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MotoGP releases

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Super Dave

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2004, 08:49:49 am »
Yes, he was offered an opportunity to ride the Suzuki MotoGP bike.  He was not offered a contract to race the bike.  Pretty different.  

There are decent numbers of guys that get offers to "ride bikes".  Ulrich rode that bike in Europe.  It's a moto GP bike.

Chuck Sorensen is a good rider.  Won the AMA 250 class a couple years ago on an Aprilia...there's another Italian Twin for ya...

Anyway, after 9/11, I flew out to California to test the old Honda (the '69 CB750) to see if it was going to handle like we needed it to.  Chuck was there and we talked about what he was doing.  He had offers to ride 600 Supersport bikes, but if they aren't going to be top flight bikes, what are you going to do?  Flounder around in 10th?

Same goes for Mladin.  He's a bigger guy, so he's going to be at an immediate physical disadvantage that makes his bike slower.  Next, you've got a whole lot of sponsors backing the Euro guys, etc.  

College Football coaches make big money.  Pro Football coaches make big money.  There are varying reasons why some are successful in there areas.  The University of Nebraska fired their football coach after a 9-3 season.  They hired a former NFL head coach...I think he was with the Raiders or something...anyway, he can't do sqat.

So, goes motorcycling.  The machinery and markets have become so specialized that riders get compartmentalized in certain areas.  Rich Oliver was a "250 guy".  It was almost an act of God that he got the Yamaha AMA Superbike ride.

Why not compete in Superbike?

In the early 90's, there was talk about taking "Superbike", the premier class, and making it a 600 class.  And, of course, recently, they made Superbike for 1000's.  But the talk is back for 2006 or 2007 where the Premier AMA class will be for 600's...the format is not set.

Anyway, it costs money to race.  Yamaha has a four rider team for Superstock and Supersport.  Meanwhile, Yosh can only afford three riders...Mladin runs one class.  

I could show up at every AMA event with a decent program for about $90k.  Wanna make a really good showing?  Well, you'd probably up that cost to $250k for Supersport.  Wanna try and win?  Probably a million.

The field having "factory" riders doesn't necessarily make it exciting.  In 1987, the racing was very good between Rainey and Schwantz.  The only other "factory" guy was Bubba.  

A playing field that is reasonably level makes things interesting.  When Robert Jensen was racing in the lead pack at Brainerd in 600 Supersport on a bike that he builds himself...that's cool.

When I was on the podium at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Dale Quarterley got third in 1993...you could lease Kawasaki ZX7R packages from Muzzy for about $50k then...that was exciting...Crying with Jason Pridmore when Dale won at Mid-Ohio...again...good.

Get rid of the Superbikes and put everyone on Supersport or Superstock bikes.  Might be a similar outcome, but the results will be more exciting.  At least it's attainable.  

As for comparing a novice CCS racer to an AMA Pro racer...really bad example.  Regardless, anyone can be beaten.  Just a matter of doing it.  If you think that someone does ten push ups in the morning and you want to beat them...well, you better do twenty.  But if you're Colin Edwards, currently, you can do all the push ups in the world...the fact that you are not getting the same financial support from the sponsor that your team mate brought in...yeah, it's a living, but as a racer, you still want the opportunity to do better.

How long will Hopkins stay?  His loyalties have been there with Suzuki for a good while.  

But, if you don't have any Telephonica money coming out to buy you for a ride with team XYZ...there are risks.

Rossi had a risk to take.  But he's on the top of the game.  So, Yamaha was able to make him a good salary offer AND buy his whole crew in to the program.

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Super Dave

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #49 on: October 17, 2004, 08:50:31 am »
Mat Mladin has Rich Doan and the rest of the crew.  That's a good team.  Would a new employer be willing to purchase the whole package.

In 1989, I turned expert.  

Scott Russell raced for Yoshimura Suzuki that year.  He won the AMA Superbike National at Road Atlanta.  

He showed up at Blackhawk Farms for a CCS race to make some Suzuki money on a 600 Katana.  I didn't care.  Wasn't cherry picking to me.  My responsibility was to do laps and go faster to make money.  

ADD and LD doesn't count in racing.  Racers race.

Harley intersting to watch?

We made bets on which lap it would explode.  And there were two of them, so there were two bets.  It was ridiculous.

Buells struggle against FX bikes.

MV...no committment...and I know that because I know someone who put together a program for last year with them.  

Also, you have to have the equipment homologized and offer a contingency program.  I was supposed to race a Bimota Belaria (FZR600) in 600 Supersport in 1991.  Homologation, numbers made, etc.  Didn't happen.

