The MotoGP / WSBK / AMA Racer Merry-Go-Round

09/23/2013 @ 12:39 pm, by David Emmett6 COMMENTS


As the end of the season approaches, the punishment which the riders have taken is starting to take its toll. With several riders out or moved, replacements are being sought to complete the season, or at least fill in for the next race.

In the MotoGP class, the knock on effect of Ben Spies’ extended absence means that a vacancy arose at the PBM team. With Michele Pirro unable to race in the overseas triple header, dedicating himself to testing for the remainder of the year, Yonny Hernandez has been moved to the Ignite Pramac squad for the last five races of the year, as was announced after the Misano test.

That meant that Hernandez’s spot at PBM needed filling, preferably by a rider with some kind of Grand Prix experience. That rider has now been found, and Damian Cudlin is to take the place of Hernandez at the next round of MotoGP at Aragon.

Whether Cudlin will continue at PBM after Aragon is yet to be determined. Cudlin has GP experience, having replaced Hector Barbera in 2011 at Motegi and Phillip Island. He has also raced both as a wild card and as a replacement rider in Moto2.

Luca Scassa will also be making an appearance as a replacement rider. The Italian will be taking the place of the injured Karel Abraham at Cardion AB, initially for the Aragon race. Depending on Scassa’s performance, the Italian could replace Abraham for the remainder of the season.

Scassa has had a checkered career, having raced in World Supersport, World Superbike, and AMA. His best season came in 2011, when he challenged Chaz Davies for the WSS title for much of the year.

There is also a replacement in the World Superbike series. WSBK regular and current WSS rider David Salom will be taking the place of Loris Baz in the Kawasaki Racing Team for this weekend’s Laguna Seca round of WSBK, racing alongside Tom Sykes.

Baz is not the only replacement rider at Laguna Seca: Michel Fabrizio will continue to replace the injured Jonathan Rea at Pata Honda, and Blake Young is in for Leon Camier at the Fixi Crescent Suzuki team.

The WSBK grid will be boosted at Laguna Seca, with Roger Hayden and Danny Eslick entered to compete as wild cards. The Jordan Motorsports team entered the two men for the World Superbike round, citing a lack of TV coverage of the AMA series, which is also racing on the same weekend, as the reason for choosing WSBK over the AMA series they normally compete in.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

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

  • Anvil

    Woe is the AMA.

    How bad is it when one of your premier teams chooses to race as a wildcard in WSBK, not in addition to, but INSTEAD, of your series? In your country.

    How has AMA/DMG screwed this up so badly? How can you not find enough funding to televise the Laguna race when WBSK is in town? How many rhetorical questions can I ask in one comment?

    The sad thing is, and I know some may disagree, when I’ve had the chance to watch the AMA, the racing is pretty good.

  • lawbreaker

    AMA Daytona Sportbike is usually pretty good….. AMA super bike is pretty much the Josh Hayes show…. and lots of people are bored with that.

    Unfortunately there doesnt seem to be much effort into supporting the race series or raising interest for road racing in the U.S..

    Sad indeed

  • Seth

    Cameron Beaubier needs to get to Europe now, either with or without Yamaha. staying in the AMA will do him no good, he doesn’t need to turn into the next Herrin and toil away here wasting his talents.

    Scassa is a choice I did not expect, I would have went for Kuba Smrz or Markus Reiterberger.

    David Salom is another choice that is mook, dude is garbage the best Salom in that family is Luis. KRT would have had better success getting Jake Holden or Jason Farrell.

  • Gads

    I agree with the previous comments here…its seems that if ama guys want a real shot at the big time, they need to leave the ama asap, or they could end up like josh hayes. Hayes is a great racer but it seems like he never got a shot.

    I spoke to josh herrin at the last round and he was saying that instead of wsbk he was looking to try to get over to moto2. Would be great to see an american in the lower classes, but it is an uphill battle.

  • Its a tough nut to crack. Sport bike sales in the US, like any consumer luxury good that was typically financed by the young and newly money-making, are off for half a decade and not looking to recover soon.
    Lots of other extreme sports competing for attention and what seemed so radical to us as we high sided our way through the 80’s and 90’s has lost a bit of sex appeal as the current generation of mop heads stares down at their own GoPro footage while smelling eachother’s farts (twitter.)

    An AMA rule change is in quick order. Get more people on the grids, take a couple of steps backwards- for better and worse- and maybe there’s a new era to be found.

    Have you seen a sport with worse production values? Man, all the video technology available for peanuts and the Wide World of Sports did it better 30 years ago. Sheesh.

  • Faust

    Anyone who says AMA is the Hayes show isn’t watching this year. Herrin took it to Hayes at Miller and Hayes had no answer. Regardless of what people say there’s some good racing in AMA