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DMG: Delusional Motorsports Group?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tommy Hayden and DMGs Al Ludington discuss his jumped start  which began the madness that was AMA American Superbike at Laguna Seca.
Tommy Hayden's jumped start at the beginning of the American Superbike final was the beginning of a chain of events that would humiliate American road racing and DMG/AMA in front of the world at Laguna Seca.
For those of you who attended Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for this year’s Red Bull U.S. GP this past week, I can only hope you left before the AMA/DMG American Superbike race at the end of the day! Because if you didn’t, or if you have it set to TIVO and will watch it later, you will know the joke that DMG has become - this time with the entire world watching.

Let’s preface what happened: It all started with a botched start that Tommy Hayden jumped and then took off, after which the AMA held the riders on the grid instead of turning the lights green as they should have. Chaos followed; riders throwing their hands in the air as tires cooled to what would surely be unsafe temperatures. This festered for what felt like multiple agonizing minutes before the start was finally waved off and they were sent back around for another warm-up lap. Thus, technically, the first start never happened.

The second start was then marred by Ben Bostrom getting into Turn 2 far too deep, appearing to lock up the rear end as he low-sided and took out several riders in the process – Neil Hodgson and Larry Pegram among them. But while quite a nail-biting crash, the real madness ensued after the fact.

In an attempt to “control the field”, as riders completed the first lap the AMA hastily threw up a double-yellow flag and some kind of sign, which they said was displayed in the final few corners of the track. They then sent the pace car out, positioning it on top of the hill in the Turn 1 area, sitting at a dead stop. Now remember, this is a point of the track in which the riders would have first saw the car while tapped in fourth or maybe even fifth gear on 200-horsepower Superbikes at race-pace on the opening lap, everyone still bunched together. Not exactly a lot of time or space in which to get slowed down while trying to avoid being rammed by the 10 guys behind you.
For Ducatis Larry Pegram  the first American Superbike race at Fontana ended earlier than expected.
Larry Pegram was one of the riders taken out by Bostrom during the second restart.

As the field proceeded through Turn 2 the pace car made its way onto the track via the outside line, trying to merge in mid-pack as it veered onto the racing line, two wheels still in the dirt with a pack of motorcycles flying past it at more than double the speed. 

Gasps erupted throughout the Media Center as everyone held their breath in hopes the worst would be avoided. Thankfully, by sheer luck alone, no one ended up smeared across the back window of the Mazda SUV they call a pace car! This was followed by the clunk of jaws hitting the floor in disbelief as the world’s press couldn’t fathom that someone would actually try and put a four-wheeled vehicle on a hot racetrack, during the middle of a professional motorcycle race, with the riders at speed. All who had never seen such a thing were flabbergasted with what was happening before their very eyes. Yours truly included!

Personally, I think they need to ditch their new pace bike idea and make the pace car into a pace ambulance driving around with the doors open, so when a rider piles into the back of it they will be as close as possible to medical attention because, sadly, at this rate it's bound to happen.
Laguna officials claim total attendance numbers of 105 817. We think theyre numbers are optimistic.
Unfortunately, the world was at Laguna Seca to witness the drama which was the AMA/DMG show.

The riders then slowed to a crawl, all looking at each other in confusion, arm gestures flailing and heads spinning as the pace car just sat at the back of the field. With no one having any clue as to what was going on, AMA then red-flagged the race for a full restart.

Back in the pits, chaos continued to grow as the debate of what to do with Tommy Hayden, who jumped the first start, which, in fact, never happened, arose. During this time the younger Hayden clan of Nicky and Roger Lee were seen ‘discussing’ the situation with AMA’s Bill Syfan in a very heated manner. This quickly made it on the Media Center live-feed TV and instantly the world’s keyboards started typing away in haste. While the TV didn’t have audio feed as to what Nicky and Roger Lee were saying, judging by their hand gestures I doubt they were inviting him over for a Sunday BBQ.

By this time AMA/DMG and American Superbike now looked like so much of a cluster that when the third, finally successful restart happened no one seemed to even care what was going down on track, as the following day’s headlines had already been written before the race even started. It’s a shame, too, as Mat Mladin made a heroic run from a poor start to take an awesome victory.

“Umm, yeah, it could have been very ugly. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to understand that the pace car doesn’t belong in motorcycle racing. This isn’t NASCAR we’re not having a cup of tea in the race car." - Mat Mladin

As a result, for the second time in only their first year at the helm of professional road racing in America, AMA/DMG had to hold a press conference explaining their mistakes. AMA’s director of competition Colin Fraser was once again under the gun and had the following to say:

“The car came out of the pit lane so what happened is when the field, on the first lap after the incident in turn two, reached the Corkscrew, we called for the safety car and it pulled out just past and under the bridge with a plan to drive it as far up the hill as it could be and still be seen. Then the marshals displayed dual waving yellow flags and a safety car sign and we know that those signs and those flags were shown and seen in (turns) nine, 10, 11 and at the start /finish line. Well, I know they were seen because we asked the marshals and got a call in terms of how some of the people in the field behaved so I can't tell you why people didn't respond. Please understand that the safety car had to be somewhere where it could control the field through turn two, so what we tried to do is put it as far up the hill, past the bridge, where the riders could still see it with the expectation that there were multiple turns with waving yellows and safety cars prior to that location that would allow us when the riders came out of 11 to follow the instructions as per usual with the safety car. There is no set spot where the riders will encounter the safety car; it depends on the flow of the race. Clearly, it didn't work well. I'm not going to pretend that it was successful."

