Originally Posted by azkiwi
Purists assume the sport would survive a level of obscurity. Its a risky assumption. Prototype racing at this level consumes cubic dollars and without the factory support the performance level would plummet. The separation between superbike and mgp has to be choreographed for both to survive - that's why they have one owner.
Yes, what he said. The AMA decided it didn't need the manufacturers and even with lots of NASCAR money and supposedly potential sponsors waiting in the wings there wasn't enough promo buzz to keep fan interest.
Besides the money spent on riders and bikes the manufacturers do a LOT of promotion, publicity and hospitality that directly translates into fan enthusiasm. It's their efforts that create the hero worship that keeps fan interest.