After careful deliberation on a possible change in class structure, MX Sports, organizers of the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, has decided not to suggest any immediate changes to the AMA Pro Racing rulebook concerning the 250 Class and the placement of 250cc two-strokes alongside 250cc four-strokes.
MX Sports was considering a plan to make the 250cc Class a “true 250 class” by allowing 250cc two-strokes to compete against 250cc four-strokes, rather than keep the two-strokes in the 450 Class which has long been the practice. However, given the current state of the industry in the wake of the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that bans the sale of youth motorcycles and ATVs due to lead content, devastating the American motorcycle industry, MX Sports realizes that the focus of the OEMs right now must be on reversing this law or gaining an exemption for off-highway vehicles and ATVs.
“The attention and the resources of the OEMs, dealers nationwide, the aftermarket vendors, and every rider and enthusiast in the motorcycle industry should be on the CPSIA right now, not changing the rulebook right before the series starts,” said Davey Coombs, vice president of MX Sports. “Rather than asking the struggling OEMs and teams to focus on developing a two-stroke in the next eight weeks for outdoor motocross, we realize that it is more important to address a much more urgent situation that has placed the entire motorcycle industry in jeopardy. Once there is some resolution to this issue, and hopefully there will be soon, we will reconsider the idea for 2010. In the meantime, we will be adding several 250cc two-stroke support races to the 2009 schedule.”
Since taking effect on February 10, 2009, the CPSIA has had a debilitating impact on the entire motorcycle industry, especially in regard to motocross. A significant portion of motorcycle sales in the U.S. have been affected by the CPSIA ban and, as a result, MX Sports has postponed discussions regarding the integration of two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles.
“MX Sports spoke to many team managers, riders, OEM and aftermarket representatives and found many voices both for and against the rule change,” stated MX Sports Director of Competition Jeff Canfield. “We realize this is a passionate debate among many enthusiasts, and we will continue to evaluate the situation with the two-strokes in the coming months.”
“It was going to be difficult to make such a change in the middle of the season, given that there are also eight rounds of AMA/FIM Supercross to be run under the existing class structure,” added Coombs. “But the new challenges our industry is facing made it impossible. While the decision not to pursue a new class structure at this time will certainly disappoint some of our fans, we believe there are bigger issues to deal with right now; anyone who’s visited a motorcycle shop since the ban went into effect on February 10, 2009, knows what we’re all up against right now.”