Driving the pace car was Dan Argana, whom Fraser said has done it on a regular basis and “has a lot of laps on this track on a motorcycle." I don’t envy that man and the fire he must now be under. But while I’m not really sure how much he is to blame, there’s no doubt the brunt of it should fall on DMG’s steadily sinking shoulders.

Mat Mladin looking calm and collected before Race 1 of American Superbike - Road Atlanta
Mladin has been one of the few riders brave enough to speak out about DMG.
When asked about it after the race, Mladin was nearly at a loss for words in an interview for On the Throttle TV, something rarely seen from the six-time champion. “I don’t know what to say really,” he commented. “I really enjoy racing … but I certainly don’t enjoy what happened at the start of that race. For me it overshadows our win today and the importance of that cannot be forgotten … because people could have been hurt and I’m just glad the end of the year is near and hopefully some smarter heads will prevail when it comes to writing the rules for next year.”

Former world champion Kevin Schwantz weighed in for an OTT interview as well, calling Fraser out publicly for not having “enough common sense to move the car further down the hill, further into Turn 2, or down around Turn 2 … on the exit of pit lane like everybody else exits and comes onto the track. I just have no idea… I can’t fathom why the decision was made to put that car, stopped, where it was.”

The press room was a ghost town after the AMA races.
The press conference following the Daytona SportBike final was a ghost town. At least we sent someone to cover it...
With all the off-track drama going on, the on-track racing was almost instantly forgotten about. So much so that by the time the riders made it to the post-race press conference for Daytona SportBike class, there were literally four people in the large room to hear what second- and third-place finishers Chaz Davies and Josh Herrin had to say, one of which being our own editor Adam Waheed. And I think two of the others were Davies’ and Herrin’s girlfriends…Thus, the rider’s couldn’t have felt too hot about talking to a whopping two journalists after hanging their asses on the line to finish on the podium. This had glorified club race written all over it.

This all added up to make what was one of the most humiliating and terrifying racing weekends I have ever seen firsthand. And the worst part was that the AMA/DMG picked the most crucial weekend of the year to make such a royal flush of bad calls and have so many hairball incidents, doing so in front of the world on our very own Independence Day weekend.

I remember thinking at the end of last year that there’s no conceivable way AMA Pro Racing could get any worse and no matter how bad they were, DMG would surely be an improvement. How wrong I was…

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Joe Morris -It's about advertising the brand not changing the rules  January 14, 2010 06:11 AM
Changing rules never helps a series for the fans. It's how the race is covered on tv and promoted in cities and at tracks that make fans excited about AMA road racing. You put a great ad campaign together that is aggressive and even at a high cost so that audiences have a good brand perception that they can get into. Imagine billboards and print ads in major markets and then get a tv deal like UFC has with Spike TV and you got a good chance of getting people into it. Forget the rules... borrow those from world Superbike. and be done with it.
Brian -DMG  July 17, 2009 12:39 PM
Relax everybody, I've watched motorsports' racing for over 30 years and ALL discplines have gone through this. Give DMG one more year to get it together; then cry. Criticise them, sure, hopefully they'll figure it out. Look how long the AMA ignored the racers themselves on what would make the sport better...
Jeff -DMG=Sick Joke  July 16, 2009 10:46 AM
I am a new fan of the sport. But very passionate. I even flew to Spain this year to a see a WSBK race!

Until this year I watched every AMA race and followed it like crazy. Until this year. Way to go Roger, you had a fan who does not even ride a bike!! Just someone who really appreciates these guys riding these rocket ships to the max. Best racing anywhere.

Not anymore. Roger has already all but destroyed sports car with his his joke of a series Grand SHAM. THe ugliest cars, slow etc Amazing drivers, full grids and more cars then attendance!?!?!? No one is watching that series. Not the bubbas, not even when the "great one's son" Earnheardt races.

Now his new "vision" is to dumb down motorcyling in the USA! And the fans are leaving in droves. How does this idiot keep his job? Is the whole point to control or kill of every other series besides bubbaracin?? I am pretty sure these guys worked behind the scenes in Indycar too. Wrecked that good too.

Whatever the motivation, it is obviously wrong. Adopt WSBK rules and promote the series. You do not have to reinvent he wheel!!

But DMG has proven time and again, they listen to know one, so what is the use??

