Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki XRH-1 MotoGP Bike at COTA, While Randy De Puniet Matches Pace of Open Bikes

Suzuki’s MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit, as the team had not yet tested the Suzuki XRH-1 at COTA, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015. Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday’s race.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Reuters: MotoGP Seeks to Reduce Presence in Spain & USA

05/16/2013 @ 1:24 am, by David Emmett63 COMMENTS

Reuters: MotoGP Seeks to Reduce Presence in Spain & USA spanish bull 635x423

That MotoGP is too Iberocentric – too many Spanish races, and too many Spanish riders – is obvious to all who follow the sport, with the possible exception of a blinkered Spanish journalist or two. The series has to change, to move away from having four races a season in Spain, and to explore new markets in South America and Asia.

This is exactly what is to happen, according to an interview Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta gave to the Reuters news agency on Friday. Reuters reporter Alan Baldwin spoke to Ezpeleta at the Barcelona circuit, where the Dorna CEO was attending the Formula 1 race.

In the interview, Ezpeleta laid out his intentions to move away from Spain and, to a lesser extent, the US, and towards Asia and South America, with new races to be held in Brazil and Asia, though as he has done before, Ezpeleta would not be drawn on exactly which Asian country.

The race in Brazil is scheduled to take in Brasilia, the capital of the South American country. Whether that is at the Brasilia race track (the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brasilia) is unclear, but Ezpeleta told Reuters that work was currently underway on the circuit, and the hope was it would be finished by the end of the year.

That would make scheduling a race for 2014 difficult, but Ezpeleta was confident that there could be a race in Brazil from 2015 onwards. Ezpeleta did not give any details of the race planned for Asia, but Reuters reporter Baldwin suggests that it could take place in Thailand.

Previously, Dorna sources have hinted that a race could take place in Indonesia, though currently, neither country has a circuit that would pass an FIM safety inspection. Given the explosion of interest in the sport in the region, however, that could change quickly.

To make room for the two new races – three, including the race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina planned for 2014 – something will have to give on the current schedule. The obvious candidates are in Spain and the US, with Ezpeleta indicating that four races in Spain and three in the US were too many.

In Spain, the Valencia circuit looks to be the most likely victim, as the track is facing the largest financial problems. Schemes have been sugggested in the past where Valencia and Barcelona could alternate annually, as Formula 1 is expected to do in the future. In the US, the Indianapolis race is most at threat, with Ezpeleta commenting positively on both the Austin and Laguna Seca circuits.

Dorna has a ten-year contract with the Austin facility, and Ezpeleta describing the Laguna Seca event as ‘special’. Given that California is central to the US sport bike market, not having a race in the state is impossible to imagine.

This leaves the Indianapolis Motor Speedway out in the cold. Despite the enormous effort which the facility has put into the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix every year it has been held, MotoGP always looks a little lost.

This is in part due to the vastness of the track: at a facility capable of holding some 400,000, even respectable crowds of 80,000 plus – nearly double race day attendance at Misano, for example – look swamped.

The layout of the road course is also unloved among the riders, perhaps because it is run in the opposition direction to the way it was originally laid yout, when IMS hosted Formula 1. The combination with the Indy Mile and the excellent atmosphere downtown will probably not be sufficient to save the event, despite the fact that IMS is very keen to continue to organize the event.

Ezpeleta also addressed the issue of the number of Spanish riders in MotoGP. It was not a situation of Dorna’s making, Ezpeleta told Reuters: “In the history of Dorna, we never helped any Spanish people to race and we helped a lot of non-Spanish people,” he said.

He pointed to the support Dorna has given to other nationalities, but emphasized that the real solution must come from elsewhere. The Red Bull Rookies is one example of this: recent graduates of the series include a Belgian, two Germans, a Malaysian and an Australian (of Greek extraction). The current leader of the series is Karel Hanika, a young Czech rider universally tipped as one of the most talented riders to come up through the series in many years.

Source: Reuters

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. TexusTim says:

    well thats weird we just got a F1 spec track and a moto gp contract for ten years..why when the precense in America isnt strong enough is he considiring cutting one race here….well I guess Indy is on the chopping block although to take one away will lose spectatort here in Texas…the only reason we had a big tunrout was because it was the first race..the next one wont be as well recived so many problems so many pissed of customers…the fans didnt get what they thouht the spectical they have seen on TV from spain not even close to the same so withdrawing one so quickly will hurt the fragil new fans in texas…nothing I mean nothing should be done that americans would consider negative and hearing we lost either indy or laguna would mean an intire section of the us would feel abondonded and may not travel to the other races…this is what will happen if they cut indy, there will be a huge uproar and then a negative backlash…soory but hatefullness has beacome the newmanner and that is how you have to expect people to act when they hear just who lost out,,,my guess is indy since its contract is on the short.

  2. smiler says:

    And by making a deal with BT in the UK ensuring that one of the biggest countries following will be switching to WSB until that make the same deal there when it will be BSB!!
    Well done Dorna.

  3. Frod says:

    I think they are referring to Indianapolis (the worse track for GP riders according to Casey Stoner) and the fan base is very small.

    On the Spanish stuff, I’m glad they are talking about change but my question as far as the riders, Spanish riders are top notch and nobody has match in the last few years (volume wise).

  4. Norm G. says:

    sorry tim, other than some initial overlap, there was NEVER (i will say never) going to be 3 gp’s in the states for any signifcant period of time. besides the few anamolies seen here and there (proof at least of potential), american fans barely support the rounds that were already in play…? market forces seeing to a correction is inevitable.

    in the land of nascar, harley davidson, and cuckoo clocks (wait scratch that last part), there’s a “fukk ton” of SPORTBIKE CONSUMERS (that’s right sportbikers!) ridin’ around clueless who’ve never attended or watched MotoGP even though it’s been in the states 8 years…?! dorna can’t compete against that type of ignorance. but that’s okay, there’s alot to be enjoyed in motorcycling without ever getting within 10ft of a racetrack.

  5. Faust says:

    Well, we know the riders don’t like racing at Indy because of lack of grip. They’ve been complaining about it for years. When I saw the track in Austin, I figured that Indy’s days were numbered. I was still really disappointed with the whole experience at CoTA though, and I don’t plan on attending next year. I’d rather wait till I get a chance to attend Laguna than deal with the super elitist atmosphere at CoTA again. Being on hand to see Marquez win his first race was the only thing that made that event worth while…. Well, that and when they let the people with the special Honda and Ducati tickets take a lap on our bikes, I really enjoyed that.

  6. BBQdog says:

    ‘The open spanish championship’ AKA MotoGp as it is called over here. Getting bored watching races with only Spanions in the top three. Moto3 last year was OK, now it is bussines as usual like in the Aprilia times with only one dominant brand and too many spanish riders.

  7. G.Irish says:

    Getting rid of Indy and going with COTA is going to be a big mistake. Indy as a track pales in comparison to COTA, but the event in Austin has a lot of big problems that are not going to go away in the short term. For one, the people running COTA have repeatedly peed on the motorsports community in the US from cancelling track days to screwing over Schwantz then having the nerve to kick him out of the track on a test day.

