rationales used by Hussain and others is that because the FIM knew and approved of Mavizen, this resolves the conflict of interest at hand, or at least mitigates it to obscurity. Assuming that this statement is true (it would seem to have been initially confirmed by the FIM, but now there seems to be some double-talk in this space), it still is completely irrelevant to how a conflict of interest is going to affect electric racing. If anything, such a development just makes the FIM as culpable as TTXGP, and only makes the issue larger in its importance, instead of smaller.

The reason for this is because the COI hinges on how the conflict affects the manufacturers and teams, not the sanctioning body and its promoter. The distinction being made here is the reason why COI’s are such an important issue for motorcycle racing. The sanctioning bodies, promoters, teams, and manufacturers all have competing interests despite the common goal of electric motorcycle racing (this is why you see these groups organized separately in virtually every other motorsport league). For a promoter and sanctioning body in a fledgling sport, there of course is great concern about having a full grid. Hussain himself acknowledges, and I don’t disagree with him on the point. Therefore from their vantage point, stacking the grid with bikes in anyway possible fits with the goals of their organization.

However for a manufacturer, this arrangement brings a number of problems, especially when the conflict is between those who make/enforce the rules, and those who provide the motorcycles (manufacturers, regardless if they run a “factory” team). During his response, Hussain actually brings up an example of how this conflict is already surfacing in TTXGP, and creating acts of impropriety:

“A key feature of the TTX02 is that the entire drive train can be swapped in the pit, allowing for pitstops. This is an exciting exploration that we want to build on and encourage others to follow. Having our own bike was the only way we could drive the agenda forward in a timely manner.”

I’ll avoid the finer arguments as to whether it is reasonable to have this rule in place in the first, but suffice it to say the majority of teams I’ve talked to about the issue have no desire to be swapping out battery packs in the pit lane. Let’s also take note that before Mavizen, only MotoCzysz had such provisions even built into their design. Creating a rule that allows the swapping of batteries allows for teams to either run fewer batteries (i.e. less weight) during a lap, or run with more power each lap (replenishing the depleted batteries at some point during the race, rather than provisioning a single set of batteries over the entire course distance). This could potentially be a huge advantage for a team that is able to take advantage of the rule, and what a happy coincidence that Mavizen is one of the two platforms currently capable of such a feat.

For the rest of the field, especially the teams who are centering their race bikes off production models, a complete redesign of their systems will likely be needed to take advantage of the battery-swap rule, and in a space that is still dominated by cash-strapped startups, the chances of such a redesign occurring approach zero quite quickly. This allows Mavizen and MotoCzysz a de facto advantage, even though de jure the rules appear neutral on their face. I have yet to hear Michael Czysz say that he plans to offer his e1pc to other teams as a possible racing platform, which means if a race team wants to take advantage of this favorable rule, their only option is the Mavizen bike being provided by Hussain.

Intent aside, the stage is already set for Mavizen to be able to predict and adapt to rules in a way that others cannot. This illustrates how easily something innocuous like a rule about battery swapping, likely made with good intentions, and can slip into a realm of impropriety, even if that wasn’t the intent of making the rule.

Diving deeper into impropriety gets into a more sinister perspective, and while I make no assertion of such acts, let us realize how important the appearance of impropriety can be in this situation. An element of racing, in any form, is pushing the rulebook as far as it will go. Often times teams will seek council from those who interpret the rule book, to find out whether or not they have crossed the line before actually taking part on race day. I can tell you as not only as someone who is trained in interpreting the law, but also as someone who has competed at the national level of small boat racing (I would argue sailing is the most litigious sport in existence), that there will always be differences of opinion on how a rule will be understood and applied, thus creating a constant battle to find where exactly the bright line shines.

In the case of TTXGP, let’s say a manufacturer has developed a new innovation to their powertrain, but believes it could be in violation of the series rules, what course of action are they to take? If this were a series like MotoGP, they would ask for a decision on the powertrain, as it pertains to the rule, from a 3rd party. But in TTXGP, the party handling that inquiry is the same party that’s developing competing technology. When those who make and interpret the rules are the same ones building within the rules’ confines, what stops someone from saying, “That’s a great innovation, we should have that in our bike too” or “This new technology is going to tip the scales in this manufacturer’s favor, we should reject this so we don’t have to compete with it”?