There is still amazing racing going on in WSBK, MOTOGP etc. And hell, I can go to the cottage and have fun instead of wasting any mor money at DMG tracks and watching on tv.
netjustin -Re: Ryno; DMG Staff Car Guys  July 15, 2009 09:00 PM
Why do you disapprove the use of the label car guys? If Fraser, Janson, Edmundson and crew are so passionate about motorcycle racing, as you claim, why have they done so little to preserve the spirit of the sport? Why would anyone passionate about motorcycling force a pace car into the sport? You can't change the past, but if you replace the lightweights who are messing up events, at least there is a fighting chance to have some good racing next year. I hope it doesn't take the a rider through the pace car's rear window to correct this problem.
Willie -Is it all bad?  July 15, 2009 06:59 PM
You know, I actually find it a bit strange that ALL the press and forum writings(at least 99% of the "fans")I find on the subject of DMG are negative. Although I completely agree with them, isn't there anyone who finds the positive in all this? Can anyone direct me to THEIR website? I really gotta see the upside to all this mess, and only then, make my decision.
Steve Eubanks -Want to see good racing?  July 15, 2009 03:23 PM
If you want to see racing the way it should be done go to Miller raceway for the World Superbike race. No dumb ass pace cars, no AMA or DMG just racing the way it should be done. I went this year for the first time and I will go back again and again. Plus you can't beat the in-expensive hotels in Salt Lake City and the beautiful mountains and lake.
Bigguy -Pathetic  July 15, 2009 11:55 AM
DMG is destroying motorcycle racing in this country at an almost unbelievable rate. TV viewership is down, the crowds at the track are down, the equipment is uninteresting and race management is a farce. To top it all off, Roger Edmondson is a waste of skin - but at least he rarely talks to the press anymore. Every time he opens his mouth he says what he thinks, which causes another uproar. Professional motorcycle racing in this country is in deep trouble.
Dave B -Sometime..  July 15, 2009 08:42 AM
American superbike is a joke as DMG has ruined it in less than a year. Something AMA tried to do for many years and couldn't accomplish. I wish WSBK had a racee on the East coast. MotoGp put on a great show at Indy last year in spite of the weather, but no desire to go see a DMG race. At least they haven't messed up Flat Track yet.
benroe -DMG  July 15, 2009 07:48 AM
We don't want frakking NASCAR for motorcycles!! We are motorcyclists!! Get your heads out of your butts and do what WSBK is doing!!
Doug -Sorry,you didn`t see me!  July 15, 2009 06:14 AM
Excellent article!Common-sense decisions for motorcyclists can only come from motorcyclists.There`s enough danger from lardy no-neck drivers of four wheels off the track,without bringing danger onto the track.
Bill Pepoon -DMG  July 14, 2009 09:16 PM
My wife and I left after the Daytona whatever race. What the hell was the deal with the red flag for about 30 minutes? Sure, there was a big cock up in the corkscrew but nobody was hurt. Were they putting together bikes up there for resale or what? I would have loved to see the Superbike race but we were simply tired after a long day at the track. DMG isn't as stupid as the AMA when it comes to racing, but then the AMA set the bar pretty low.
Bruce -Thanks for the insight  July 14, 2009 08:25 PM
What we need is a LeMans start [heh, heh, heh!] and as someone else pointed out, the same classes & rules as WSBK. Anyone can do it, DMB (oops, a Freudian slip! I mean DMG) doesn't own the race tracks, and doesn't have any exclusive contracts w/ WSBK. Heck, I think AHRMA should jump in, coordinating a WSBK round w/ some of their vintage racing to attract a crowd, and show the AMA & DMG just how far up their own backsides their respective heads are... ;)
The brain -Exwracer  July 13, 2009 06:23 PM
You are an imbecile.
The brain -DMG = trash  July 13, 2009 06:19 PM
Steve great review, tell it like it is. DMG = embarrassing pile of crap.
Paul Brown -Disaster  July 13, 2009 11:50 AM
Who cares what the AMA viewership is if DMG has to ruin the sport in the process. Motorcycle Road Racing is NOT NASCAR... Do they not get that 99% of motorcycle racers laugh at everything and anything NASCAR. Their drivers, their commentators and their fans all suck.
Leslie D'Amico -great article  July 12, 2009 02:22 PM
Great article Steve Atlas, still getting comments, is there a way to contact these guys or do they not take constructive criticism like their Daddy NASCAR?
Exwracer -Cut DMG a little slack  July 12, 2009 11:34 AM
OK, race management blew it on this day, but try to take a long view. Altho race mgmt botched this particular race, if DMG results in AMA m/c racing having even 1/100 the viewership of NASCAR, it will be a vindication AMA's decision to sell their roadracing Titanic to DMG. DMG is a very canny group. Time will tell. It's a possibility that DMG, not unaware of the promo benefits of some controversy, was more than willing to have some of the T Hayden "dirty laundry" squabble make it onto TV. Those NASCAR fitsfights a decade ago boosted ratings a lot. To those purists to sniff at the thought of ratings dominating the direction of the sport, ask some old NASCAR driver whether he'd prefer the situation of stock car racing 30 yrs ago, or now. Slam dunk: now is SO much better for them: safer and better paid. Personally, I like the idea of a "M/C racing czar", an anonymous person speaking for a decision by a Corp which is dedicated to making money via boosting TV ratings and attendance. One which does try to (fairly) play with formulas which end up including twins and triples in the race lineup. The previous decades of intra-AMA squabbles and time wasted - was a joke. This is worth a try. For those who bemoan the "good ol' days" of AMA roadracing, the absolutely predictable domination of Mladin and Spies (in the Good ol' Daze) made for some fairly predictable (yaawn) results which did not draw spectators any better than now. The cost for teams who were trying to match the unobtainable parts hiding inside the top engines, was driving out teams, especially in this down economy. Pace Cars: yup, they look odd to me also, but as to the matter of them "not able to keep a safe pace with the bikes", that is pretty irrelevant. Didja ever watch F1? Didja notice that their pace car, going as fast as it can, is a total roadblock for the F1 cars behind, trying to keep their tire temperatures up? Just an opinion of a guy who has watched & participated in the m/c racing scene for......... decades.
