Jun 15, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>AMA riders will not ride in the rain at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire despite the recent application of traction sealer, and some are suggesting that the track be taken off the AMA schedule entirely.<BR><BR>"We're not going to," said AMA Superbike Operations Manager Ron Barrick Friday morning when asked if the AMA will run races in the rain at NHIS. "The track is aware and is going to work with us. We're going to stay as long as we can to run the race. It it's Saturday, we'll try to run the race on Sunday. If it's Sunday, we've got Monday."<BR><BR>While the weather at NHIS is currently clear, thunderstands are forecast for Saturday and Sunday.<BR><BR>Several riders are adamently against racing in the rain at Loudon, or, for that matter, at racing at the track at all.<BR><BR>"It ain't gonna happen," said Jamie Hacking of the possibility of racing in the rain. "None of us are going to do it. It's too dangerous. We shouldn't be here in the dry. We had Phoenix taken off our schedule, and we feel this one has to be taken off for the same reason. It's slick, bumpy, walls, there's trees, there's rocks. I'm sure you'll get the same answer from anybody you ask."<BR><BR>Local star Eric Wood had a different view, praising the sealer and other improvements, saying "Absolutely, without a doubt (the track can be raced in the rain). This place is way safer. I wouldn't hesitate to send my own son out there. This place is no more dangerous than any other place I've ever been."<BR><BR>Superbike Champion Mat Mladin objected strongly when AMA Media Relations Contractor Larry Lawrence suggested that Mladin should have at least given the track some credit for safety improvements in a highly critical interview published in this morning's Manchester Union Leader newspaper.<BR><BR>"Have any of the walls been moved?" Maldin asked Lawrence in the press room at NHIS. "The track hasn't made any improvements to make the track safer."<BR><BR>Mladin also said, "I feel the motorcycles have outgrown the racetrack," and said of the sealer applied to the track surface, "All the sealer has done is cover up the bumps." Maldin also complained about gooey asphalt used to fill in cracks and joints in the pavement.<BR><BR>As Lawrence objected and said that he felt Mladin's comments were "to the detriment of the sport," Mladin said "It's my personal opinikon that the motorcycles have outgrown the racetrack and I don't care if you don't like it, Larry.<BR><BR>"Tell you what. Get on the back of my bike, we'll go out and I'll knock you off and then you can hit a wall and see how you like it," said Mladin before walking out of the pressroom.<BR><BR>At least one rider, roadracingworld.com's Chris Ulrich, crashed after hitting the gooey asphalt applied to fill cracks and seams in the pavement, during practice yesterday. Another problem encountered during Thursday practice involved a large section of pavement which had come loose from its base at the apex of one corner in the esses, like a toupee gone awry. The piece of asphalt was marked with red spray paint before Friday practice started, and track Safety Director Jerry Wood hoped to glue the section back down with an epoxy compound during the lunch break.