I don’t have to allege that something like this has occurred for there to be a chilling effect; the mere possibility it could occur does that on its own. In an industry that is defined by companies who are differentiating themselves primarily on their powertrain technology, it seems unfathomable to me that they would set themselves up to potentially hand-over closely guarded intellectual property, the basis of their competitive advantage, to a would-be competitor manufacturer.

With the recent announcements by Zero and Mission Motors, to enter into TTXGP, it brings to my mind a bit of worry about what these two companies have just signed themselves up for. Both Zero and Mission have based their businesses around their proprietary battery and motor designs, designs that they very well may have to disclose and defend to an organization that is directly linked with a competitor (Mavizen), and closely linked to a potential competing supplier (Agni).

With these two examples at hand, I honestly welcome a rebuttal as to how a conflict of interest doesn’t exist here in electric motorcycle racing, and why it isn’t an issue. The issue appears too cut-and-dry as it stands now. I’ve read the arguments made that such a COI doesn’t exist, because if it did then it would alienate the teams racing in TTXGP, or that the TTX02 isn’t a platform capable of exploiting the rules to their fullest and such there is not COI. I’ve also read comments that dismiss to issue of a COI as being completely without merit.

I’ll let my example of the battery-swapping rule stand on its own as a reason for why the second and third arguments are misguided, and focus on the first point instead. Despite being a fine example of circular reasoning, the hypothetical scenario proclaims the very issue I’m writing in the hopes of avoiding: the further fracturing of electric motorcycle racing. I think everyone is in agreement that the sport is too young for such divisions, why create those fissures further at this point in time?

I’ve heard the argument too many times that this COI was a necessary step to build a competitive field, and Hussain himself says it was necessary step to ensure the required number of bikes on the starting line of each electric motorcycle race. However, this line of reasoning does not change the fact that a dangerous conflict of interest is being created in racing.

Avoiding the question as to whether electric motorcycles are even ready for a racing series, the issue of seeding the field could have been avoided through other and better means. Instead of trying to provide a motorcycle that “take[s] away alot of the pain and costs for potential teams,” other incentives and cost supporting structures could have been put in place for the teams. Such aid could come in the form of transportation to events, revenue splitting, winner’s purses, etc. These are all things that other series put into place to help promote bolster their grids, but were absent from the TTXGP race at the Isle of Man.

In the end perhaps the most intriguing thing in this situation isn’t the fact that we’ve heard little from the FIM (and what we’ve heard seems to range throughout the spectrum of reason), but the fact Azhar Hussain hasn’t himself said the real cause reason for the FIM’s split from TTXGP. Content to sit on the sidelines, feeding information from his vantage point as he see’s fit, and teasing us lesser mortals with bits of information like:

“Lastly, I won’t share with you why the FIM did what they did. But it wasn’t because of this big discovery on your part. Totally the opposite in fact.”

I’m confident a simple explanation from Czar of Electric Motorcycles could settle this entire discussion rapidly, and enlighten us as to the inner-workings of what will be known as electric motorcycle racing’s first big scandal. Just as I’m confident such a statement hasn’t been made because the legal implications of saying anything but the exact truth on the matter, a problem which is conveniently alleviated by having the press make your arguments for you instead of stating them yourself.

Comment:

  1. Another well-written article. This is why I keep coming back to this site!

  2. Brammofan says:

    “I’m confident a simple explanation from Czar of Electric Motorcycles could settle this entire discussion rapidly”
    You rang? Oh… you mean Czar Azhar? That’s pretty clever, actually.

  3. road_rage says:

    @Brammofan.. LOL!

    @Jensen. I read your article. You argue like Vizzini, and like him but I don’t think your words mean what you think they mean.
    Your arguments are flawed and the last I read, Mavizen’s bikes are based on production platforms. But I don’t want to steal the Czar’s thunder.

    @Azhar. Czar don’t let us down. The audience is listening. If you strike him down, he shall not become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Send him to Siberia!

  4. road_rage says:

    @Jensen. Have re-read your piece several times now. Find it troubling. Its not a neo-con West Wing conspiracy, but you seem to be trying to stir a debate without tangible assets.

    Why don’t you run an interview or ask Czar Azhar to write a piece as an editorial. You make some pretty serious charges without offering any evidence or a comment from him. But if you are right then we need to keep him honest.