    On top of that there was the ridiculous prices for parking at Moto GP along with a lack of shuttles for fans. Indy and Laguna both had a plethora of events in town for Moto GP fans, what did Austin have?

    The feeling I get from COTA is that they felt like if they built it, people would come in droves, regardless of anything else they did. This year’s attendance and economic impact were both well below their projections, and their attendance didn’t even match Indy’s last year. It’s only going to be worse next year. I’m happy the US got a nice world-class racetrack but the people running it are squandering their opportunity.

    The real threat for them is if another F1 race in the US becomes a challenger. Bernie Ecclestone won’t hesistate to take away their F1 race (or dramatically raise the sanctioning fee), and if that happens, things will be very financially tenuous for COTA.

  8. jack says:

    I went to the COTA event this year, but will not be going back. The basic problem is traveling distance (about 1500+ miles on my bike one way) and weather. Really lucked out this year, only about 150 miles of 45 mph winds and 220 miles of pouring rain. In case no one realizes, April is the prime month for tornados in the East Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee area. So anyone traveling on their bike from the Mid West, Northeast or Southeast regions are at risk. The racing was boring, because there is really only one passing zone on the track. Not much happening off track and the hotels in town were raping the race fans. They don’t seem to realize that bike owners don’t have the finances of the F-1 crowd. Dorna I’m afraid will find out the hard way that dumping Indy for COTA will be a big mistake. Indy really knows how to run a race and Indianapolis is a great racefan city. I truly expect the attendence at COTA to be half of what it was this year, look at the attendance at Indy for the first and second year. Indy is centrally located and draws from almost every state, that won’t happen in Texas. I only went because it was the fist race and the long range weather forcast looked favorable.

  9. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Agree with all above.

    COTA was disappointing because of all the wasted potential. I went and won’t be back. I wish them luck next year, I hope it’s not a ghost town.

    It seems like Indy would be a great…except for the wonky track. I remember one year Nicky Hayden was riding around with a hole in his leathers at his left knee because he dragged it over a rain gutter grate! WTF?? …last year there was the mystery slick spot where Spies, Stoner, and Hayden went down hard. I don’t think Stoner was the only one who didn’t like the track.

    I don’t know what you can do about all the Spanish riders in the series. The best riders are out of Spain right now…I don’t get why there’s no Americans in moto2? Why doesn’t Kenny Roberts put together a team? He’s a proven winner. Is he just plain retired from everything?

  10. Kevin says:

    Yes, CoTA had issues as a result of lack of experience and probably poor management decisions and or getting their message down to the people on the ground. Enough said. They can fix that.

    It really does make sense to get rid of Indy. Let’s at least try to keep MotoGP “Road Racing” at least minimally something like a road race. Indy isn’t the place for MotoGP, let it be a circle track for cars. Use the infield for a few guest towers with single floor suites that each have a circular view of the track. A Park and a place for an epic museum. Sorry Indy. Maybe Laguna could seize the opportunity to raise capital for upgrades around the track to visitor camping and it’s “permanent” facilities, track facilities infrastructure and just a general well deserved refresh. It’s a great place for racing but fans need something, eventually, to keep them coming back and leaving happily excited.

    It would be interesting to hear what others are seeing with their analytics but I’d bet that those with MotoGP stories and photos do see visitors from Indonesia, Japan, India, Middle East, Brazil (not argentina?) and expanding the brand makes good business sense. This year a Chinese manufacturer has three bikes entered in the Isle of Man TT. Think that’s not a profitable market?

    Time will tell what these decisions create.

  11. CTK says:

    Indy is out, COTA sucks. What track would you guys want to replace COTA with in the US? Only track I can think of is Infineon, but I think we need something on the East Coast to balance things out.

  12. Joshua says:

    A big problem in the USA is lack of exposure. The ama does a shit job marketing to the younger crowd. I grew up around harlyes and never heard about road racing until I bought my ducati.

    We need to market to the general public and the younger generation.

  13. Chuck Hammer says:

    Indy sucks.

  14. Gutterslob says:

    I’ve never been to a MotoGP race in the US, so I can’t comment on facilities and whatnot. From my position watching races on the tele, Indy is by far the dullest race of the lot. It’s even more boring than watching F1 at the Hungaroring.

    I’ve heard/read that Laguna and Indy do a far better job when it comes to hospitality. Whether they be trackside amenities or events in and around the track and closest city. According to SuperbikePlanet, all Austin had to offer was hipsters.

    Withe regards to the lack of exposure to circuit racing -I refuse to call it road racing, cos that’s Isle of Man stuff – you’ll have to see how the current crop of sportbike riders (a lot of em, according to Norm G. above) got into the scene. Was it some practical reason, some Youtube “bikers are awesome” vid, some Icon ad, some sort of Fast-n-Furious bike movie, some sort of club that bastardizes sportsbikes by fitting long swing-arms and converting them to drag straight-ligners? Figure that out and you might find a way to market the races better, or at least get a bigger audience to market to.

  15. Damo says:

    I wont be sad to see Indy taken off the schedule. But those whom stated it before are correct, we were never going to have three GP’s in the USA for any length of time.

    I have heard many people complain about the CoTA experience, but everyone that sees a race at Laguna Seca loves it. I spoke at length with an employee at the race track while I was there last year and he stated that Mazda goes to great lengths to make sure all the vendors set reasonable prices on food, beer, etc. in order to make it a place you want to spend the weekend with your family at. It was only $5.50 for a pint of micro brew and breakfast was $3.00, that is cheaper than most bars I go to!

    As for the Spanish GP’s…I really hope they don’t cut Catalunya, love that circuit.

  16. stilleh says:

    CTK: we need something on the East Coast to balance things out.

    Lime Rock Park with the chicane :) heh

  17. Faust says:

    @damo

    $5.50 for a micro brew? At CoTA they were charging $9.50 for Stella in a fukn can! Burger 13 bucks, fries 12 bucks, lemonade 10 bucks for mostly ice with no refills. As for the parking that others complained of, I paid for the Honda turn 15 grandstands which included free infield parking at turn 12 for all three days with free gear checking. With the parking alone, it made it worth the extra money and included a lap on track, not to mention being in the best turn sequence at the course. My issue with CoTA was the great lengths they went to on order to keep the riders as far away from the fans as possible. Unless you had the $1,200+ VIP tickets, you couldn’t really get anywhere near anyone. The pit walk was scheduled at the same time the riders were set to do autographs…. So I paid extra to get a pit pass, only to end up nowhere near any of the riders, and all of the bikes were covered in the paddocks. My benefit from getting a pit pass? I got to see a mechanic taking the bodywork off of a moto3 bike. If Colin Edwards hadn’t gone out of his way to come chill with us, I wouldn’t have seen a rider all week long other than on track. It was a miserable experience, and I will not go back to that track.

  18. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Faust speaks the truth about COTA.

    Food and beverage costs I can shrug off. But, what I found to be 100% inexcusable was not allowing us paddock passes. That speaks volumes that the people running the event have no idea what they are doing.

