Talking to MotoGP.com this weekend at the Indianapolis GP, Kenny Roberts Sr. admitted to the website that he is working on putting together a new GP program for the 2014 or 2015 season — though was quick to caution against the project’s full-fruition.
“We’re working on it. And we’re working on something quite big – it’s going to happen or it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to be almost there. When we come back we’ll come back in a big way! And if you don’t see me, you’ll know we didn’t get it done,” said King Kenny.
What the GP legend means from his words, we can only infer, though the prospect of the Godfather of American road racing returning to the premier series of motorcycle racing bodes well for the wealth of racing talent that we have domestically.
Young American riders desperately need an avenue out of the AMA Pro Road Racing series, which has lost its place as the happy hunting ground for GP teams looking for fresh and up-and-coming racers.
With few options in place to move out of America and into World Superbike or Grand Prix racing, riders like Jake Gagne, Benny Solis, Cameron Beaubier, and so forth will watch their talents waste away in the beleaguered series, while their foreign counterparts prosper.
With preparation for the next season already underway, Roberts suggested that 2014 may be too soon to see his return, if the racing project even gets off the ground in the first place. Instead, 2015 seems like a more likely arrival date.
“It’s getting to the point where 2014’s maybe tough, but again…if it’s a big way, we can probably get it done. Any longer than the next month or so, I don’t think it’s possible for ‘14,” said King Kenny.
For the sake of American motorcycle race fans, and for the sake of the sport, we really hope that the pieces of this puzzle fall into place. Another competitive entry on the GP grid, along with a clear avenue for American racers to come up through the racing ranks is just what we needed.