    Unfortunatly one of the key charges you make is undermined by your own bad intel (you should check related posts at the end of your post), so bring this back to a serious level. This is serious business and does not deserve the slap dash approach you seem to be taking.

  5. @road_rage: For starters, it’s an opinion/editorial, not a news piece, why would I run an interview in it? It’s not appropriate for the forum. If Azhar wants to do an interview, he knows where to find us. I thought the end of the article was a pretty good prompt for him to share with the whole world the REAL reason the FIM split from TTXGP, and that’s really the only follow-up I’m looking for on the subject from him. I’m not trying to stir anything with this post, and more than welcome a good healthy debate on any subject I post about, provided the conversation is civil and doesn’t turn into name-calling.

    If I read your two posts correctly, are you referring to the KTM RC8 chassis (or perhaps the bevy out of out the box parts) being used? I assume that’s what you mean by production platform, but please correct me if I’m wrong. I’d prefer to respond to something tangible than something vague like “bad intel”.

  6. J says:

    Op-ed does not stand for “opinion/editorial”; it stands for “opposite editorial,” i.e., opinion pieces, such as Jensen’s, appear in a newspaper opposite of the editorial page, i.e., the “Op-Ed” page.

    Editorials are written by the Opinion section staff of a newspaper; they do not contain single-author bylines. Anything written by a single author that espouses said author’s opinion is an “opinion” piece.

  7. Per several public and private urgings to do so, I’ve extended Azhar Hussain the following opportunity:

    Azhar,

    As several readers on our site have suggested I give you an opportunity to respond to my op-ed pieces, I would like to extend to you an opportunity to write a formal piece of your own on Asphalt & Rubber, which will be published in its unedited form and in the same format as the previous op-eds.

    I hope you will accept my offer, as I feel the more that everyone openly discusses the issues surrounding electric motorcycle racing, the better this sport and industry will be in the future.

    Regards,
    Jensen Beeler, Editor of Asphalt & Rubber
    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com

  8. Jensen,

    Firstly let me say I love the Czar Azhar. Not only is that great potential car reg plate, but will proberbly put that on my office door.

    Secondly I have posted a detailed response to your postings here.

    http://brammofan.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/my-response-to-for-the-sake-of-the-game-by-azhar-hussain/

    My thanks to Brammofan for hosting the page.

    kind regards and happy holidays to you and all your readers.

    The Czar Dude,

    CEO
    TTXGP – The eGrandPrix

  9. Azhar,

    Thank you for the timely response, I’ve added a link to Brammofan’s site in an update at the top of the post as well.

  10. Brammofan says:

    Thanks for the link, Jensen. Think you’ll be posting a response? Need me to host it? LOL. Think of me as the Switzerland of EV Motorcycle blogs … I’m neutral. Except, of course, I’m not. I love you both.

  11. I’ll reply via comments sometime today (so, Sunday?)

  12. Ry_Trapp0 says:

    I’m simply shocked by the responses here. The conflict of interest isn’t an opinion, it’s a cold hard fact. Whether or not Mr. Hussain is taking advantage of it, none of us known. He could be the nicest, most fair minded person on Earth, but that certainly doesn’t rule out the potential for gain because of this COI.
    Anyone claiming that there isn’t a COI either doesn’t understand the meaning of the phrase, or has already picked a side and is sticking to it no matter what. To argue that there isn’t a COI when Mr. Hussain owns both the racing series and one of the companies that produces vehicles to be sold and ran in said racing series is absolutely ridiculous.
    Pointing out the COI is NOT an attack on Mr. Hussain in the least, it’s rather pointing out a fact. Claiming that Mr. Hussain is profiting from the COI without any evidence to prove it would be an attack, but I have yet to see Jensen say anything of the such.

    Great article(and website) Jensen! Great discussion too.

  13. Brammofan says:

    @Ry_Trappo Did you read Hussain’s reply? I think the COI is eliminated (or at least mitigated) by virtue of the IET’s involvement. I agree that Jensen hasn’t said that Hussain has profited from the arrangement, but what he did say was that the thought of handing over information on proprietary technology to a competitor (Mavizen) would have a “chilling effect” on manufacturers wishing to enter the series. Hussain’s point was that Mavizen wouldn’t see that information. The IET would.

