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Feb 17, 2001

AMA Pro Racing Board Behind Change In Pro Thunder Minimum Weight Rules, After Avalanche Of Protests From Riders

AMA Pro Racing staffers were directed to reverse new minimum weight requirements that would have guaranteed that only the Ducati 748 and certain works Buells could have been competitive in the Pro Thunder class.<BR><BR>Under the 2001 season weight rules announced in December, Suzuki SV650s and various single-cylinder machines would have been forced to carry as much as 70-100 pounds of ballast, despite already having a displacement and horsepower disadvantage.<BR><BR>Riders who competed on non-Ducatis in 2000 protested the rule change vehemently, and their comments, publicized by Roadracing World and roadracingworld.com, caught the eye of several members of the AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors.<BR><BR>The Directors, already unhappy with the rules-making procedures used by AMA Pro Racing Director of Competition Merrill Vanderslice, ordered that the minimum weight rule be dropped for machines other than Ducati 748s and Buells.<BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing issued a Competition Bulletin, dated February 9, announcing the removal of the minimum weight for those machines.<BR><BR>A key factor in the decision was Directors seeing the raw input from riders, several of whom are long-time AMA members, instead of relying upon an interpretation of that input presented to the Board by AMA Pro Racing staffers. The Board's interest in seeing the raw input stemmed from the comments published by Roadracing World and roadracingworld.com.