NASCAR is still interesting because Mark Martin, at his older age, is still competitive.  Drag racing is certainly that way.  

Amateur racing is one thing, but everything after that...there is no such thing as too good.
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Old808

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2004, 09:57:31 am »
Quote


and what decade was that  ???  I'm talking about now.  And no, I won't STF up.  We are having an "opinion" convesation.  Nobody is write or wrong.

I disagree.  I believe you have been consistently wrong in this conversation.

By the way, if I remember correctly, the Yamaha team that Miguel rode for is the French team.  They have been around since at least when I started following GPs 20 years ago.  Back then, they fielded Christian Sarron.  Freddie Spencer rode for them when he tried to come back to the top.  They are currently known as Tech 3, with racers Melandri and Abe.

And Mladin race for one full season on the Cagiva.  So he too meets your ridiculous "at least he tried" criterion.

You do flap your gums an awful lot for someone who know so little about even recent racing history. ;D

One more thing: to everybody who is blaming Mladin for staying in the US.  How come you're not blaming Suzuki for keeping Kenny Roberts for four years with absolutely no results?  Whose fault is it that ride isn't available for someone else?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 10:13:40 am by Old808 »
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Johnny B

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, causing him to crash.Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2004, 10:37:46 pm »
Quote
Hey cornercamping STF-up please DuHamel went to 500 gp w/Pons early 90's teamed w/ Spencer i believe.

Miguel rode for the French Sonato (Formerly Galoise, but cigarette $ was a no-no in France then) Yamaha Team in 1992. It was managed by Christian Sarron, the team's former rider. Normally the ride went to a Frenchman, but nobody acceptable was available (Ruggia was a prima dona with a loudmouth father. The "Ruggia Clause", banning the father from the pits, was invented.). Miguel got the nod because in Sarron's words, "He speaks French like my grandmother." During the season, Christian asked Miguel about Spencer, who was racing AMA for Two Brothers. Miguel told him that Freddie had his old style back. So DuHamel was replaced by Spencer on the Sonato team for the '93 season, DuHamel raced the Muzzy Kaw that year, finishing behind Quarterley, who was on the privateer Kawasaki. Spencer's high salary demands made the Sonato team broke after that season.
Mladin, the 1992 Australian Superbike Champion, was signed to a three year deal for Cagiva in 1993. He was told that the first year would be a learning year. Teammate Doug Chandler was having a crisis in confidence with the bike as the throttle had stuck at least twice during the season, causing him to crash. Team manager Giacomo Agostini, anxious for results, brought in John Kocinski mid-season after Suzuki fired him from his 250 ride, and cut Mladin loose at the end of the year.
And yes, Dave, I do remember Rob McElnea, Eddie Lawson's teammate on the Marlboro Yamaha squad. Last I knew, he was managing the Yamaha British Superbike team when Niall MacKenzie and Jamie Whitham were riding. There was a classic blurb on the 1996 tape when the two of them are banging fairings. The announcer yelled, "Team manager Rob McElnea must surely be having kittens right now!"
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 11:14:46 pm by Johnny_B »
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Super Dave

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Re: , causing him to crash.MotoGP releases
« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2004, 06:27:27 am »
Quote

And yes, Dave, I do remember Rob McElnea, Eddie Lawson's teammate on the Marlboro Yamaha squad. Last I knew, he was managing the Yamaha British Superbike team when Niall MacKenzie and Jamie Whitham were riding. There was a classic blurb on the 1996 tape when the two of them are banging fairings. The announcer yelled, "Team manager Rob McElnea must surely be having kittens right now!"


LOL, there are a couple of us that remember.

I've got lots of tapes from the 80's with him on the Skoal Bandit Suzuki sqare four GP bike.
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Nate R

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2004, 09:00:06 am »
That Harley bike sucked.

The VR1000 design started in 1988. Didn't touch a wheel to the track until 93, I believe. Thanx to the lovely progress at harley, the bike was already messed up from square one.

They did what they could with it. Gemini I think did a fair job, considering the VR1000.

They needed a new chassis and a better motor. Harley wasn't going to build one.

Maybe that's for the better? With it being Harley, maybe the new chassis would've been no better? ::)

I know what kind of $ it took to run that team, and they weren't winning.



As far as Vesrah, ever watch Motoworld on ESPN2? Think that they would get anywhere CLOSE to that kind of coverage doing AMA?

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Zac

Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #54 on: October 18, 2004, 04:24:12 pm »
Mladin and Duhamel cherrypickers  ???  I'm not a Mladin fan, but I wouldn't call him a cherrypicker.