  14. emjay says:

    I agree with Ry_Trappo. The intentions and details and current or past actions are not relevant. It’s simply a *bad idea*. ” . . . owns both the racing series and one of the companies that produces vehicles . . . .” We don’t have to go any farther than that. To be *thankful* that that is no longer the case is not an unreasonable assertion. To claim scandal or use the phrase “acts of impropriety” is going too far on Mr. Beeler’s part. Perhaps he got caught up in the firestorm of response he elicited.

    Perhaps, too, the launch of the TTXGP was premature if the field of independent builders is currently insufficient.

  15. Matthew says:

    @emjay

    You said, “Perhaps, too, the launch of the TTXGP was premature if the field of independent builders is currently insufficient.”

    I disagree. I think the TTXGP demonstrated that there is a public interest in electric motorcycle racing and that the race is possible *dispite* the limited field of independent builders.

    To the larger issue, I agree that there is a COI, and I am confident that it will get worked out over time. Maybe not before the next race and perhaps after it has had an opportunity to cause problems, but it will get resolved eventually because of discussions like this one.

    I commend Messrs. Husain and Beeler for keeping the conversation going and keeping it civil so that the process can continue. I hope that FIM can join the discussion and open it up, although I doubt it given their history.

  16. road_rage says:

    @Jensen. For the sake of this show, everyday needs to be a Sunday.
    For the record the points that I thought were “Bad Intel” were that 1) Yes, the TTX02 is a production bike so comparing it to MotoCzysz did not make sense. and 2) You didn’t really make it clear how TTXGP sponsoring teams did not create a bigger COI issue. 3) I don’t expect Azhar to go into this, but since you raised it you didn’t identify how the business model for TTXGP sponsoring every team, prize money, logistics etc etc would work given how young the sport is and, you know, “the recession”.
    I had not thought so before, but having read the editorials, Azhar’s responses and the various comments, I don’t think this is a Neo Con West Wing conspiracy against you, but may be a reflection that your arguments are a bit limp.

    @Ry_Trappo. I think you may have missed the core points of Azhar’s response both to the original post and this one. Namely that Jensen offers no evidence to support his assertions and in fact seems to have not represented the reality accurately. The second part is that, at this stage of the cycle, Mavizen is priming the pump without which they may not be a TTXGP.

    @emjay. You seem to be advocating that it was better to not have the TTXGP until there were enough builders to hold a series. All I can say is, with my egg and your chicken, we could have a short debate before I had to throw the egg at someone and went Col. Saunders on your ass.

    and finally,

    @Matthew. I suspect that I speak with more authority on the subject then you exhibit. Public interest by itself doesn’t make a race. Money does, and in this league only money. A “limited field” would kill it commercially. No wonder FIM wanted a legal minimum for every event. 15 bikes? That’s more then some of the traditionals classes. See MotoGP at Indy this year. I did and lets say you have to admire the camera work.

    I don’t know Azhar, so have no idea what motivated him to do this. It was a crazy idea and a huge risk that it would have failed. I think had he failed then they COI’s of the world would have been crowing about how immature the market was and that Azhar was a fool to have tried to launch before it was ready and that his failure may have poisoned market acceptance. Personally I think his foolishness or crazyness is the world’s gain. We would not be at this point right now without TTXGP.

    I have been watching TTXGP from the sidelines for the past year. They made some mistakes, but I don’t know how they could have avoided them. Confusing I know, but that’s what breaking new ground means. It can only happen if we think differently and accept that any rule book is of a time and a place, and sometimes we have to be prepared to ask “and why not?”

    Btw, one of the most depressing things about this whole discussion is that it gives FIM fuel to fight a war in which if they win, we all lose. I love motorcycling, but I would be hard pressed to think of a least imaginative and least likely organisation to ask “and why not?” then the FIM (OK maybe DMG??). FIM rules by council management so they measure success by how many parties they don’t piss off.

    Damn, I love the internet. No filter and direct to the masses. Let the bullshit roll.

  17. Brammofan says:

    Damn, @road_rage, you do have a way with words.
    Who is that masked man?