a fan -Ryno, their past is irrelevant  July 10, 2009 06:58 PM
Ryno, I have to disagree. I don't care how long they have been around. Their actions with the safety car were inexcusable and incompetent. Full stop. Mistakes of that level are intolerable and show a blatant disregard for rider safety (which is a bit of a theme with these guys, judging by the massive accident at Iowa with Moto ST a couple of years ago when they insisted on racing despite conditions being unsafe). They may have been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean they've been doing a good job for a long time. Edmondson is not known for competent running of the AMA racing scene the last time he was in charge, and Grand-Am is a series with low attendance and an extremely low media profile, and has angered the rest of the NASCAR community with the way it has become a black hole for funds. They attempted to impose a vision which the fans have not wanted, alienated the manufacturers with a poor attitude, and have refused to brook any dissent or alternatives. That is not competent management for motorcycle racing, and does not reflect reality. NASCAR may dominate stock car racing, and perhaps can get away with such an approach, but DMG does not have that position within motorcycling, and has no business attempting to behave in that manner. I hope they are tossed from the sport as soon as possible, as their approach is incompetent at both the safety and business levels...
Randy -Money is the root of all evil  July 10, 2009 06:16 AM
Dmg,imho,is ONLY in interested in go-kart type racing only where all bikes are the same, technology does not matter and product sales promotion is a thousand times more important than riding abilities. Not a sport but marketing product. To achieve that end, the rulebooks are changed to handicap the excellent technologies and reward the weak ones. Thus, amyone can win and be on camera. Thus, advertisers will participate on all bikes. Racing will become more about personalities (like wrestling) instead of ability and technologies. The world loses tech advances but more MONEY is made. Problem is people who watch motorcyle racing are savvy and buy high tech. They are not Nascar familys. They understand it is not fair for an 1125cc expensive motorcycle to compete with inexpensive 600cc bikes and will never cheer or buy the joke. If DMG and Speed want to make money, just go at it like World Superbike and MotoGP and promote. No need to make this an IROC sport. Look at crowd numbers in Europe and wake up. Just my little conspiracy theory. Also, Freddie Spencer is the best american race announcer ever. Another SPEED mistake. Hopefully DMG will sell motorcycle racing. They are clueless.
WLM -Laguna Safety Car  July 9, 2009 12:41 PM
I was there. Cringing as the bikes crested turn one. What pisses me off is the way Colin Fraser attempted to blow things over by saying mistakes will be made before they get the details worked out. There is no excuse for this kind of mistake to be made. Hopefully DMG gets booted and the more efficient AFM takes over racing for AMA. Just a thought... I have also watched WSBK series races and MotoGP series stuff and they both seem to operate quit well without a "safety car". Oh, communications in helmet? Come on, get a clue....jeesh... DMG should stick to what they know: NASCAR (cheesy series that it is).
Ryno -Re: Big Ron  July 9, 2009 11:47 AM
Ron, I really think it's a combination of trying to be perfect under all the watchful eyes of the fans and critics and also just some bad decisions, we all make them. (Some more than others though) And don't get me wrong, I'm as passionate as anyone else about the racing, but I've worked for Janson and I can tell you this, I'D HATE TO BE THE GUY (OR GUYS) WHO MADE THE MISTAKES, because being at the end of his rants is not a comfortable place to be. When I worked with Supercross, Jansen was there with Clear Channel as VP of Ops, and he was very hard on people but I always repsected him because of his passion and desire for perfection. And he's by no means a NASCAR guy at all. As for programming, man that's a complaint that we all have. Supercross fought it forever, but the level of interest needs to improve before AMA finds a better home on TV. I can say that I do appreciate the AMA Primetime stuff, and would hate to see it go away. (Remember Two Wheel Tuesday and the days when SPEED was all motorcycles!) And displacement, well that's another issue we'll have to see worked out. Having an 1125 running against a 600 is, well kind of like having a 450 four stroke racing against the 250 two stroke! And we all see what happened there...lol Ron, sorry I don't have answers, and again I never meant to argue with some bonehead moves that were made, but in the end I'm glad that at least you guys care enough about the racing to say something about it, and I hope we all remain fans of the sport...
Big Ron -Re: Ryno - DMG Staff  July 9, 2009 11:34 AM
No worries, thanks for educating those of us who have only been following the sport for a few years. Question, Since these guys have been involved in motorcycle racing for a number of years to what do you attribute these blunders? Is it pressure from the top or are they experimenting with formats that have made NASCAR a marketing success? They dont appear to understand the audience; Motorcycle fans watch the race; NASCAR fans get drunk, pick fights and chase woman. I like having the different powerplant types in the Daytona Sportbike Class however I think that they need to limit the twins to 800cc and the triples to 700cc. This would force Buell to make a larger twin in order to be competetive in the superbike class. Aside from safety issues my biggest beef is the program scheduling; 9 PM on Saturday night is not ideal.
