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Feb 15, 2001

AMA Makes Official What Roadracing World Reported Five Weeks Ago: Three AMA Pro Thunder Rounds Go To WERA Series. Plus Weight Restrictions Removed For Non-748s.

A February 14 statement from AMA Pro Racing made official what Roadracingworld.com reported on January 9, mainly that the AMA Pro Thunder series would "expand" over into WERA Championship events.<BR><BR>The AMA's release quotes Buell Motor Company chairman and Chief Technical Officer Erik Buell as saying, "We believe the 2001 AMA Pro Thunder class is a perfect place for riders and teams to compete for a prestigious national championship."<BR><BR>The release goes on to describe the class as being a "grass-roots type program that prepares riders for the rigors of a full-time professional racing career, the Buell Pro Thunder series will transition to a prominent role as a part of select WERA Championship events." The release says that this addition of three rounds of the Pro Thunder series to WERA events brings the Pro Thunder total up to 11 races, but that does not factor the probable loss of the Willow Springs round. <BR><BR>Just as we informed readers more than a month ago, Pro Thunder will have rounds at the following WERA National Challenge series events:<BR><BR>6/29-7/1 Portland Int'l Raceway, Portland, OR<BR><BR>8/3-5 Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point, WV<BR><BR>10/23-28 Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA<BR><BR>The complete Pro Thunder schedule now reads:<BR><BR>3/8-11 Daytona Int'l Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL<BR><BR>5/4-6 Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, CA<BR><BR>6/15-17 New Hampshire Int'l Speedway, Loudon, NH<BR><BR>6/29-7/1 Portland Int'l Raceway, Portland, OR<BR><BR>7/5-8 Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, CA<BR><BR>7/27-29 Brainerd Int'l Raceway, Brainerd, MN<BR><BR>8/3-5 Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point, WV<BR><BR>8/24-26 Pike's Peak Int'l Raceway, Fountain, CO<BR><BR>9/14-16 Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, CA*<BR><BR>9/28-30 Virginia Int'l Raceway, Alton, VA<BR><BR>10/25-28 Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA<BR><BR>*Subject to cancellation<BR><BR>And in a surprising reversal, AMA Pro Racing officials have responded to input from competitors by throwing out a new minimum weight rule that would have eliminated any chance for machines other than Ducati 748s or factory Buells to be competitive.<BR><BR>The minimum weight requirement has been removed for unlimited displacement four-stroke, single-cylinder machines and 600cc-850cc, non-desmodromic, four-stroke liquid-cooled twin-cylinder bikes. All other machines will still be required to weigh 380 pounds. This change is for the entire series.<BR><BR>Points will be awarded at the WERA Pro Thunder rounds per AMA rules, but only competitors' nine best finishes will count toward the AMA Pro Thunder Championship. <BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing license holders will need no extra license to compete in the WERA Pro Thunder rounds, but WERA license holders must also be an AMA member to run in the Pro Thunder class. WERA licenses will not be honored at AMA National rounds.<BR><BR>The entry fee for Pro Thunder will be the same at all 11 rounds at $120, but racers can pre and post enter the WERA Pro Thunder rounds on WERA entry forms. <BR><BR>Gridding at WERA Pro Thunder rounds will be according to one timed qualifying session with WERA's AMB electronic scoring system, and a maximum of 44 riders will be allowed on the grid. <BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing technical standards and rules will be enforced at WERA rounds. <BR><BR>Sponsorship compliance will be recorded on AMA forms at all rounds. <BR><BR>At WERA rounds, secondary rider insurance coverage will be from WERA's K & K Insurance policy. <BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing rules concerning penalties, protests, appeals, red flags, re-starts, finishes, and whether a rider who crashes during the race may continue without re-teching (with exceptions) will be enforced at WERA rounds.<BR><BR>The Pro Thunder purse at WERA rounds will be $2833 per race, paying $600 for first, $500 for second, $400 for third, $300 for fourth, $250 for fifth, $225 for sixth, $200 for seventh, $160 for eighth, $115 for ninth, and $83 for 10th. The purse is being posted by AMA Pro Racing.<BR><BR>For more information call AMA Pro Racing's Rob King at (614) 856-1900 or visit the AMA website at www.amaproracing.com and click on the Rulebook and Bulletins link.<BR><BR>WERA can be contacted at (770) 720-5010, FAX (770) 720-5015, www.wera.com, e-mail wera@wera.com.