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Jan 9, 2001

AMA Pro Thunder Champion Nash Condemns AMA Decision To Run Pro Thunder Races With WERA National Challenge Series

AMA Pro Thunder Champion Jeff Nash condemned an AMA decision to run at least three AMA Pro Thunder races with the WERA National Challenge Series in 2001.

In a phone interview with Roadracing World, Nash said "You go AMA racing to go AMA Pro racing. I don't see the point of going to WERA races to do AMA racing. I feel it is definitely a step backwards for the class, and I'm surprised and disappointed yet again.

"I've tried to have an open forum, open communication with them at the AMA the whole time and I've not heard a reponse," continued Nash. "Nobody has ever called me back. It shows how interested they are.

"I've had many calls from guys in the Pro Thunder ranks and everyone is very disheartened with how we've been treated, the whole lack of communication and lack of respect for the privateers.

"It's very typical that nothing been discussed with us and no great research has gone into any kind of decision that's been made. It's been done totally in-house without any input from anybody in the class, as far as I can make out. The most basic thing is that you don't even get called back. It's just a matter of respect, as in a business situation; the basic professional aspect of returning a phone call, can't even be upheld by the AMA.

"I don't think (AMA Director Of Professional Competition) Merrill Vanderslice has any professionalism. The whole program, the whole emphasis is to look after 15 factory superbike riders and screw the rest of us. They forget that the AMA Pro Racing circuit is made up of 400 totally keen privateers who spend every moment they can and every cent they can racing motorcycles, purely for the love of the sport. My earnings for the year, including Championship bonus, totalled $10,780 for winning an AMA Championship, which wouldn't cover my tire bill.

"If I had anything positive to say I'd like to say it, but there being no sort of forum or lines of communication open, there's really nothing positive to say about the whole thing," concluded Nash. "It's been totalitarian bulls--t, really. The Russian Motorcycle Association, as per Joseph Stalin. There's nothing good there."