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Jan 25, 2001

Resentment Of Directors Permeates AMA Pro Racing, Advisory Board Member Says

AMA Road Race Advisory Board Member and AMA 250cc Grand Prix racer Ed Sorbo has told Roadracing World that dissatisfaction with recent actions taken by the AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors permeates AMA Pro Racing, from the top down.

Sorbo said that in his duties as an Advisory Board member he has personally heard AMA Director of Professional Competition Merrill Vanderslice and Road Race Manager Ron Barrick complain that the Pro Racing Directors thwart their efforts to properly manage AMA road racing, will not allow them to do the jobs they were hired to do and don't know anything about the realities of racing.

"The AMA is by far the best organization to race with and they do so many things so well it's impressive," elaborated Sorbo. "And that makes the stupid stuff they do seem even more frustrating. And furthermore, I know a lot of people who work for the AMA personally and they are wonderful people and I respect them immensely. But they are directed by these people hiding in the ivory towers, and it is incomprehensible how they come up with stuff up there."

By "these people hiding in the ivory towers," Sorbo was referring to AMA Pro Racing Directors.

AMA Pro Racing officials have recently complained that the Board of Directors needlessly blocked implementation of several important new rules and delayed implementation of new displacement and weight rules for the Pro Thunder class. As a result, the officials say, they have unfairly come under attack from irate racers negatively affected by the late announcement of new rules.

Vanderslice and Barrick have declined to comment on the record regarding actions taken by the Pro Racing Board of Directors.

In a puzzling development, Sorbo also revealed that riders who pre-enter for the entire 2001 AMA road race season will receive a mechanic's pass free of charge under a new, unannounced AMA Pro Racing policy. Observers say they can't figure out why the AMA would want to keep what is likely to be an extremely popular new policy secret instead of announcing it to AMA racers.

The AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors includes Paul Dean of Cycle World magazine; attorney Rick Gray; P.J. Harvey of PJ1 oil; Mark Tuttle, recently retired from Harley-Davidson; attorney Cary Agajanian; and Ray Blank of American Honda Motor Co.