    Add motoGP at Laguna Seca to your bucket list. Little bit of bragging now: I was in the shade of the trees at the cork screw when Rossi passed Stoner like an absolute madman. After the race he kissed the track at the top of the cork screw. Loved it!

    Anyway, the paddock pass at Laguna is awesome. My girlfriend and her friends hang out where the riders pass from their garage to the area adjacent to a garage and get autographs. It’s great for kids too, and you get up close to the bikes, mechanics, etc… really awesome.

    An east coast track that might work?…Watkins Glen? Virginia International Raceway?

    If motoGP heads to Brazil I’m all for it!

  19. G.Irish says:

    At this point I guess we have to hope that either COTA gets their act together or that another track upgrades enough to get Moto GP. VIR would be a nice candidate but they’ll need to upgrade the surrounding roads for the traffic and I don’t know that the area has the hotel capacity. The track would also need gravel pits installed and potentially some earth moved. Track layout for VIR-North is fine though.

    If COTA does actually figure things out my guess is that it won’t be until at least 2015. They’ll need a year to see the attendance drop dramatically, then hopefully they’ll make some changes (but I wouldn’t count on it). The other thing is that the state funds to host the event could evaporate if COTA can’t convince the event fund to open up the purse again.

    If push come to shove, at least we’ll have Laguna.

  20. Faust says:

    I’m not sure why people are talking about VIR or elsewhere. Did you not read the part about GP saying they are looking to reduce the number of races in the US? They have a 10 year contract with CoTA, they said Laguna isn’t going anywhere….. So that means for a long time we will have just those two GPs in the US. Or did I not read the same article?

  21. L2C says:

    “That MotoGP is too Iberocentric – too many Spanish races, and too many Spanish riders – is obvious to all who follow the sport, with the possible exception of a blinkered Spanish journalist or two.”

    What will white people think of next? And, of course, it’s white people to the rescue. This stinks so bad, you don’t know how much.

    This entire issue of MotoGP being too Iberocentric is bullshit. As if the real issue of diversity here is -in the 21st century, no less- the number of flags each country gets to wave at the races. Give me a fucking break. With the exception of the odd Asian here and there, the entire grid is occupied by -wait for it- white people! And what’s the “solution” to this entirely fabricated crisis of too much Spanish? Brazil!!

    What. The. Fuck. You mean to tell me that Portugal and it’s South American offshoots doesn’t count as “Iberocentric”?!? This nonsense could not get any better. Next I’m going to be told that it’s a good thing Dorna is not looking to race in Mexico!

    Flags have very little to do with the lack of diversity in MotoGP. And Eurocentricity is a big part of that problem, and it will continue to be far into the future – especially when races in Brazil commence.

    Where are the Black people? Where are the Brown people? Are they only good enough to race through the streets?

    “Schedule some races on the calendar that make it seem like we really give a shit about diversity, when all we really care about is the money. And make sure that journalists take the bait too. Heh, yeah, that part should be easy.”

    Such a beautiful sport – but a whole lot of ugly is in and of it. This is really one of those instances when Dorna should just shut the fuck up and let those who are passionate about the sport find ways to make it better, really better. They really should just add race tracks and have races and be quiet this issue because there is no quick and easy solution to the lack of diversity in MotoGP. Adding circuits from around the world to the calendar doesn’t even begin to address the problem, let alone actually representing a step towards addressing it. This only thing that will be accomplished is: The same old white people will be seen patting themselves on the back for a job well done, for a job that they created for themselves to be seen as being successful at doing. And if they cannot add a new circuit from another country? Who cares, it’s not Dorna’s problem and not their fault. Countries/cities have to pay them to roll into town to play, anyway. It’s a fucking advertisement, and that’s all it is. Not a second of it represents real and meaningful community engagement and outreach policy for the company. Which, as I did say earlier, is bullshit.

  22. L2C says:

    Corrections: Its and not “it’s”. The and not “This”. You know where, if you know.

  23. Norm G. says:

    re: “Indy is by far the dullest race of the lot. It’s even more boring than watching F1 at the Hungaroring.”

    actually, the indy experience is kick ass. considerably better than laguna imo. though i concede the rider’s experience is 180 degrees out and that’s ultimately what matters.

  24. Norm G. says:

    re: “An east coast track that might work?…Watkins Glen? Virginia International Raceway?”

    negative ghost rider the pattern is full.

  25. Norm G. says:

    re: “Maybe Laguna could seize the opportunity to raise capital for upgrades around the track to visitor camping and it’s “permanent” facilities, track facilities infrastructure and just a general well deserved refresh. It’s a great place for racing but fans need something, eventually, to keep them coming back and leaving happily excited.”

    capital they got. what they DON’T have is the space or approval of the wealthy residents living in the hills in and around monterey. circuits like laguna, indy, monza, imola, monaco, etc. have to be looked at as circuits “frozen in time” and enjoyed for what they as are, ’cause that’s all they’re ever going to be.

  26. Norm G. says:

    re: “some sort of club that bastardizes sportsbikes by fitting long swing-arms and converting them to drag straight-ligners?”

    around here if you wanna see a stock swingarm you have 2 choices. A. go to the dealer…? or B. go on ebay…? ’cause on the street nobody’s running stock swingers or ride heights. and on the odd chance they are running stock…? get closer, and you’ll see the tank’s been hammered in to form a seat, and crash bars have been fitted. and make no mistake, they’re in it for the “adrenaline response” same as us, they just have something a lil’ different in mind.

  27. Grimey Benson says:

    @L2C

    There isn’t a diversity problem in MotoGP or motorcycle racing as a whole. There is absolutely no gating function into the race series that has anything remotely to do with ethnicity. If there aren’t any purple or green people in the race series it is because the purple or green people (or their respective countries) have not invested in a motorcycle racing program and there is not a talent pool in that area.

    Hell in the US the most dominate AMA Motorcycle Drag Racing Champion(x9) is Rickey Gadson, who hey, just happens to be black. (only one example, I know)

    Racing has nothing to do with a person’s color, religious beliefs, sexual preference or any of that BS, nor should it ever, nor should anyone get extra help due to those criteria.

  28. Damo says:

    @Norm G.

    Personally I hope Laguna Seca, never changes, aside from the odd technological upgrade obviously.

  29. SquidleyMcSquidson says:

    @L2C

    You can’t be serious… Can you? Are you so obsessed with race that you don’t realize that if you come from a region of the world with no feeder series into GP, you don’t get it? Do you not understand that unless you are in competitive racing at an early age, you won’t make it in this sport? What does that have to do with race? If I grow up in a part of the world where there isn’t an entryway into the sport, then what do you suggest I do? Your rant is way off the deep end and extremely racist. Why can’t Dorna wanting to bring racing to other markets actually be about promoting diversity? Are you that cynical about the sport? Maybe people in South America want to cheer on Yonny Hernandez (since you asked where the “brown people” were). Calm down guy.

  30. meatspin says:

    actually no, talking about race does not make one a racist. Thats absurd.

    I do find it amazing that race fans in spain can support as many riders as they do when their economoy is not doing that great. I read that they are experiencing 25% unemployment. That is wonderful and crazy at the same time.

