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Mar 6, 2003

Updated Post: AMA Launches Super Moto Series

Copyright 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

In a press conference held at Daytona International Speedway Thursday around noon, AMA Pro Racing announced the 2003 AMA Red Bull Super Moto Championship.

The new series will include two classes, the Red Bull Super Moto class for 450cc machines, and the KTM Super Moto Unlimited class for larger machines.

The series will crown not only a rider as a champion, but will also include a team championship based on the results of each team's best two riders. A manufacturer championship will also be awarded.

AMA Pro Racing announced that riders already committed to running in the six-race series include Kevin Schwantz, Scott Russell, Chris Carr and Mike Metzger.

The 2003 series will start at Laguna Seca in conjunction with the AMA National/World Superbike races in July, and will conclude in Las Vegas in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet.

The series will be televised on Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which reaches about 53 million homes in the U.S.

The President and CEO of OLN, E. Roger Williams, spoke at the press conference, and said that he and his management staff were involved in the establishment and management of Speedvision prior to its sale to Fox. Williams emphasized that the current OLN staff has considerable experience in televising motorcycle racing.

Ron Heben of KTM announced that the Austrian company will field a three-rider team in the series.

Scott Russell announced that he will compete in the series on a KTM fielded by HMC Racing.

Chris Carr said that he was looking forward to racing in some of the series events, and the television coverage will help him service his main dirt track sponsor, Ford Motor Company.


More, from a series of press releases issued by AMA Pro Racing:

AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship

PICKERINGTON, Ohio--It began back in the late 1970s when someone wondered who was the best all-around motorcycle racer and from which discipline would he come. Would it be a road racer, an off-road racer or perhaps a flat track pilot? From that was born the notion of a new type of motorcycle race. It was first called superbikers and it blended on- and off-road racing by featuring a track comprised of both pavement and dirt. Motocross bikes proved to be the best choice for this new form of racing and with minimal modifications a racer could easily build a competitive mount. The discipline prospered in the United States for awhile and then disappeared, perhaps because of the trend towards specialization. It found a home in Europe and grew modestly. Stateside, local clubs began to emerge as interest returned. Now, in a big way, supermoto will return to where it all started in the form of an all new national series called The AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship.

"We couldn't be more excited about launching this championship," said AMA Pro Racing CEO, Scott Hollingsworth. "AMA Pro Racing will again take a leadership role in providing what the OEMs, racers, sponsors and, most importantly, our fans have been asking for. We're confident that this series will be a hit immediately because it takes the best from a variety of motorcycle racing disciplines and puts them all together in one highly entertaining package. The racing will be competitive, accessible and fan-friendly. Plus, thanks to the support of our partners, Red Bull North America and KTM Sportmotorcycles USA, we'll be able to launch this series aggressively." Energy drink maker Red Bull has signed an agreement to be the title sponsor of the series and KTM will be a class sponsor.

From the outset, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship will look and feel different than most motorcycle racing series. For one thing it won't be bound by traditional venue limitations. "Our vision is to take AMA Supermoto to the people by putting it in places one wouldn't expect to find a motorcycle race," said AMA Pro Racing Vice President of Commercial Development, John Farris. "In year one, you'll find some AMA Supermoto events held in conjunction with other AMA Pro Racing events but, as the championship grows, you'll begin to see more stand-alone events. The beauty of this form of racing is that that you can create a 'motorcycle happening' virtually anywhere. It's not out of the question that you'll soon see AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship races at concerts, expos or even downtown, urban locations. This will open up boundless possibilities for our sponsors in terms of marketing and cross-promotional opportunities. Plus, it will enable us to present motorcycle racing in an all new fashion."

Top-level riders from all major disciplines will participate in the series. Former World GP champion Kevin Schwantz plans on competing as does reigning AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr, multi-time X-Games gold medalist/freestyle motocross star Mike Metzger and five-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell. This will not only guarantee a highly entertaining show but may just put to rest the question of which discipline actually does produce the best all around rider.