Ryno -DMG Staff  July 9, 2009 11:03 AM
I can only agree with most of your comments on the blunders of the race this past weekend. However, when you all comment on the staff being NASCAR guys, and Marks' comment that it should be run my motorcyclists and everyone referring to them as 'car guys'...do you have any idea who Janson, Edmundson and the others are who are currently running the program for DMG??? These guys are life-long moto enthusiasts who've been involved in racing (motorcycles) for decades. So, although I agree about the blunders, stop and do your homework on the staff before commenting. It wasn't too long ago when I heard nothing but the same complaints coming out about the AMA, not DMG. Sorry, my 2 cents, not defending actions, just defending the experience and passion of those trying to run this show...
Big Ron -Michael Jordan - Please save the Sport: buyout DMG  July 9, 2009 10:40 AM
Here is a thought; Michael Jordan please buy out DMG's contract. If you dont personally have the money use some of your connections. He is actually a motorcycle enthusiast having his own racing team which he would obviously have to sell. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
Frak -Reality  July 9, 2009 10:27 AM
IMHO, the very term 'racing' implies that the competition suggest that the contestant should be going as fast as they are able. Having DMG rules dumb down how fast thier contestants CAN go, just like they do in A$$car is NOT racing. I applaud Mladin's dominance... sick of watching him win? Then go beat him! Its absolutely the wrong thing to do, to handicap contestants just because others cant hang!!! DMG needs to just go away, & admit this failed experiment is hugely tragic. Fans & Racers alike were all much better off before the DMG's involvement.
Wayne -DMG - Too much of a Bad Thing  July 9, 2009 08:55 AM
I was critical of DMG's plans from the beginning, but I'll admit to mellowing on the subject earlier this year. When I was able to watch the racing (that is, when I could find it - or bear to wait for it, on SPEED), I enjoyed it. The racing IS closer, and I found myself even liking the Sportbike format (Buell misstep excepted). But this pace car nonsense at Laguna is only the latest in a series of block-headed miscues that show AMA/DMG is not ready for prime time. Botching the Miller contract and missing out on the greatest promo opportunity ever with Spies back and burning up World Superbikes was my first real indication that the heads controlling DMG were empty. The series has been rolling downhill since. Now, after the Laguna fiasco, I think it's time for heads to roll and things to change, or else DMG should return the rights to AMA and give someone cleverer a chance to make it work.
Kirk -Sad state of American Roadracing  July 9, 2009 08:30 AM
I really had high hope for DMG when the season started. It's a shame that the "car" guys can't figure out motorcycle racing. It won't suprise me when the press release happens that says "All factory support stops in AMA roadracing". It won't suprise me when our top 5 Superbike racers and some of the Daytona guys leave for WSB and other series. It's definitely not going to suprise me when fans quit showing up for races. DMG- You guys need to get the following people all in the same room at the same time and hammer out some things: Kevin Schwantz, Doug Chandler, Scott Russell, Kenny Roberts Sr, All of the Hayden boys, Mat Mladin, Jake Zemke and Jamie Hacking. These guys need to sit down with you and explain how "Professional" motorcycle roadracing is supposed to take place. Not about the bikes and the technical rules. About safety and how you are not communicating with the teams. You guys clearly could have killed racers this past weekend. Get your heads out of your butts and listen to your meal tickets.
AEG -I'll turn it back on when DMG is gone  July 9, 2009 07:51 AM
AMA still has a racing series? All I've seen is some NASCAR-esque charlie foxtrot run on two wheels. It's hard not to think the Roger Edmonson is just getting revenge rather than trying to improve the series. I don't really miss watching AMA. With WSBK and MotoGP as exciting as they are, I don't need another series. When the AMA wakes up (hopefully before someone ends up splattered on the pace car) and DMG exits, I'll start watching again. Mat - you're wasting your time with these idiots.
benroe -wtf  July 9, 2009 07:37 AM
Can the AMA not stand back in and break the contract with the DMG. They have no understanding of motorcycle racing, and they are not on track to get it right. Why couldn't they just copy and paste the WSBK rule book on the AMA series? This sucks. And now I have to try to stay up till 2am to watch the rest of the races. One more season like this and I am going to have to give up on the AMA scene!!!
Old Canuck -memory hole  July 9, 2009 07:37 AM
Some grayer heads might remember when emergency vehicles were commonly allowed on track while racing continued to get to fallen riders. If I recall, this was stopped pretty much world-wide when some racers were injured or killed when they ran in the back of an ambulance. I'm guessing a legal liability/insurance cover-their-backsides issue? Fraser should remember this, because he has been around racing longer than me. Many AMA followers may not know Fraser was instrumental in starting the first iteration of R.A.C.E, a breakaway series in protest of the FIM-sanctioned CMA, 'way back in the 80's. He currently owns/runs the non-FIM CDN Superbike series. And he is now a major player in the FIM-sanctioned AMA-DMG series. But no conflict of interest there... In any case, as far as mixing cars/truck and bikes on a hot track, he should know better, no excuse for again attempting what experience shows is just plain dangerous.
Kelly -DMG  July 9, 2009 07:12 AM