    COTA was kind of a let down. I dont think they know what they have. It seemed expensive to me for what I got and I might have had a funner time if I had stayed home and drank my own beer.

  31. TexusTim says:

    well this is one of the best discussions in a while. I can tell you by personal experiance that the COTA team is made up of a bunch of hicks from the hills around the area they dont care what they say or do when it comes to fans ,volonteers or much anything else, I worked there for the moto gp race I was a moto taxi driver working turn 12 to 20 yea thats right they only had 5 of us on little 200s the only bright spot for me was picking up marquez saturday during practise I wont be back as a volunteer I can assure you.
    they had us on a different channel than race controll ? out of the 20 or so riders I picked up over the weekend I probably got 5 radio alerts the rest was me riding my section and watching the corner workers reactiion as I coulndt see over large sections of the track because of the rail or billboard they put in some corners..very stressfull, from the exit of turn 15 to the entry of 19 the did not post one marshall on the riders right ? they assumed everyone in the section would go off on the left…I picked up two that there engines quite in that section never a call I just found them so to speak!..there is stations but the were not occupied.
    saturday i told them that pedestians and gate controll were blocking access to the pits and they need to be made aware were comming with riders and clear the foot paths as we aproch, that didnt happen they didnt get it !! and it was very difficult to get to either tunnel that brings you to the back of the pit area…so all we could do is honk the horn as we come upon a wave of people walking abreast across the roadway. they didnt do anything about it for the sunday race and I had to take them past 20 thru the grandstand,thru a gate 20 yards thru another gate up the hill around the corner thru another gate down to the tunnel up the hill thru another gate and down thu the pits…people everywere no crowd control what so ever in all of that….I did get to take a lap on the 200 I had it pinned the whole way of course ! I got to bring up the rear sunday night of the last group out that was fun

  32. zipidachimp says:

    BARBER ! and they got a museum, huge pits, flush toilets, cheap motels, free shuttle, lots of viewpoints, what’s not to like!

  33. Faust says:

    @ meatspin

    Is it absurd? I too was a bit taken aback by L2Cs comments. What will white people think of next? White people to the rescue? Blacks and browns are only good enough to ride through the streets? Odd Asian here or there? The white people will be patting themselves on the back? Brazil doesn’t count as Latin America because it’s a Portuguese offshoot? He didn’t just pull the race card, he committed assault with it. And THAT my friend is absurd. The real issue is that in parts of the world where the sport is not popular, there is no interest in the youth to get into the sport, nor is there any gateway for them to enter it. It’s more about geographical location and your financial situation. Is it conceivable that poor kids will be bike racing at a young age? Hell, I’m white and I couldn’t afford a bike till I was like 30. It doesn’t matter what the unemployment in Spain is, it’s a sport for rich kids only. F1 is the same way. How could a poor family afford to have their kid riding Moto3 at age 15? Highly unlikely. I’m still confused as to why Dorna looking to expand the sport’s reach to new growing markets has anything to do with race. Maybe you should read L2Cs comments one more time and tell me if it makes sense to you. White people to the rescue? Really?

  34. Damo says:

    L2Cs comments were about as racist as they come with out calling people slurs.

    Money is the main gating function for getting into motorsports, ethnicity has not to do with it.

  35. TexusTim says:

    L2C man do you ride a sport bike ? I mean for you to be here and it seems your a fan of motogp in some regard why would you make such obvious racist remark?..what are you trying to do stir up somthing that just isnt there ?..it would be like me saying there needs to be more white people in the nba and nfl..your race has a distinct advantage and anyone watching can see it…but that doesnt make me mad about it…it is natural for anyone or any race to migrate to a sport that favors them if they excell at it….nba beacuase by definition african americans tend to be taller so naturally they would want to play a sport that suits them…to be honest many men in spain tend to be on the small side..you dont see many in the nba ..lol is this what is bothering you? that some races do better in some sports than others ? I am very small and all my life have played sports till I was out grown by kids as we got into high school I went from football to the coach saying “you just didnt grow this summer go out for tennis” I was crushed!! till I realised there are girls on the tennis team in short skirts !!! so there is allways a positive take away if you choose to see it.

  36. L2C says:

    @ Grimey Benson

    “There isn’t a diversity problem in MotoGP or motorcycle racing as a whole.”

    Then what is Carmelo Ezpeleta going on about then? Is it really just about flag waving? It’s not. And you haven’t thought it through to see that it isn’t.

    Also, who said anything about “what racing has to do with”? I pointed to two things: Ezpeleta’s and Dorna’s statement that MotoGP was “too Iberocentric,” (which is a statement on the issue of lack of diversity), and that their solution to that problem is to go racing in Brazil. How does going racing in Brazil solve the problem of MotoGP being “too Iberocentric,” when both Portugal and Spain are countries that exist on the western part of the Iberian peninsula in Europe! Brazil represents -if you haven’t caught on by now- a historical branch of Portugal. And both Portugal and Spain raped a good portion of South America and imported African slaves there to help them do it.

    Ezpeleta and Dorna are full of shit on this issue. That’s all there is to it. They are trying to give the appearance that they care about diversity in MotoGP, and that they are actively trying to solve the problem. What they are being clever about is restricting the focus on this issue to national flag waving, when the problem exists much deeper than that.

    @ SquidleyMcSquidson

    “Are you so obsessed with race that you don’t realize that if you come from a region of the world with no feeder series into GP, you don’t get it?”

    No. I do get it, but you do not, Squidley.

    @ Grimey Benson & Squidley McSquidson & Faust

    ”There is absolutely no gating function into the race series that has anything remotely to do with ethnicity. If there aren’t any purple or green people in the race series it is because the purple or green people (or their respective countries) have not invested in a motorcycle racing program and there is not a talent pool in that area.”

    What is about Dorna lacking any any meaningful community engagement and outreach policy that addresses the lack of diversity in MotoGP that you don’t understand? Do you really not know that black and brown people live in countries that are traditionally represented in MotoGP?

    Is the sport for wealthy kids from wealthy families who live in wealthy neighborhoods that happen to be associated with wealthy businesses and wealthy investors – or was it just designed that way by coincidence or on purpose?

    The same lame excuses posing as reasoned responses that you lot gave were given for every single sport -without exception- that exists in the United States for the purpose of disenfranchising African-American athletes. And they are still given in some areas of the country. And, yes, that includes golf and tennis and skiing and surfing and ice skating and hockey and motocross. As if Black people don’t live in the Rockies or on the coasts or in the central northern states. As if they don’t ski or surf or ride dirt bikes, when in fact many do all of these things. But where is the long and sustained engagement and outreach from the established associations for any of these sports to the people that live outside the traditional comfort zones?

    The idea that Blacks can have competitive careers in any of the remaining predominantly white sports is not universally shared among Blacks. So who does this problem belong to when it’s clear that the gatekeepers of many sports intentionally overlook Black athletes in favor of white ones? It’s one thing for Black parents and local instructors to say keep at it, you could be good one day. It’s entirely another for established athletic organizations that represent those sports to come into Black communities and present viable opportunities for those who wish to go all the way; which is what they do on a regular basis in white neighborhoods and schools, wealthy or not.