  18. emjay says:

    @road_rage

    1) if eggs are named by that which lays them the chicken came first; if eggs are named by that which crawls from them the egg came first

    2) there’s a difference between an event and a series

    3) perhaps the ghost of 1976 still lingers over the island

  19. road_rage says:

    @Brammofan. I’m mild mannered engineer by day… and sadly the same at night. I always wanted to be a rockstar, but the inability to sing, dance or play any instrument killed the dream. Actually it appears, I was just ahead of my time.

    @emjay. I thought we were discussing the challenges of starting a motorsport series rather then the Monkey trials. Forgive me for I am a moron by design, but I’m struggling to respond in any intelligent way.

    It’s been a long time. Time to ask Craig for a casual encounter.

  20. sai says:

    The stink of it. Just the stink of it. Boils me something fierce.

    OK then, why not sexy, sultry, dirty, eBiker race series/event, huh? Why not embrace this scandal as a rough and ready start to a fledgling this or that? Hell, the rap industry did it, most R&B seems to as well, and lets not forget the daddy, NASCAR. Once the bastard child of prohibition, now another excuse for ‘mercans to drink too much sponsor-beer? So why not dirty-sexy + electric-racing of any kind, let alone e-motorcycling? This is why, electric is green, green is pias, pias is mother Teresa, sexy electric motorcycle racing is like mother Teresa in a black thong beckoning hither. JUST. PLAIN. WRONG.

    Flaring nostrils directed toward Czar Azhar is to be expected. Bugga is mounting mother Teresa. Understood? It don’t matter if he was actually just praying too close to her ass, it just don’t look good. Get that foo as far from Teresa and we’ll all be able to, gosh I don’t know, pray faster? You know what also is plain wrong, Electric Motorcycle Racing.

    When they get e-powertrain comparable to petro-chem ones, then we can talk dirty. For now, this dialog is a red herring in search for an excuse being called and op-ed-piece-of-editorial what have you. I hope Azhar gets what he deserves, an award for brass balls in lieu of funding…and judging by his persistence, I’d bet he’d hawk it to get TTXGP farther along. But, just like COI is not an accusation of impropriety yet legally viable, metalic-testies does not preclude being conceptually bat-piss wrong.

    Yeah, keep praying Mr. Dude.

    And I’m an enthusiast of eBike Racing. Just so stupid to try to make it a “race series”. It is an enthusiast grass-roots industry incubator. Until energy density/cost/excitement is comparable to ICE powered racing, it should stay as an incubator. Rules and regulations do nothing to push envelopes but how to cheat arbitrary rules compared with the more interesting rules, physics/economics. A pox on both these houses for missing the point of electric mobility.

  21. Jenny Gun says:

    @sai: I think I collectively speak for everyone one when I say say “WTF?” :-P

  22. Brammofan says:

    @sai: You had me at “Bugga is mounting mother Teresa.”

  23. road_rage says:

    This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting threads I have ever read about motorcycles. The usual anal dissection about the length of the stroke verses the size of the crank has given way to the love child of John Greshim/Henry Kissinger. It’s like Pimp My Ride for C-Span.

    Up is down, black is white, and nothing is what it seems.

    So here’s another take on the rumpus.

    Some of our most profound technical breakthroughs are often as a result of a larger external immediate dynamic. We may never have got the Jet engine when we did if it wasn’t for WW2 and arguably if it wasn’t for the cold war they may not have been a NASA. (I know it’s not always true, penicillin came about because Fleming was lazy about clearing away, but I’m talking about it in general and anyway this is A&R, the second home of the no-spin/no-fact zone. Just roll with me, I do have a point).

    Maybe the best thing that could have ever happened to TTXGP was this FIM attack. It creates the larger real threat against which a force of allies can marshal against. It sounds a bit crazy, but the internet is an awesome leveller. Google is just a decade old and is worth more today then GE founded a century earlier. Maybe the century old FIM needs a reboot too if it thinks it can pull this kind of shit.

    This isn’t about TTXGP or the Czar, it’s bigger than that. The FIM was born at the dawn of the gasoline age. Over the years, it has mirrored that industry’s rise and has become a beast that needs to be fed. TTXGP is an external movement that it has no control over or means to deal with. It sees TTXGP as a threat in much the same way music industry sees downloading. And sadly it has reacted in the same way. It doesn’t have any other skills so knows no other way. For the FIM, its legitimacy comes from being in control. It will always try and kill anything it doesn’t.