I've been a big fan of roadracing for a number of years It appals me what the DMG has done to the AMA in a years time. It's unsafe as clearly apprent from Laguna, TV coverage is almost nonexsistant, tape delys, and then it's hard to find when they are going to air the race. I know they can't turn back now but some changes need to be made and quick before we start loosing some of the best riders in the world to injury or to other race series.They have already lost fans and sponsers, and that's who pays the bills. Thank fully we have MotoGP and SBK which are both having very exciting years.
Big Ron -Matt Mladin  July 9, 2009 06:30 AM
I have never been a big fan of Matt Mladin primarily because I have always rooted for the under dog; both rider and manufacturer (Hacking and Kawi or anyone not on a Suzuki). That has all changed this year; they changed the rules to beat him and he still wins. The biggest reason I am in his corner is the fact that he stands up the the AMA and DMG which potentially cost him a championship last year but he did it anyway. The thing is he is going to win another title this year and he could just sit back, relax and forget about the nonsense, afterall he is gonna get his; but he is not. Matt is saying what needs to be said and there is nothing they can do about it because afterall he is the man. It is a shame he is not in WSB, but I understand that family comes first.
Guy -Sorry Steve...  July 9, 2009 04:33 AM
Edit below post, Steve not Adam for the writer. Sorry.
Guy -Pace Car Marketing Ploy...  July 9, 2009 04:29 AM
I believe that DMG's pace car is just another sad attempt at a marketing ploy. In auto racing, manufactures pay big money to have their vehicles put out there as the "Official" Pace Car of the race. (Bold colors and Big Stickers, much like a moving billboard.) So I'm betting that this is just another angle for them to milk the AMA race series for all that it is worth, not rider safety. Our dollars, as viewers, is chump change compared to sponsorship money. If they can get manufactures, of products from soap to insurance companies to buy into the series, they will make a lot more money. Kudos Adam on this article, sometimes you really impress me. And I'm an old stick in the mud, so the fact that I'm actually posting says a lot.
adam -pace car  July 8, 2009 11:23 PM
Hm what about a 911 turbo or a pace car like that ? I think for a car like that it wouldn't be too hard to keep the pace down a bit but not too much to let the tires cool down dramatically .... it works in F1 and I can't see why it shouldn't work in bike racing when it is done properly.
thewall -It's well past time for DMG to disappear  July 8, 2009 07:56 PM
Everyone else has already said what needs to be said about DMG not just making a laughing stock spectacle of US road racing but also seriously endangering the lives of the racers. It is a pathetic embarrassment to the US representation of the sport. I have nothing but sympathy for the riders who have to participate in this fiasco. AMA and DMG I hope you are listening. You cannot turn motorcycle road racing into NASCAR and expect the current fan base to enjoy it. You will lose them. And you will not replace them with new fans just because you put it in a "format" (NASCAR) you think they can relate to. Motorcycle riders, track day participants, and racers follow motorcycle racing and nearly no one else. They are educated about the sport and you can't introduce ridiculous rules and race procedures and expect them to just go along with it. They will call you on your bull sh!t. Figure this out and get it together. Steve, great article.
Ian S -About the pace car  July 8, 2009 07:32 PM
I think that, if done properly, the pace car can work well in bike racing. They've adopted it in BSB and when was the last time you heard anybody moaning about that series? However, they use a Porsche driven by a professional race driver and he's not hanging about when they are behind him. The real reason behind the pace car though is television. All of the BSB races are televised (usually live) and using the car rather than stopping the race allows them to adhere to tv schedules better. The total crap that is AMA/DMG is not televised live (if aired at all) so there's no reason they can't just use flagging.
Roberto -Pace car is a stupid idea.  July 8, 2009 07:25 PM
The pace car is a joke and the riders are clearly unhappy. I was optimistic when DMG took over but now I am fed up. At least they finally had live race coverage so we could see their screw up. On the other hand, why is it so unfair for Tommy Hayden have a ride through penalty? He delayed the race start by almost 5 minutes singlehandedly (in a race that was already behind schedule.)
chris -DMG contact info  July 8, 2009 07:07 PM
Is there a method to contact them? everybody is sounding off on forums all over the intraweb but i'd love to shoot them an email. with link upon link of these conversations. they're truly failing as an organization.
Bryan -DMG Ruining American Motorcycle Racing  July 8, 2009 06:23 PM
I was at Laguna and almost saw Mat Mladin die at the beginning of the Superbike race, my girlfriend ruined her signed Bostrom poster because she dropped her Coke thinking Mladin's bike was going to rocket into the back of the Kill Car at Turn 1. This crap is rediculous and someone should stop it. Roger and his retard NASCAR reject buddies should all be charged with attempted murder!!! I don't like seeing Mladin win every race, but that's no reason to try and kill the guy! This DMG garbage is discouraging alot of up and coming racers like myself from even trying to race in AMA, why try and race in a series that doesn't even like racing!?!?! And the Speed Channel, please, NASCAR channel is more like it. I wish NatGEO would pick up MotoGP, WSBK, AMA, and BSB! Although, I understand why European bosses don't want our riders, we look like idiots! And Buell, let's just say, I want to kick them over every time I see one, they may not be cheating intentionally cheating, but they're not telling DMG to stop bending the rules for them. If they want to be serious about racing, they should be and play by the same rules, otherwise, just keep lying about your bike's performance in commercials. I am just so tired of these low-forheaded ape men running OUR race series! Someone from overseas, please step in and run this like a professional race series. And rolling starts, really, why don't you just make the manufactuers race all the oval NASCAR tracks!