    The success stories that you hear about, like Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams are due primarily to the tenacity of their parents doing whatever they could to make sure that their kids got a chance at success, not because the typical golf and tennis associations were looking for them or others like them where they would typically be found.

    Faust, whose responsibility is it to get young people interested in sports? You only offer the excuse that motorcycling is not popular in certain parts of the world because you haven’t lived in any of those places to know any different. Part of my youth was spent growing up in Ewing Township, NJ. Which is a not-so wealthy neighborhood that’s located outside of Trenton. It’s not entirely poor, but much of it is far from being wealthy. Every year, in the early 80s, kids in my neighborhood received KZ or YZ Whatever 125s for Christmas. And this was in the Black section. Those lucky enough would race in the streets whenever the weather was good enough. Meaning dry. It could be freezing out, but if it was dry, you heard those motorized mosquitos zinging everywhere. A couple of them, the McGrath brothers, actually raced for teams, but they were the exception. And they used their own bikes, that’s for sure. But most everybody I knew wanted to race motorcycles, problem was most families couldn’t even afford even a used and busted mini bike. And besides, no teams were scouting the neighborhood looking for them.

    I also spent some time growing up in Trenton, of which Ewing is a suburb of. There was one mini bike on my block. One mini bike – and every kid on that block lined up to take rides every day they could until the day came when the engine burned out. It belonged to some guy who was much older than us, probably eighteen, but he didn’t have a problem letting us take turns whenever he had money to put gas into the thing. If had been more than one mini bike on that block, we would have been racing each other up and down the alley all weekend long.

    From my experience, anecdotal though it is, kids the world over want to race, even if they will never stand a chance to actually have to opportunity to do it. Even if they don’t even have the opportunity to know that they do, they do, because if given the chance to find out if they do, they will take the chance. And those that are serious about it will continue with it, if possible. Wealth has NOTHING to do with it. Access does. Access means that they get to make the decision about whether they will love it or hate it, whether they want to make a career out of racing. Wealth only comes into play to sustain the drive and the passion to go all the way, but not in determining who has it and who doesn’t. Only access matters then.

    Also, just because I pointed out something which is obvious – that MotoGP is a Eurocentric sport, which is more obvious than the nationalities that take part in it, doesn’t make me a racist. I pointed out the heart of it because those who are running it, Ezpeleta and Dorna, made one of the most ignorant statements on increasing diversity in a sport that I have ever heard.

    You cannot talk about diversity in some superficial way and expect someone to take you seriously. And you definitely cannot separate Spain and Portugal from the Iberian peninsula, and you cannot separate Portugal from Brazil, nor Portugal and Spain from South America, nor either country from the dismal fact that they imported African slaves to South America. You cannot do this – and for Ezpeleta and Dorna to pretend that they could, well, what else do you want me to say that I haven’t said already?

    So, yes, what will white people think of next. That’s right, because it was Ezpeleta and Dorna spouting typical dumb white people bullshit.

    Also, do either of you think that I’m saying that Dorna should mandate talent searches in Sub-Saharan Africa? That they should set up a community outreach posts in many of the black and brown countries and communities of the world? It would be good if they did, but that’s not what I’m saying. What I’ve done is point out that Dorna hasn’t even engaged or reached out to embrace the diversity that exists in its own backyard!

    And you’re wrong, Benson, to think that MotoGP doesn’t have a gating function to do with ethnicity and race. That’s like saying that Hollywood doesn’t have a gating function to these issues, when it most certainly does. And when I say Hollywood, I mean Universal, Paramount, MGM, etc, and the various associated talent agencies. It’s not only about business and sports and entertainment. It’s also about social and cultural responsibilities. It’s also about access.

    Do you honestly believe that MLB, or the NFL, or the NBA, or the PGA, or MLS, or FIFA, or FIM, or F1, or NASCAR, or AMA, or BSB, or WSBK, or MotoGP or any other athletic associations exist as gatekeepers without social and cultural responsibilities? They might neglect these obligations, but they still have them. These responsibilities don’t disappear just because some associations decide to pretend that these responsibilities don’t exist. Especially associations like FIM and FIFA and Dorna/MotoGP who claim to represent the world.

    Dorna has seemingly mandated that MotoGP become a true global sport. That means that they are going to have to go a whole lot further than simply adding circuits from here and there to the race calendar for their predominately white European riders to race at.

    As for Ricky Gadson and Lewis Hamilton, the two are exceptions rather than the rule – but Kawasaki and McLaren clearly had the right idea by choosing to go beyond what was traditionally expected. Maybe Ezpeleta and Dorna and some of the teams can take a page out of the books of the two companies. Long-term investment matters. Though, happenstance is not reliable. The appearance of Gadson and Lewis are not solutions to the problem of lack of diversity in their respective sports. Though it might be seen as the tiniest of steps in the right direction towards solving the problem.

    Dorna has to actually want to solve the problem, and then actively set about solving it. Then the teams would have to become involved. Then associations like Red Bull Rookies would have to become involved and more of the same would have to be created. FIM, of course, would have to get thoroughly involved. It gets expensive and complicated, but the effort must be made despite it being a process that could potentially last forever. Otherwise, Ezpeleta and Dorna should just keep their big fake mouths shut and keep racing until the sun sets on their sport, which it will do. Sooner rather than later, if these issues persist.

    The motto of FIFA: “For the game. For the world.” Dorna and MotoGP have a long, long, long way to go to get to that. FIFA still has a long way to go to live up to that – but at least it’s a stated ambition. At least in some ways the organization appears to understand this goal that they want to achieve. Dorna seems to have no idea about any of this, because if they did, they would not be focused on “Iberocentricity” as the problem for lack of diversity in their sport, and then touting an “Iberocentric” offshoot as the solution to “Ibercentricity” in MotoGP. It’s just absolute nonsense that they would attempt to pass this off. I can’t say it enough times.

    What Ezpeleta and Dorna said is not meaningful. From a reasonably informed point of view, it is barely even advertisement grade hokum. If the organization is supposed to represent the world, then its figureheads need to know what it is that they are talking about. And they most definitely do not.

  37. TexusTim says:

    Owell i tried

  38. Faust says:

    L2C I feel really bad for you. It must be horrible to look at the world through the racial prism you do. I responded to your comments and only what you said. You, however are grasping at straws. How do you know what parts of the world I’ve lived in? I’ve lived in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe as well as the northeast, western, and southeastern United States, so please confine your observations on me to the context of my comments.

    Here’s something you are not considering in your abject desire to make this about race: have you ever been to a GP? Have you seen the support for sponsors? Do you not know about repsol’s investments in South America? Are you not aware that Petronas is from Malaysia? Can you really not figure out why sponsors and race organizers want to diversify? To get sponsors to continue to invest in paying for people to race motorcycles, you have to reach a broader audience. Why the hell would sponsors want to focus so much money on Spanish markets? It’s not a developing market. The fact that you are so angry that Motorsport is the domain of rich people shows your ignorance. Motorsport is absurdly expensive, and therefore will always be the domain of the well to do. Get over it.