    What’s getting me worked up is my love for motorcycling. I have kids and I want them to love it as much as I do and I hope one day they will. But when the FIM is so out of step with the world around us, what the hell are we doing supporting them? How can we trust them if they are sabotaging the future with such a naked ineptitude and short sightedness? If we don’t do anything, we deserve what we get.

    The FIM was meant to be the UN of our motorcycling sport. It has no legal mandate other then the authority vested in it by its members. Here at home, that’s the AMA.

    An interesting question is why isn’t the AMA throwing its weight behind TTXGP? The AMA is a world giant in terms of size and activities (just like the US in the real UN) and could easily tell FIM to take a hike without any real hassle. And given where the AMA-Pro series is right now, this TTXGP could be the transformative step they need to reboot that franchise. If anybody at AMA is reading this, pull your finger out. This is your moment to shine and give your loyal fans something to cheer about and legacy that we can all be proud of. Unless you are being supplied by @Sai, you can’t believe your deal with DMG is what you want to be remembered for.

    Like all organisations that live a long time, they become corrupted and divorced from their founding ideals. Did our founding fathers really foresee our constitution being hijaked by the sheer number of nut job causes that seek its protection. I reckon if they had, they would have put in a expiry date. Same with the health care debate. Pick your cause and given enough time, watch it become a Frankenstein.

    Seriously, sometimes you just need to start again.

    Clearly Craig has not been able to supply, so the drought continues. Any ladies looking for some cerebral electrification on the back of my harley. Do get in touch. Would love to learn new ways of measuring the stroke against the crank.

    @Sai. Is it prescribed or homegrown? You may have just become the Columbian version of the TTXGP.

  24. Brammofan says:

    I don’t think we’re being fair to @sai. I actually read his(?) post to Ms.Brammofan, whose mind is not sullied with the stench of “it.” She translated it for me: Electric motorcycles are green and clean and pure, like Mother Theresa. Letting e-motorcycles slide toward Nascar-like materiality will change them forever. It’s bound to happen, but it shouldn’t happen yet, because they just aren’t on the same level as ICE bikes. We should enjoy them as the clean green novelty they are.

    And no, neither I nor Ms.Brammofan were under the influence of any sort of mind-altering substances at the time of this translation.

    Having an inkling now of what he probably meant, I have to say I disagree. First, there is no “scandal” here. It may be interesting and attention-grabbing, but it lacks the shock value of a true scandal (at least in this day and age). And as for waiting until after electric motorcycles reach a certain power density/excitement range, before putting it all together into a racing series, I don’t see the point. If this wasn’t ripe yet, then the market wouldn’t support it. But look, it’s TTXGP post-June 2009, and here’s Azhar, hustling his ass off to get 2010 moving. And we’ll see how it goes at Infineon. And at MoSport International, and at the other venues that will be announced soon.

    I admit (somewhat sheepishly, in front of this crowd), that I have never been to a motorcycle race in my life. I, however, am going to try my hardest to make it to Infineon this May. It’s more than just going to watch a motorcycle race. As cliche as it sounds, it’s about being a part of history.

  25. Matthew says:

    @road_rage

    “I suspect that I speak with more authority on the subject then you exhibit. Public interest by itself doesn’t make a race. Money does, and in this league only money. ”

    Public interest = sponsorship = money.

    In my opinion, it is unrealistic to think that the money attached to these races is independent of the marketplace. I think it’s the ONLY reason, in the end, that anything happens on a track. It’s the reason Brammo had the Best Buy logo plastered all over their bike.

    Without public interest you have no sponsorship and no reason for manufacturers to participate. Without sponsors and manufacturers you have no professional teams. Without teams you have no professional races. Motorcycle racing would be limited to amateur enthusiasts out for a laugh and universities. In other words, all of the teams not involving startups or sponsors in this years TTXGP.

  26. Brammofan says:

    Still some great stuff going on in the comments "For The Sake of the Game [Updated]" @Asphalt_Rubber http://bit.ly/6hGbSl

  27. John Adamo says:

    +1 RT @brammofan: Still some great stuff going on in the comments "For The Sake of the Game [Updated]" @Asphalt_Rubber http://bit.ly/6hGbSl