Leslie D'Amico -??????  July 8, 2009 04:58 PM
NASCAR ruined stock car racing in this country, now a couple of rejects from the AMA align themselves with NASCAR, call themselves the DMG and are going to do the same for motorcycle racing? Thank you Steve Atlas and Mat Mladin for having the balls to call a spade a spade, most of the print media types in this country are jumping on the bandwagon and supporting these clowns, Edmonson, Fraser, etc.
Alan -DMG/Speed Channel  July 8, 2009 04:32 PM
Big Ron is exactly right on the money about the Speed Channel. DMG better get it's act together before someone gets killed by their stupidity.
Socal Moe -Shame!!!  July 8, 2009 04:05 PM
AMA was the warm up Band for the real racing by Moto GP. AMA is the step child of Two Wheel Racing. I was there for the weekend, I can tell you, as soon as any Moto GP activity was over, the stands cleared. Shame my beloved sport is being ruined!!!
Max Frisson -My new favorite quote  July 8, 2009 03:24 PM
NASCAR has become the racing equivalent of Professional Wrestling and I'll add that makes Daytona SuperBike the Roller Derby of motorsports
Max Frisson -Trying  July 8, 2009 03:16 PM
OK, i hate the rolling start - more than anything, it's ruining the show. I blame one man who I genuinely believe does NOT have the best interests of American racing fans at heart! Roger Edmunson has been trying to re-invent motorcycle racing for two decades. He almost Bankrupted the AMA with a lawsuit. His limited class racing [horsepower limits, strange combination classes, ect] is in effect dumbing down racing. What fan cares if you make racing cheaper for the teams? I love MotopGP, always have followed Formula 1, the two most expensive motorsports on the planet. Why? Precisely because the unlimited budgets brought out the trickest and best. One of his bespoke goals was to make racing more inclusive. World Superbike has 7 factories competing. The new BMW and Aprilia Teams are coming on strong. Next year MV will be back, so they say [that's now Harley/Buell] and that leaves only Triumph out of WSB. All they have to do is crank out a 1100 Triple and all the majors are in the game. How much more inclusive could it be? Wait until the 450 Single Class opens up on spec bikes [by Buell???] that will be total club racing.
James NomadRip -Jail Colin  July 8, 2009 03:07 PM
I have been supportive of rule changes and what the overall vision of the DMG has been for the most part. Some of the decisions they have made could have waited, perhaps. Or even tossed out as bad ideas. I wanted to see competitive racing as much as anyone, and for the most part, the past few years have been boring in the Superbike class, specifically. But these dumb expletives are going to kill someone with stupid ideas like this, and I have friends out there on those tracks. Someone should be in jail for being this damn stupid.
Big Ron -DMG, AMA and SPEED Channel are the anti-christ  July 8, 2009 02:52 PM
Steve, Thanks for the article. I missed the race because same day coverage at 1 AM isnt really primetime. The scheduling at 1 AM makes it very apparent that we are being punished for complaining about AMA Primetime format and schedule. I dont know a motorcyclist that is a NASCAR fan or vice versa which is great, 31 flavors. I would agree with the one comment that DMG is trying to ruin american road racing to reduce competition. The funny thing is now they are doing standing restarts, go figure. Someone with money please start your own television network dedicated to motorcycles whether its motocross, roadracing, snowmobiles, stunting, etc...., Michael Jordan are you listening. The SPEED channel is terrible, there focus is not on racing, performance or SPEED. They produce these pathetic reality TV shows; Wrecked, Bull Run, Pinks, Drag High, etc... And who wants to watch a bunch of rich old guys buy cars at an auction... WOW thats entertaining and has so much to do with performance vehicles. WHAT are they SMOKING???? The motorcycle manufacturers to inlclude the Europeans need to pull out and start there own series in America; then Buell can win every weekend.
MTGR -DMG: Delusional Motorsports Group  July 8, 2009 02:49 PM
In retrospect it should not be surprising. Everyone claims NASCAR mng is so smart but the truth is they were a failing series on the verge of death until American Open Wheel Racing, which used to be far more popular and respected, got greedy and stupid and split their series into two adversarial factions causing it to implode. Apparently the ability to be the only survivor and fill a void is not the same as the ability to professionally run a race series. NASCAR has become the racing equivalent of Professional Wrestling and it looks like the fate of Superbike will be even worse. PS, SPEED, please just start a NASCAR only channel and return this one to the fans of real racing who built it from the start.
Steve R -WTF  July 8, 2009 02:31 PM
Has DMG attempted to provide any type of explanation for the Chaos or what they are trying to accomplish? I was in the turn 11 Grandstands and after Moto GP had Concluded there were hundreds of empty spots around us. I did stay until the end of the day and it was crazy to wtach it all unfold right in front of us. Overall it was a great three days at the track right up until the end.
Isaac -Amatuer Hour  July 8, 2009 02:26 PM