In year one, two classes will be presented. The Red Bull Supermoto class will be for motorcycles up to 450cc and the KTM Supermoto Unlimited class will feature 490cc and over motorcycles. These classes were established to allow the largest number of brands to participate. "Virtually every manufacturer already, or soon will, offers a 450cc, four-stroke motocross machine and there are a number of big-bore machines, primarily the European brands, available for the unlimited class," said Merrill Vanderslice, AMA Pro Racing Director of Competition. "Utilizing this formula will ensure the largest fields, competitive racing, keep costs down and allow for maximum participation. Minimal modifications will be necessary to field a competitive machine. This consists primarily of wheels and tires and some suspension work. Minor engine modifications will be allowed so riders can tune their engines to fit their particular riding style. Several aftermarket companies already offer a wide selection of parts and, as the series matures, more are sure to follow."

Hollingsworth went on to add that the creation of these two classes will expand sales opportunities for the manufacturers. "When it comes down to it, racing is really about selling motorcycles and this will allow the OEMs to explore new marketing opportunities by re-positioning existing product. For example, now the OEMs can offer a motocross bike to both the motocross enthusiast as well as a racer interested in supermoto. This lets the OEMs target a completely new customer base," said Hollingsworth.

The 2003 AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship will consist of six rounds with the series culminating at the championship finale run in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November. The program will follow the highly successful AMA Supercross formula of qualifying heats leading up to a main event. Courses will be approximately 80% pavement, 20% dirt, feature at least one significant jump and be between .6 and 1.1 miles in length. The main event will be 25 laps. Both a Team Championship and Manufacturer Championship will be awarded. Riders and teams will be able to participate in the final championship event based on points earned in earlier rounds. For more information about the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com.

"This championship will take motorcycle racing in the United States to a completely new place," said Hollingsworth. "It is being constructed in an entirely-new, highly-creative way taking into account the needs of the manufacturers, riders, sponsors and fans. It's not enough anymore to just show up at a racetrack, put on a race and hope that it will have value to the parties concerned. AMA Pro Racing has done its homework and will be offering a series that will become the model for motorsports presentation. We're very proud of what we've accomplished already and it's only going to get better."


Red Bull to Sponsor New AMA Supermoto Championship

PICKERINGTON, Ohio--Energy drink maker Red Bull North America has signed an agreement to be the title sponsor of AMA Pro Racing's new supermoto series. To be called the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, the series will be the premier national championship for this rapidly expanding form of motorcycle racing.

"We're delighted to partner with Red Bull in presenting our new AMA Supermoto Championship," said Andy Leisner, AMA Pro Racing Vice President. "Our vision for this series is to present motorcycle racing in an all new fashion and the support and commitment by Red Bull will go a long way in allowing us to do that."

Supermoto is unique in that it combines the disciplines of both on- and off-road racing. Slightly-modified motocross machines are primarily used and the action takes places on courses that are approximately 80% pavement and 20% dirt. A long list of top-level riders are committed to participating in this AMA Pro Racing series including former World GP champion Kevin Schwantz, reigning AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr, multi-time X-Games gold medalist/freestyle motocross star Mike Metzger and five-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell.

The series is scheduled to begin this summer and will culminate at the championship finale run in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November. The six-race series will include rounds held at existing AMA Pro Racing Events as well as selected stand-alone events. For more information about the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com .


AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship To Be Telecast on Outdoor Life Network

PICKERINGTON, Ohio--AMA Pro Racing's newest motorcycle racing series, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, will be broadcast on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN). Races will be telecast in the fall in a weekly, episode-format and will be presented in a unique, highly stylized way according to AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth.

"The AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship presents us with the opportunity to completely re-think the conventions of motorcycle race presentation," said Hollingsworth. "Not only will our events look different, but so will the television coverage. The 'show' will be more entertaining, both at the track and on TV. Working with OLN from the launch of our series will enable us to achieve a completely new look and feel for motorcycle racing."

