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Sep 26, 2012

AMA Pro Classes Likely To Support MotoGP and World Superbike Events At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, And AMA Pro May Race Alone At Miller Motorsports Park (Updated)

AMA Pro road racers Blake Young (79), Ben Bostrom (23), Geoff May (99) and Danny Eslick (69) in the corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca earlier this year. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
Late last week FIM officials released the provisional 2013 MotoGP World Championship calendar, which includes consecutive events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (July 19-21) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (August 16-18) as well as a To Be Confirmed date in April that could be filled by the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca immediately confirmed its MotoGP date with a press release, which it followed up with another press release announcing that the FIM Superbike World Championship would come to the classic road course over the next three years, beginning on September 27-29, 2013.

Those announcements quickly caused AMA Pro Road Racing participants at Homestead-Miami Speedway to ask: Which event are we going to race at?

The answer is both, if Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca gets its way.

"We've had discussions," with AMA Pro Racing, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell told Tuesday, "but we have not actually solidified anything yet. What we want to do is bring a different show for MotoGP than we're bringing for World Superbike. That's our goal."

What that means is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca would like to host different AMA Pro Racing classes at each event.

"That would be ideal," said Campbell.

It isn't clear how splitting the classes over two events at the track near Salinas, California could affect costs for participating teams.

The future of AMA Pro Racing at Miller Motorsports Park is also unclear. The track hosted World Superbike with AMA Pro classes in support in 2008, on the weekend after Memorial Day; the track hosted World Superbike and World Supersport in 2009 and 2010, with the event moved to the Memorial Day weekend with races on Monday for 2010. In 2011 and 2012 AMA Pro classes again supported World Superbike with races on Memorial Day Monday. The event has frequently been plagued by weather ranging from very high temperatures to freezing rain, high winds and even snow in the surrounding area; rain thwarted recent attempts to boost ticket sales by hosting night-time outdoor concerts on Saturday and Sunday of the event weekend.

In an interview at Miller Motorsports Park during the 2012 event, Infront Motor Sports CEO Paolo Flammini told Roadracing World that the World Superbike series had a contract with the track through 2013. Last week, World Superbike spokesman Julian Thomas said that the series would not return to Miller Motorsports Park in 2013. The reasonable conclusion is that the change was related to the financial performance of the event.

Informed sources say that the Tooele, Utah track may host a stand-alone GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Race event in the summer of 2013. Changing to a less-expensive series and moving to a different time of year could boost ticket sales and improve the event's financial performance.

AMA Pro Road Racing officials at Homestead-Miami Speedway would not comment on 2013 series plans; they are expected to announce a 2013 race schedule on October 8, during the 2012-season awards banquet in New Orleans.
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