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Feb 14, 2001

Road America Officials Not Happy About Losing Pro Thunder, Weren't Told By AMA Officials Until December

When AMA Pro Racing removed the Pro Thunder class from the schedule of the AMA Superbike double header weekends, not only were the competitors and class sponsors affected, but racetracks and promoters as well.

In a February 12th telephone call to Roadracing World, Road America Communications Director Cheryl Barnes said, "We are very disappointed about not having the Pro Thunder race here (at Road America), but it's the sanctioning body's decision to make sure that the event runs on time. They thought that there might not be enough time to get all of the racing in. And when we have television involved, we really have to worry about our fans, not just at Road America but across the country or wherever that broadcast goes. We would love to see the Buell Pro Thunder bikes here, but the AMA feels that wasn't best for this particular weekend. Unfortunately we're going to have to abide by their decision."

Barnes said that the first Road America heard that the track would not have a Pro Thunder race was during the AMA Pro Racing awards banquet, held in Las Vegas in December of 2000.

Road America is located only about an hour's drive from the Harley-Davidson and Buell factories in the general area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and for several years, Harley and Buell have used the AMA road races as a gathering place for Harley Owners Group (HOG) members as well as factory employees. Last year, Road America hosted B.R.A.G. (Buell Riders Adventure Group) for the AMA road races, with the event attracting many enthusiasts from around the country. Pro Thunder is currently the only class that an American V-Twin motorcycle has a legitimate chance of winning, and, as expected, there is some disappointment that Pro Thunder won't run at Road America.

"We were disappointed to hear that Road America was one of the races not to run Pro Thunder," said Buell spokesperson Paul James. "Certainly from our stand point, we're disappointed because it's our home track. A lot of our employees and our customers traditionally go to that race. We're very disappointed."

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