American road racing has been simmering with rumors that former AMA and Grand Prix champion Wayne Rainey would start a new US racing series. Those reports have been confirmed by a press release issued by the AMA, which announces it will sanction the new MotoAmerica series. Initial rumors painted a Rainey-led series backed by Dorna/FIM, which would rival the AMA Pro Racing series. Instead the new series will be sanctioned by both the AMA and the FIM. It appears MotoAmerica will replace AMA Pro Racing, as the AMA has “re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights for professional motorcycle road racing in America” from the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG).
Managing the commercial interests of the MotoAmerica series will be the KRAVE Group. Based out of Costa Mesa, California, the KRAVE Group partnership includes several experienced racing operatives, the most prominent being, of course, Rainey. Responsibilities taken over by the KRAVE group include selling sponsorships, securing tracks and creating schedules. No details on class structures or rules are listed, but the PR states “classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.” Read the full press release from the AMA below.
UPDATE: AMA Pro Racing issued a brief press release (added to bottom of this post) clarifying the DMG's relationship with AMA Pro Racing. It states the transfer control to the AMA and KRAVE Group extends only for the road racing series and will take effect at the end of the 2014 finale in New Jersey (Sept. 13-14). The release goes on to state the DMG "will continue to sanction AMA Pro Flat Track, Motocross and Hillclimb." – MotoUSA Ed
American Motorcyclist Association to sanction MotoAmerica's professional road racing series in North America
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association has announced that it will sanction MotoAmerica, a new North American road racing series. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time MotoGP champion, Wayne Rainey.
MotoAmerica will promote and manage the commercial aspects of MotoAmerica, which will be sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. FIM North America is the North American Continental Union of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the international body for motorcycle sport.
The KRAVE Group is a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based organization that includes Rainey, the three-time 500cc World Champion (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two-time AMA Superbike Champion (1983, 1987), Chuck Aksland, a former racer and 20-year manager of Team Roberts who most recently served as Vice President of Motor Sport Operations at Circuit of The Americas, Terry Karges, a former motorsports marketing executive and team owner who spent 17-years at Roush Performance before being named Executive Director of the Petersen Museum, and Richard Varner, a motorcycle manufacturer, energy sector entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman.
The KRAVE (Karges, Rainey, Aksland, Varner) Group owns commercial rights to the MotoAmerica Series, and will award AMA and FIM North America No. 1 plates to series class champions. The group will sell sponsorships, develop other commercial relationships for the series, secure tracks, create the calendar, process crew and media credentials and have responsibility for fan engagement.
"If you are an amateur or professional motorcycle road racer in America, if you are a fan of road racing or if you are a company that does business in this industry, this is an exciting day," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Our goal has always been to entrust the promoting and commercial rights for professional racing to a talented, dedicated, well-capitalized professional entity, and the KRAVE Group certainly offers all that and more."
Rainey, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, thanked the AMA for facilitating the acquisition.
"The AMA was instrumental in this deal coming together, serving as negotiator and mediator at all points of discussion," Rainey said. "We appreciate the efforts of Rob Dingman throughout the process."
The Ohio-based AMA, the world's premier motorcycle advocacy group, will staff officials at each round of the professional series and develop an enforcement, appeal and rider license procedure. The AMA will be responsible for issuing professional road racing licenses for the series.
MotoAmerica, in consultation with the AMA, will develop classes, the rules of competition and event procedures. While details of the rulebook are still in development, classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.
"The structure of our agreement with the AMA serves the goal of developing riders to be successful on the world stage," Rainey said. "It allows a framework that supports advancement from youth competition to novice, from novice to Pro-Am, from Pro-Am to National Championship contention and, for the best of the best, an opportunity to race for a world title."
The AMA, as the U.S. affiliate of the FIM, sanctions FIM-affiliated events in the United States. The AMA, along with the Canadian Motorcycle Association, administers FIM North America, which sanctions continental-level series and championship events in North America. The AMA also sanctions amateur motorcycle competition in America, a role the AMA has fulfilled since it was established in 1924.
"The AMA's roles as FIM affiliate and amateur sanctioning body make it a critical piece to establishing a clear progression for America's road racing community," Rainey said. "We're eager to build a fair, exciting and commercially viable professional road racing series not just for today's stars, but for those who will stand on top of the podium for years to come."
Dingman added: "The MotoAmerica/KRAVE Group has shown throughout the entire process that they have the best interests of the AMA and its members in mind. They not only accepted financial responsibility for the series, but the relationship requires the MotoAmerica Series to sanction its events with the AMA."
As part of the agreement, the AMA has re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in America from Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), which had purchased those rights from the AMA in 2008. DMG has operated the series for the last seven years and is no longer going to be the promoter of the series.
UPDATE Sept. 3 2014 2:30 p.m. PST
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 3, 2014) - The following is a statement from AMA Pro Racing on the future of the professional motorcycle road racing discipline:
"Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) confirms the transfer of sanctioning, operational, promotional and commercial rights for professional motorcycle road racing to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and KRAVE Group. Following the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sept. 13-14, DMG no longer will conduct and promote the professional road racing discipline. The company will continue to sanction AMA Pro Flat Track, Motocross and Hillclimb."