New Jersey Motorsports Park Improvements
Friday, August 14, 2009
As per rider suggestions, the folks from NJMP are already making changes to make the track safer.
It comes as great pleasure to hear that there are still people in the racetrack business who keep their word these days and are concerned with rider safety. We visited the relatively recently constructed New Jersey Motorsports Park
a few weeks back for an AMA team shakedown test, and while the track was fun at a moderate pace, a few areas raised some safety concerns as speeds increased. But unlike other tracks on the AMA calendar that have promised more than they delivered, despite the short gap between the recent test and the upcoming AMA National the first weekend of September, major changes are reportedly already underway in New Jersey - some even completed.
According to a report on CycleNews.com
, NJMP track general manager Kevin Wittman has already installed a gravel trap at the exit of Turn 1, an area that could cause major issues as the bikes hit an easy 170 mph before braking into the first corner. They are also said to be in the process of moving the wall outside of Turn 12 (the final turn) some 30-50 feet further away from the track. This corner is taken at easily 130mph-plus and is one of, if not the
fastest corner on the AMA circuit.
I was able to sample the track firsthand at the above-mentioned AMA team test
for a magazine story, riding a Jordan Suzuki Superbike, and I can tell you that these changes were definitely needed. To see NJMP take such progressive and costly actions so quickly is very promising. While there are a couple other far-more-minor spots that we think could use some additional work, with the two said major areas handled the track will no doubt be safely race-able come September.
What does this all mean? This means that we won’t have another weekend like recent races at Topeka, Kansas where several top riders, including Superbike championship points leader Mat Mladin
sat out due to safety concerns. Kudos to NJMP and general manager Wittman for taking action and making such improvements so quickly.
For this forward-thinking safety act, we give NJMP the MotoUSA Seal of Approval!