For months now, we have been talking about a North American road racing series that would compete against the ailing AMA Pro Road Racing championship that DMG runs. The series in question was rumored to be headed by Dorna and Wayne Rainey, and today’s news confirms at least half of that partnership, as the three-time World Champion is affiliated with the project
Called MotoAmerica, the North America series is run by KRAVE Group LLC. Rainey is a partner in the KRAVE Group, along with Chuck Aksland who was a 20-year manager of Team Roberts and recently the Vice President of Motor Sport Operations at the Circuit of the Americas race track. Terry Karges, a marketing executive from Roush Performance is a part of the team, as is Richard Varner, a motorcycle industry entrepreneur.
According to the AMA, MotoAmerica will promote and manage the series, which will be sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. This means that MotoAmerica will be able to award AMA and FIM North America #1 plates to series class champions, replacing the role of AMA Pro Road Racing as run by the Daytona Motorsports Group.
“If you are an amateur or professional motorcycle road racer in America, if you are a fan of road racing or if you are a company that does business in this industry, this is an exciting day,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Our goal has always been to entrust the promoting and commercial rights for professional racing to a talented, dedicated, well-capitalized professional entity, and the KRAVE Group certainly offers all that and more.”
Talking about the new venture, Wayne Rainey added that “the AMA was instrumental in this deal coming together, serving as negotiator and mediator at all points of discussion. We appreciate the efforts of Rob Dingman throughout the process.”
Krave has also worked closely with the FIM, and presumably Dorna, to ensure that MotoAmerica operates in conjunction with the premier international road racing series.
According to the press release, the AMA will staff officials at each round of the professional series and develop an enforcement, appeal and, rider license procedure. The AMA will also be responsible for issuing professional road racing licenses for the series.
MotoAmerica, in consultation with the AMA, will develop classes, the rules of competition, and event procedures; while details of the rulebook are still in development, classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.
“The structure of our agreement with the AMA serves the goal of developing riders to be successful on the world stage,” Rainey said. “It allows a framework that supports advancement from youth competition to novice, from novice to Pro-Am, from Pro-Am to National Championship contention and, for the best of the best, an opportunity to race for a world title.”
“The AMA’s roles as FIM affiliate and amateur sanctioning body make it a critical piece to establishing a clear progression for America’s road racing community,” continued Rainy. “We’re eager to build a fair, exciting and commercially viable professional road racing series not just for today’s stars, but for those who will stand on top of the podium for years to come.”
Perhaps the biggest part of this announcement is that the AMA has re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional, and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in the United States from DMG. As such, DMG will no longer have a role in promoting professional motorcycle road racing in the USA, though AMA Pro Racing will continued to be involved in other motorcycle racing events.