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Aug 7, 2010

Canadian Superbike Series Ends Sunday, Without The Usual Year-End Points Fund Payout

After Sunday's Parts Canada Superbike Series finale at Atlantic Motorsport Park, top riders won't be receiving the year-end points fund payout they've enjoyed in the past.

Last year, the Canadian Superbike Champion received $15,000 (Canadian) from the points fund, and the rider who finished second in points was paid $11,000. The fund paid down 15 places, with $8000 for third, $7000 for fourth, $6000 for fifth, $5500 for sixth, $4700 for seventh, $3600 for eighth, $3300 for ninth, $3100 for 10th, $2900 for 11th, $2700 for 12th, $2500 for 13th, $2400 for 14th and $1300 for 15th. As of 7:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the official series website still listed that 2009 payout, here:

~www.cdnsuperbike.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=711&Itemid=46~

The series also paid the top 10 in 2009 Sport Bike class points, with $2500 going to the Champion and $500 going to the 10th-place rider, and that information was still listed in the Competitor Information section of the official website as well, under "Competitor Features" with a heading of "2009 Purse Structure & Year End Points Fund." There is no updated information on the site disclosing that in fact, there is no Points Fund for 2010.

Other sections in the Competitor Information part of the official website are labeled as dealing with 2010, including "2010 Rider Entry Lists" and "2010 Rule Book." Under the heading of "Media Guide Features," the official website lists "2010 National Class Structure" and "2010 National Championship Points Payout," which tells a rider that a win pays 50 points and a 20th-place finish pays 1 point, with no mention of money.

Some riders are calling foul and hinting at some sort of protest Sunday over what they see as missing money they deserve and need to cover their bills. "We want to know where the money went," said one.

But when asked about the points fund Saturday night, series organizer and promoter Colin Fraser, (a former racer who helped run the series starting in 1994 and took it over completely when it faced oblivion in 1997), said "We've typically had a year end points fund but we lost a lot of sponsorship support this year. No, there is not one, and we didn't announce we were having one. I'd certainly understand there's a problem if we had announced it and didn't pay it. We didn't announce it. I didn't receive the money from the sponsors."

Fraser says the series faced a dramatic reduction in funding for the 2010 season, with Yamaha dropping out completely as a series sponsor and Suzuki greatly reducing its support. That forced the series to shrink down from six event weekends (including one double-header) to four double-header event weekends.

"Everyone has had to tighten their belts," Fraser said. "The consensus was that the most important component was to keep the TV package so the teams could continue to get what sponsorship support they can find. I hope in the future to have a series points fund again. But our races have been paying the same purse or better than last year."

(No 2010 purse money is listed on the official series site, but the 2009 purse is listed as paying $2700 for a Superbike race win and paying down to $100 for 10th. A 2009 Sport Bike win is listed as paying $1000, paying down to $100 for eighth.)

Fraser admitted that he didn't issue a press release announcing that there would be no points fund in 2010, but insists that he didn't keep it a secret, either. "When people have asked us, we've told them there is no points fund," Fraser said. "People have been asking us since about February and the answer has always been, no, we don't have a points fund. I find it unusual that people (who didn't ask) would assume there's money that hasn't been announced."