The pace car incident may have been THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENT I have seen on television since Janet Jackson's boob came out at the Superbowl. But this is worse because it lasted like five minutes. The true shame is that the AMA has sent amazing talent to WSBK & MotoGP, but this makes Spies, Hayden, Edwards look like total anomalies from this "third world, second class" AMA/DMG organization. I don't many hardcore motorcycle / NASCAR fans. Someone needs to tell AMA/DMG these are two different types of people. I was so disappointed. Mladin and Pegram had the best race of the year a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to see if Pegram and Mladin would give us a Japanese-Italian, inline four - V-twin, race for first place again. When I saw Pegram go down, I almost turned the TiVO off. I didn't care after that point. Can another cable station show WERA? Someone tell DMG that motorcycles and cars are apples and oranges.
cggunnersmate -DMG  July 8, 2009 01:48 PM
I'm beginning to think that DMG is intentionally trying to run AMA and road racing into the ground forcing SPEED to drop what little coverage we even get. Then SPEED will be ALL NASCAR ALL THE TIME (it's nearly there already). That way driving more people away from watching motorcycle racing and hoping they'll turn to NASCAR to fill the void and drive up DMG's stocks.
Frak! -DMG  July 8, 2009 01:47 PM
Can't these dumb@$$'s go ruin something else like the home shopping network... ?
Thomas -Laguna Seca AMA Pro Road Racing  July 8, 2009 01:15 PM
Yeah, leave it to a bunch of folks who can't make right turns to run motorcycle racing. Absolutely brilliant.
Johnny L. -lost for words  July 8, 2009 12:59 PM
At last finally, somebody wrote about how stupid this DMG and AMA run this series, thanks Steve. As I said before this people (DMG) don't belong managing motorcycle races. There nothing but a Nascrap people who doesn't know how to go right (left turns only). I don't like Mladin, but what he said I agree with him 110%. "I’m not sure what it’s going to take to understand that the pace car doesn’t belong in motorcycle racing. This isn’t NASCAR we’re not having a cup of tea in the race car." - Mat Mladin. Need to say more. Hey DMG please read this articles if you know how to read (Profane).
Chris -DMG is amazing  July 8, 2009 12:51 PM
NASCAR ruined Speed Channel now it's truly ruining a honest professional motor sport. You're right, AMA was awful and I never joined them because of that but this is amazing and embarrassing. At this point I'm kind of glad it happened on the world stage and hope all the riders get foreign contracts, at least we'll be able to watch them live. Remember MTV? They used to show music. Speed should now be called STV. "F" them all.
Mark 2 -What a joke  July 8, 2009 12:46 PM
The rule-bending to keep Buell competitive is bad enough, now DMG may well kill riders before they are done running AMA road racing into the ground.
Andrew -What the hell was that?  July 8, 2009 12:24 PM
Bravo!! Thank you for not following the line of crap that DMG has been putting out and a lot of other writers just spout word for word. I to thought last year it couldn't get any worse but I live in Florida and spent three days camping at the track this year as well as Barber and i can honestly say DMG should just "GO LEFT"! They are ruining this series beyond belief. We are now the laughing stock of the motorcycle racing world. Thanks DMG your the best! I have to side with Matt Mladin and just pray no one dies.
Jeff Berry -Remember when AMA racing was...  July 8, 2009 12:09 PM
..actually considered right up there with MotoGP and World SBK?! Remember when you could actually watch American road racing on TV, and not have to wait until the middle of the night for it to air? This sucks. It's one thing for these NASCAR-rooted boys to implement rules that suspiciously seem to give Buell an unfair advantage. That was bad, but was more sadly expected than anything. Now we're talking about atrocious race management that could end up getting someone killed, and take American road racing with it. That's the scary part. Thanks for the inside look at exactly how bad things have become, Steve. Hopefully with enough light being shed on the situation, some changes for the better will eventually have to be made.
kpaul -Good Job  July 8, 2009 12:06 PM
Thanks for having the guts to call it like it is. It was joke on Sunday. I still hate the Daytona class. Personally I wish they would go to two only classes Supersport and Superbike (like BSB and WSBK) Super sport would include 600 inline 4s, up to 700 cc triples and 800 cc twins. Super bike would include 1000 inline 4s 1100 triples and up to 1200 cc twins. Buell would have to race with the big boys. AMA Super sport used to most competitive and fun to watch. Now Supersport is a preschool race that never gets on TV. If they want a development class have a 250 cc or 500 cc class. Fortunately MotoGP, World Super bike and Super sport are fun to watch this year. AMA used to be my favorite series. No pace cars. No running starts. Standing starts are exciting to watch. Mladin said if the riders speak out they will be punished. That's a shame.
Mark -DMG  July 8, 2009 11:58 AM
It was difficult to tell exactly what was going on from where we were viewing the race above turn 6, but it certainly looked like a major screw up. And seeing the pace car on the track was truly frightening. I knew from the start that DMG would ruin the AMA. This sport needs to be run by motorcyclists, not sales and marketing douchebags schooled in NASCAR's sell-out tactics. Motorcyclists are a different breed than the average NASCAR fan. And it's a safe bet that most Motorcyclisits don't even like NASCAR or anything about how that circus is run. Great article, Steve.
Joe -disaster  July 8, 2009 11:55 AM
I only wonder what they would have said if someone had hit the Crash Car. I'm still wondering why they think a Car or Safety Bike is WSB and MotoGP seem to do fine with their flags... not to mention standing starts. I'm beginning to hope that the AMA is losing some of its member base as a result of the mismanagement that DMG has brought to the series.
Ben -Good Review  July 8, 2009 11:23 AM
You helped explain alot behind the scenes which was hard to see on Speed Channel. There is no way Tommy should have been charged with a false start on a botched race start. Good job to Nicky and Roger for defending their brother! To Tommy and all the other racers: I hope you read this web site. We support you guys 100%. You the man too, Steve-O.