    As for the rest, how am I trying to distract anyone from European countries importing African slaves to South America? How is Dorna trying to do that? Why in the world did you make that statement and what does that have to do with modern motorcycle racing? Why did you try to include references to slavery in a discussion about motorcycle racing? You went way off the deep end there, and ot appears that you are committed to drawing a connection between trying to reach more racing markets and racial issues. Racing is about business, and only about business. They aren’t going to give a seat to someone who won’t win, and you aren’t going to win unless you’ve been doing this your whole life. That means you must be born into a family with money. I’m sorry you don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. You can cry about race all you want, but it doesn’t change reality. Notice how I confined my observation to responding to your comments? See how I didn’t make baseless assertions on where you’ve lived, how you were raised or anything else that I can’t confirm? Try that. Secretly, as soon as you said you were from New Jersey it all made sense. Have you seen how popular Rossi is in Italy? Or how popular Hayden is in the US? Can REALLY not see the purpose in racing wanting to get people involved from more counties? Can you not see the sponsor advantage to having people wearing t shirts and hats with their logos on them while cheering on riders from their home country? If you still don’t get it, then I’m going to stop wasting my time on you. I said good day sir!

  39. DareN says:

    L2C,
    Are You for real?
    Dorna has no obligation whatsoever to “please” ethnically diverse crowd. Dorna is in the racing for one reason only – to make money.Seems like you are looking for some sort of affirmative action in racing…I feel for you that you did not have enough money to buy a bike when you were a kid – neither did I. I do not feel any resentment toward ” rich white folk” because I was not able to pursue the sport. Your comments are discusting and suited more for NAACP forum that A&R. Not a lot of support to your rants…

  40. Westward says:

    Laguna should be a victim of losing their race weekend, as long as they continue to only host the premiere class. Moto2 and Moto3 should be part of the event, or cut the ticket prices in half…

  41. Damo says:

    @L2C

    I happen to be Portuguese and understand very well about Brazil, etc. All Dorna is saying is that there are too many goddamn races in a very small part of the world which does nothing to grow their audience and by relatio9nship their commercial success.

    You obviously have no clue about the world you claim to speak for. Also GTFO.

  42. Grimey Benson says:

    WTF does slavery have to do with f*cking motorcycle racing? Last I checked western slavery stopped long before motorbikes roamed the earth.

    Seriously what is wrong with this moron (L2C)?

  43. TexusTim says:

    nice try westward, they probably wont bring em though….lol…. moto 2 would be crazxzy at laguna

  44. L2C says:

    @ Faust

    You are, in part, talking about corporate participators, I’m talking about riders. And corporate participators should invest more into a diverse grid also. But Dorna cannot raise the issue of diversity and not truly deal with it. Nor can any other organization. If Dorna has simply said that they want to see more countries represented on the grid, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that, and in the past I haven’t because that is just what they did say. But on this issue of being “too Iberocentric” and then saying that the solution to becoming more diverse was to go racing in Brazil – well, that couldn’t get past me, because that speaks directly to history and current situations – and to say that is doesn’t, if you are aware of the history and current situations that I speak of, is to be willfully blind.

    If those who are involved in the global entertainment spectacle that is MotoGP wanted to truly solve the problem of diversity, they have the capacity and means to do so. And they could start this process in their own backyards.

    Fact is, I don’t go looking through a racial prism, as you say. I wouldn’t be a fan any sport or art or film or music or any of it, because this sticky racial thing has been all over all of it. Enough so, that you would turn out to be sick of it all rather quickly and early in life. But that clearly is not me. However, if someone makes ignorant statements that point to issues of diversity, and perhaps even the issue of institutional racism, am I supposed to keep quiet about it? My pointing it out doesn’t make me also a racist.

    And you’re right, I don’t know where you have lived, but to say that the lack of diversity in MotoGP all comes down to dollars and cents from wealthy people… well, that just helps to support the points that I made.

    I’ll ask it again. Does the current design for entry into motorcycle Grand Prix racing exist by coincidence or on purpose? Because if the gatekeepers to the sport wanted to have a truly diverse grid, ostensibly they would have it since they would be able to afford to make it happen, right?

    This also brings up the question that if the sport is just for wealthy participants, why do they market it to those who would never be able afford to participate in it themselves? For me, that would be incredibly vacant – but it would go a long way towards understanding what Dorna is about with its recent statements. And I did already make the statement that they seem to only want to take the money and run. Those in doubt should re-read my posts.

    Why do fans get behind Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Márquez, or Hayden, Spies and Edwards, or Crutchlow and Smith if not because they feel that these athletes represent the best riders of their countries and regions? Does this not represent an effort to fulfill social and cultural obligations?

    I watch and enjoy the races, and frankly I don’t feel left out, but I have noticed how the show could be better, how it could be more complete. How it could more closely align itself with claims that it makes. Black and brown people do make up a sizable portion of MotoGP’s audience. Many of them are riders. Some of them race on the weekends themselves. And they are all living in the countries currently represented on the grid. And still, even though many like myself don’t feel like we’re being left out, though some do, it is obvious that the grid is not as diverse as it could be. And Dorna should feel responsible for this issue since it makes the claim that MotoGP represents the world, and especially since they claim to be sensitive to the issue.

    I feel like Valentino represents one of the best of the best ever. Same as I have felt for Michael Jordan. And I’m sure that people all over the globe share in my enthusiasm for these two. There’s no need to feel left out with such high-quality examples in the world. They are not perfect humans, no, but they do make you feel that anything is possible. And this is a gift.

    Still, if an organization makes a claim, swears by it, even, it should make a [u]concerted[/u] effort to live up to it.

    My argument is not about quotas or mandates, but it is about social and cultural obligations since in fact athletics imply that these obligations exist. An organization cannot say it represents the world and then only promote representatives from a relatively small of corner of it. This…that just does not work.

    As far as I know, Hollywood isn’t operating under any racial quota system, but it has gotten better over time as those who participate in its economy have become more representative of its audience.

    @ DareN

    The resentment is my post is aimed squarely at those who would think that I was too stupid to know what they were talking about. Maybe Ezpeleta and Dorna could have picked better words than “too Iberocentric”. I think they could have, and they have in the past, but since they did say it and presented it as a grand gesture to tackle this thorny and divisive subject, it certainly did highlight the organization’s shortcomings when it comes to this issue of lack of diversity on the grid.

    That I seem offended was the point, because I was. I’m not in it for popularity points, I’m in it to make points that I think and feel need making.

    -centricity means something. If an organization says that it wants to move away from that, they cannot then pursue a solution that means that they will continue to focus on the same thing.

    @Grimey Benson

    Last I heard, human trafficking and white slavery is alive and well in in the West.

    But you bring up this issue of black slavery being in the past as if the repercussions from it no longer exist. I brought up the issue of African slave importation for the sole purpose of highlighting how ridiculous Ezpeleta’s and Dorna’s statement was. Their statement should be looked at in a historical context, since they were the ones to bring up the matter. I’m not looking for affirmative action as DareN said, but I did ask about the question about the conspicuous absence of black and brown people on the grid, when it is clear that they watch the sport and buy bikes and tickets and season passes all over the world just like everybody else does.

