Originally Posted by Pantah
I remember being so mad at American Honda and how they seemed to control the sport. I was glad when Ray Blank pulled the plug in the Honda factory team and subsequently retired. I liked the new rules he so fiercely resisted. I was full of hope. What a dope I was.
Looking back, the sport collapsed when Honda and the other factory haulers left the paddock. No Honda, no fans. Amazing to me a brand name would be so important. A brand and one world famous rider... Miggy.
I felt the same way, and still think DMG could have salvaged it had they made a good effort.
NASCAR lost it's manufacturers in the late 1960's, which actually was a positive experience in the long run. Prior to that, the manufacturers had largely controlled the sport, and broken the rules at will with specialty cars, engines, etc. Whenever things didn't go their way, they'd threaten to pull out.......sounds familiar? Bill France finally took back control, and while it hurt for a few years, in the end he was able to crown himself dictator and determine the direction of the series.
What saved them then were two things: RJ Reynolds Tobacco money and promoting the drivers as "the show." It didn't hurt that they had larger than life drivers like Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, and AJ, Mario and others coming over to compete in selected races.
Jim France is the son of big Bill, and I'm sure he has the ability to pull this off. If he does, the series will be in good shape in the long run. The issue is, I don't see a lot of effort being made to get things moving. Maybe there is behind the scenes, but it is not visible to any of us, nor the press. They need to get Red Bull, Monster, Jack Daniels, Bud, or some corporation with deep pockets to ink a long term deal. Then they need to play up the riders, have them make appearances, race fans on pocket bikes, whatever, to get them into the mainstream and make them human. It would help if they could attract WSBK or some MotoGP guys to a race or two. That all takes money, which comes from the sponsor.
I have no doubt that it takes a hell of a lot of work and money to pull it off, but that is a proven formula for success. The alternative is to limp it along until it can't. I'm pretty surprised that no one has started a competing series at this point, but maybe that is more indicative of the state of motorcycle racing in the