AMA Superbike is currently one of the premier racing classes in the world (hard to believe, being the AMA and all).  Although not the case in years past, this year I'd say AMA is on par with WSBK.  I would say that Mladin, Duhamel, and Zemke are on par with Toesland, Laconi, and Haga.  Heck, Mladin and Duhamel aren't even Americans, the series is pulling a lot of international riders.  Other than MotoGP, this is about the top of the game.  Saying Mladin is cherrypicking in AMA SB is like saying Lance Armstrong is cherrypicking the Tour de France.  Should they tell Lance to stop racing the Tour and only race in Olympic events?

There are only 24 spots in MotoGP.  If Mladin were to take a MotoGP ride, some rider would lose one.  If that rider were to come race AMA SB, run for a team as good as the yosh team, and win the AMA championship, would the ex-motoGP rider be cherrypicking?  Take any MotoGP rider (except maybe Kurtis), put him on the right team in the AMA, and he could win the championship.

I'm ready to see someone beat Mladin next year.  If you were Zemke, would you rather beat Mladin next year or win the AMA championship while Mladin raced in Europe?

-z.
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Johnny B

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in the Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2004, 06:29:39 pm »
Quote
There are only 24 spots in MotoGP.  If Mladin were to take a MotoGP ride, some rider would lose one.  If that rider were to come race AMA SB, run for a team as good as the yosh team, and win the AMA championship, would the ex-motoGP rider be cherrypicking?  Take any MotoGP rider (except maybe Kurtis), put him on the right team in the AMA, and he could win the championship.

Not necessarily. Kevin Magee on a Smokin' Joe's Honda in 1994 comes to mind. He had an absolutely miserable season.
Cherrypicking would not be the appropriate term for Mladin. Who gets picked for what ride is a dark science involving sponsorships and nationalities and is not always about talent.
Cherrypicking is more about lingering in your rider classification when you could be moving up to being an Expert in your club. Nothing and nobody is holding you back but you. LRRS's Vanson's Rookie of the Year Award, awarded to the new racer who advances from Amateur to Expert with the most points, stipulates that as soon as a rider is eligible to bump up to the next rider designation, they must do so. One year (1996, I believe) Vanson's felt that everybody was sandbagging on their advancements and simply stated that nobody deserved the award that year. That's when the stipulation was added, I believe.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2004, 06:33:57 pm by Johnny_B »
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Super Dave

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2004, 08:10:12 pm »
Harley and the VR.

Scott Zampach rode it a bit, I think, in the development stage.  I remember hearing about it blowing up a lot on the dyno.

Then Fritz Kling rode it a lot in development.

Harley makes, what, 200,000 bikes a year?

Ducati makes, what, 40,000 bikes a year?

I remember Fred Kling saying to me, "It's easy to build a Ducati.  You just build a twin motor then add the suspension front and rear."  I laughed.  But it many ways, it was true.  But it seemed that there were people on the Harley end that just decided that they "knew" something that the rest of the world had never developed.

They could have done something if they really wanted to.  It's easy to sit behind the rock that they do now.  

I remember Magee.  Didn't Ricky beat him in the Daytona 200 that year in 1994?  Magee beat Rainey to getting his first 500 GP victory in 1988, I think.  Then things just didn't go his way...and he went out.
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Johnny B

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2004, 01:37:44 am »
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I remember Magee.  Didn't Ricky beat him in the Daytona 200 that year in 1994?  Magee beat Rainey to getting his first 500 GP victory in 1988, I think.  Then things just didn't go his way...and he went out.

Actually, it was Eddie Lawson that he beat, I think it was Spain. Things went downhill for him after that, starting with the burnout he was doing at Laguna in 1989 when Bubba Shobert ran into him. He had a serious injury at Laguna the next year that kept him out for the rest of the season. Niall MacKenzie subbed for him the rest of the year. From this, there's an interesting story about Niall for the next season involving Ruggia and his dad.  ;D
Part of his problem in the States was that the RC45 was a POS. At Loudon that year, him and Mike Smith qualified on the third row, while Mike Hale was on the front row on an RC30 in one of 2-3 Superbike rides he did that year.
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Super Dave

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2004, 05:19:53 pm »
Ah, yes, I remember the Laguna irony.

And the goofy RC30/45 stuff.
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Gixxerblade

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Re: MotoGP releases
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2004, 07:18:12 pm »
Funny you should talk about Shobert running into Magee. My wife, who grew up in Santa Cruz just happened to be at that race and as soon as I said it brought back memories for her. Just thought I'd share that.
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