    @ Damo

    All Dorna is saying is that there are too many goddamn races in a very small part of the world which does nothing to grow their audience and by relatio9nship their commercial success.

    Exactly. And simply featuring wealthy participants in the sport from their small corner of the globe is not a long-term answer to their financial woes and financial objectives either. Just trotting their largely European circus to far away places will not work for too much longer, because enthusiasts are small in number. If it were just up to enthusiasts, we wouldn’t have MotoGP, or Dorna for that matter. It’s everybody else who shows up on Sunday because they love Rossi or whoever that makes the difference.

    Social and cultural obligations to matter, they do exist, and they should be dealt with in a meaningful way.

  45. L2C says:

    And you know, Kevin Schwantz has talked about sponsoring riders to the junior classes in Spain. He has the right idea. He no perfect human either, but he knows that there is a social and cultural obligation inherent in the sport.

    Just thought I’d refresh some memories.

  46. L2C says:

    Pardon typos, etc.

  47. DareN says:

    L2C,
    Interestingly, you bring Hamilton and Woods as examples of black athletes, altough only one of their parents is black. I choose to call them white (just for the sake of argument).
    Even if Dorna had 2 open spots for minority racers, do you see anyone who can claim them, other than current riders? Thankfully,the rest of the world isnot as politically correct as the old US of A had become. Your argument is ridiculous and does not hold water…

  48. Faust says:

    L2C, just to recap the insanity of this conversation… I claimed your were unfairly bringing race into the issue of motorcycle racing. You responded by bringing up Portuguese involvement in the African slave trade. I rest my case.

    You have cheapened this conversation which was intended to be about the dispersal of racing events worldwide. You are simply not making sense. Can we talk about motorcycles now? Or must you continue your crusade?

  49. L2C says:

    Who is talking about being politically correct? I’m attacking the issue of Dorna and Ezpeleta making the statement that MotoGP represents the world and that they are sensitive to the issues of lack of diversity on the grid.

    And you can call Hamilton and Woods white all you want, but they would say, and have said that they identify as being black. Being that that is the case, I choose to respect their choice on the matter and not substitute my own opinion of what their racial identity may or may not be. Neither of them will get an argument out of me on the matter, because their position is what counts on the matter, not mine.

    I’ll also repeat that my argument is not a call for racial quotas in racing, or any other sport for that matter. My argument is for athletic organizations to actually stand for what they say they stand for. Either lack of diversity is a real issue to be dealt with and solved, or it is simply a public relations ploy -an advertisement- to fatten the bottom line of their finances.

  50. Gah, I think this conversation has spun out of control far enough. When Ezpeleta talks about diversity on the grid, he means from a national point-of-view, which affects the marketability of the sport. For instance, it’s hard to get Americans engaged with MotoGP if there aren’t American riders in the series.

    For motorcycle OEMs, there is a financial incentive to have certain markets (read: countries) enthusiastic about MotoGP, and to be frank, those markets are not Spain and to lesser extent Italy, where the sport bike markets have completely collapsed. Yet, walk into the media center and over 50% of its attendants are from those markets…the same can be said about the sponsorship for teams.

    If you think this is about race, political correctness, or anything other than viewer eyeballs and dollars, you are sorely mistaken, and claiming that MotoGP is not currently Iberocentric in its focus and operations is just simply naivety about the situation at hand.

    PS. For an insider perspective, when journalists debrief a rider like Pedrosa, it’s 15 minutes in Spanish, 10 minutes in Catalan, and 2 minutes in English…and that English crowd is all the American, British, German, French, Dutch, etc journalists mashed together (most just don’t even bother showing up anymore).

  51. Faust says:

    Thank you for injecting some sense into this Jensen. I was beginning to run out of different ways to say the same thing.

  52. L2C says:

    Previous post was for DareN.

    @ Faust

    What is unfair about bringing race into the conversation when in fact Dorna and Ezpeleta were the ones who implied the significance of the issues that I raised? Maybe it was not what they meant to do, but that is what they did do, and I responded.

    If the conversation is not comfy enough or interesting enough for you, then bow out. Don’t waste your time. I don’t think that I’m wasting mine.

    ****

    I think many of you are incensed because I pointed out the fact that most of the riders on the grid are white. That I pointed out the fact that MotoGP is a Eurocentric sport that claims to represent the world and that it falls far short of this claim. That I pointed out the fact that black and brown riders exist in the very nations that are currently represented on the grid. That the reasons that you gave are excuses that have been bandied about throughout history here in the United States that are meant to explain the disparity of Blacks participating in athletics. That there are some kids who have never been given the chance, but who also possess the desire and talent to race, though they and we may never find out about it because there seems to be no community engagement and outreach policy adopted by Dorna, or its associates that do have the capacity and ability to address the issue. That those participants who are in position to make meaningful changes, who could afford to pursue those changes in MotoGP, don’t actually seem to be concerned with solving the issue because it is not evident on the grid that they are concerned with solving it.

    Yes, it is white people who are predominately the stewards of this sport that we claim to be passionate about. They are in fact the gatekeepers. There is no offense in me pointing this out, even if it is necessary to make the point that what they have said and what they have actually done seems to be at odds with each other.

    What you should all remember is that Dorna and Ezpeleta raised this issue. It is not an insane issue, or a moronic issue, or an embarrassing issue. It’s an important issue. An issue that should it actually mean something, is worth the effort (socially, culturally and financially) at being dealt with and solved. Really solved.

    I said what will white people think of next. A reference to the dumb and divisive things that white people and ignorant white people sometimes say on matters of race and ethnicity and diversity. Pointing out these things is not the equivalent of hate speech.

    Ezpeleta’s and Dorna’s statements convey profound ignorance on the matter of increasing diversity on the grid of MotoGP. Whether they misspoke or their statements were poorly worded is not for me to say – but what they did say says volumes, to me, about what they really do not understand. They are not as sensitive to this issue as they would like to think or portray.

  53. L2C says:

    @ Jensen Beeler

    This is the age of target marketing. I’m sure you know this. If a company or organization sets out to reach a more diverse consumer base, they don’t limit themselves to national identity. They target regional and racial identity as well. They target other socioeconomic factors. The markets that they target are made up of all of these things.

    So when an organization like Dorna makes the statement that they are committed to more diversity on the grid, are they really only limiting their focus to national identity? And if they are, who are the people that make up those nations that are represented on the grid? Who makes up their audience and their consumer base? All of the factories focused on these things. Why not Dorna?

    I don’t think that Kawasaki uses Rickey Gadson’s image in their advertisements for the sole purpose of promoting their bikes to drag racers, but there is a good chance that it makes a difference to how the brand is perceived in the Black communities in the United States. Ninjas are extremely popular among Blacks who ride sport bikes. It’s probably not far-fetched to say that Rickey Gadson’s endorsement increases the value of the brand’s perception among Black customers who are in the market for a sport bike.

    Race and socioeconomic backgrounds do matter in advertising and marketing. It matters for McDonald’s. For Coca-Cola. For Target. For Nike. It even matters for Apple. Why not MotoGP?

    Ezpeleta speaking of diversity purely from a national point of view, might be the case. But it doesn’t seem to me that that is really all there is to it. There aren’t any black or brown kids in Spain that dream of racing in MotoGP one day? In any of the other countries that are represented on the grid? How can race and ethnicity be discounted as factors?

    I would like to know the answers to these questions. And why does this seem to be about political correctness to the lot of you? If Dorna is aiming to make as much money as possible, to reach the widest audience possible, why does the grid not reflect that? To my mind it should. I shouldn’t have to mention race or ethnicity or socioeconomic factors at all, if diversity is brought up, even from a superficial national point of view.

    This is not about a refusal to accept reality. I love the sport. It can’t get any better than that. But why should a policy on diversity that is focused solely on national identity matter? You all seem to be saying that it doesn’t matter! That it’s all about entertainment, business, blah, blah, blah. Is that what I should take away from this conversation? Because I have said that it does matter and that because it doesn’t address deeper issues, it actually ends up helping to strain the sport financially.

    MotoGP is not the Olympics, I get that. It’s not even on the level of FIFA. What I don’t get is why Dorna’s mission statement on the question of diversity is so limited as compared with the other sports organizations. Where is the convincing answer?

  54. Faust says:

    L2C guy, they are talking about diversity in nationality, not specifically race. The only one talking about race is you. The reason the conversation is not “comfy enough or interesting enough” is because you are talking about a non issue. I can’t debate you about motorcycle racing because you are not talking about motorcycle racing. In case you missed the entire point, this website is to discuss motorcycle issues. I will not “bow out” because you have decided to change the subject from motorcycles to a dissertation on race issues and slavery. Sorry, but you just don’t get to hijack other people’s websites. They want more racers from different countries, so they will have fans there…. What don’t you understand??

  55. L2C says:

    David Emmett has recently brought up issues of sexual orientation and women competing on the grid and taking on roles traditionally held for men in MotoGP. He even had a bit to say about the problem of misogyny. However, I’m supposed to think that two issues of and diversity, race and ethnicity, should not be addressed by the sport as well? That the sport is not about these things at all?

    O. K.

    I’m not approaching these issues by myself in a vaccuum here. I’m not just thinking up stuff to say and to be offended by. What I have approached today and yesterday is relevant to the ongoing conversations that we have been having here over the past year, and much of it has been prompted by those conversations.

    But if enough has been said, then enough has been said. But clearly I’m not alone in wanting to see significant and meaningful changes (that are important for me as well as others) in this sport that I happen to love just as much as anybody else.

  56. Norm G. says:

    re: “Laguna should be a victim of losing their race weekend, as long as they continue to only host the premiere class. Moto2 and Moto3 should be part of the event, or cut the ticket prices in half”

    no. recheck my posts. lag has a space issue. there aren’t enough garages to house all the teams if M2 and M3 tag a long. you’ll have to fly to indy or austin (belay my last, don’t fly to austin. not till they settle up). and no worries, airfare’s cheap (considering the benefit received). just flew out last week with 30 days notice and it was way affordable. imagine the savings when you plan a year in advance…? contrary to popular belief, the event dates are not a moving target.

    re: “I did get to take a lap on the 200 I had it pinned the whole way of course”

    you should’a went elbow down… slacker…! :)

  57. L2C says:

    @ Faust

    I don’t think that you and others understand that I’m taking part in a long and still-ongoing conversation on matters of diversity that has taken place on the very pages of this website. I take exception to the charge that I’m approaching a non-issue. I also take exception to the charge that I’m hijacking this website by making an effort to respond to your questions and criticisms. None of what you have just said is true. If you had been paying attention as well as I have, you wouldn’t have bothered to issue those accusations.

  58. Faust says:

    L2C I would submit to you that the slave trade issues from the 1820s are not, in fact relevant to the ongoing conversation. As you say, enough has been said, but you are way outside the mainstream and any attempt to convince yourself that you are speaking for motorcyclists at large is severely misguided.

  59. L2C says:

    You shouldn’t have made the assumption that I was speaking for motorcyclists. You should have understood that I was speaking for myself.

    And speaking on the issue of the importation and African slaves to South America as relates to the issue of “Iberocentricity” is entirely relevant to this conversation, whether you want to admit it or not. Think about the lingering effects of that and about how those effects could be significant when deciding whether or not to reach out to black and brown people in Spain or Portugal.

  60. Faust says:

    Guy…. By iberocentric, they mean too centered around the Iberian peninsula and riders from that region… What does that have to do with race? They want riders from different parts of the world, so they can get fan support there…. I cannot believe that you just said the issue of slaves is relevant to this conversation. That is just ignorant. Do black people living in Italy not support Rossi? Didn’t the poor people in brazil support Senna? Didn’t white people cheer for Jordan? It’s about cheering for a guy who is from where you’re from, not just about race. Did you even read the article above? How did you get racial issues out of it? Please just stop it. They want to get riders from different countries so they will have fans there, meaning people will want to watch the races, meaning more money. I don’t care how many times you play the race card or say this is about slavery, because it just isn’t. Get over yourself.

  61. L2C says:

    You are going on about how Ezpeleta narrowly used “Iberocentric”. What you are not doing is paying attention to what else the term could refer to.

    Ezpeleta said that MotoGP was “too Iberocentric” and that is why Dorna wants to reduce the number races that take place in Spain and are looking forward to racing in Brazil. He said that this development represents an effort to increase diversity in the sport. You and others have told me that I should just leave it at that. I have said no because they are just simply adding a race to a historical branch of Portugal. And it was at this point that I referred to the role that Spain and Portugal played in the importation of African slaves to South America. Why? Because these historical events could possibly have an effect on decisions made back in Spain and Portugal as to whether to reach out to potential black and brown riders in those countries.

    My issue was not the addition of Brazilian flags waving in the stands or the additional flag added to the MotoGP race calendar. My issue was that if increased diversity is a goal that Dorna wants to achieve with MotoGP, why aren’t there any black or brown riders from Spain or Portugal on the grid? Because, to me, that is more important and meaningful to addressing the issue of lack of diversity in the sport, rather than the addition of another flag to the stands and race calendar.

    Why must Dorna severely limit their commitment to addressing the issue of lack of diversity to a national point of view? Why can they not also address deeper diversity issues in their quest to improve the health of their financial outlook?

    For me, that doesn’t go far enough. And I have stated those reasons already, but briefly I don’t think that it goes far enough because it strains the sport in matters social, cultural and financial.

  62. L2C says:

    And, Faust, I didn’t say this was about slavery. I didn’t say that even once. I did mention slavery, but I didn’t say that the central issue was about slavery. In fact I said many times that the issue was about lack of diversity on the grid. And I also said many times that race and ethnicity are factors that relate to the issue.

    Why do you say I’m playing the race card? Because I have said that I would like to see black and brown riders on the grid? If that’s so, then you should be really fired up that I have also said in the past that I want to see women racers on the grid.

    By your estimation, did I also play the gender card? OK then, so be it – as far as you’re concerned. But it isn’t even remotely true.

  63. Well, I think we’re about done here…