OLN is the largest provider of premier action sports programming. OLN offers such diverse programming as the Tour de France cycling race and FIS World Cup Skiing. "OLN's programming mix presents the perfect home for the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship," continued Hollingsworth. "The network's viewers are avid followers of action sports and by placing this series on OLN we're adding tremendous value to our sponsors, particularly Red Bull North America and KTM Sportmotorcycles USA." Energy drink maker Red Bull has signed an agreement to be the title sponsor of the series and KTM will be a class sponsor.

"We are excited to bring AMA Pro Racing's newest motorcycle racing series, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship to our viewers," said E. Roger Williams, President and CEO of Outdoor Life Network. "OLN is constantly striving to provide the best in action adventure sports and we are confident that this original and distinctive programming will strongly appeal to our avid adventure sports fans."

Supermoto is unique in that it combines the disciplines of both on- and off-road racing. Slightly-modified motocross machines are primarily used and the action takes places on courses that are typically 80% pavement and 20% dirt. A long list of top-level riders are committed to participating in this AMA Pro Racing series including former World GP champion Kevin Schwantz, reigning AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr, multi-time X-Games gold medalist/freestyle motocross star Mike Metzger and five-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell.

The series is scheduled to begin this summer and will culminate at the championship finale run in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November. The six-race series will include rounds held at existing AMA Pro Racing Events as well as selected stand-alone events. For more information about the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com.

About Outdoor Life Network

The leader in adventure TV, Outdoor Life Network (www.olntv.com ) offers more outdoor recreation programming than any other network. The 24-hour cable network, now available in over 51 million homes, is the leading source for television coverage of outdoor adventure sports and outdoor leisure recreation.



KTM to Sponsor Unlimited Class in

AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship

PICKERINGTON, Ohio--KTM Sportmotorcycle USA has signed an agreement to be a class sponsor in AMA Pro Racing's new supermoto series. To be called KTM Supermoto Unlimited, the class will be one of two classes making up the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship. The other will be the Red Bull Supermoto class.

The KTM Supermoto Unlimited class will be for motorcycles 490cc and over. The Red Bull Supermoto class will be for motorcycles up to 450cc.

"Offering two classes will make the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship much stronger in terms of OEM and rider participation as well as improve the racing for our fans," said Andy Leisner, Vice President, AMA Pro Racing. "We're pleased that KTM will be supporting our championship by sponsoring the unlimited class."

Ron Heben, Motorsports Marketing Manager at KTM, echoed those sentiments. "In Europe KTM is a leader in the world of supermoto racing and we intend to expand that leadership role in the United States," said Heben. "We'll be fielding riders in both classes of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship and will use each series to showcase KTM products."

Supermoto is unique in that it combines the disciplines of both on- and off-road racing. Slightly-modified motocross machines are primarily used and the action takes places on courses that are approximately 80% pavement and 20% dirt. A long list of top-level riders are committed to participating in this AMA Pro Racing series including former World GP champion Kevin Schwantz, reigning AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Champion Chris Carr, multi-time X-Games gold medallist/freestyle motocross star Mike Metzger and five-time Daytona 200 winner Scott Russell.

The series is scheduled to begin this summer and will culminate at the championship finale run in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November. The six-race series will include rounds held at existing AMA Pro Racing Events as well as selected stand-alone events. For more information about the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com.





AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship Introduction
Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AMA Pro Racing launching this series?

One of the objectives of AMA Pro Racing is to manage the commercial development of motorcycle racing in the United States. This means exploring new markets and improving the economic growth opportunities for our stakeholders. Our findings indicate that there has been a growing demand for a national supermoto series and there's no doubt that there will be tremendous benefits to OEMs, sponsors, riders and fans by this championship.



Why is AMA Pro Racing launching this series now instead of 2004?

While we originally planned to launch supermoto in 2004, it became clear to us that the market is ready for this series so we decided to accelerate the launch date. This was done primarily to benefit our stakeholders.



How many races will comprise the championship?

In 2003 there are six events planned.



Where will this year's races take place?

The schedule is still being finalized but so far we plan to conduct races at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca in conjunction with the AMA U.S. Superbike Championship event, in Colorado at the Copper Mountain CycleFest and in Las Vegas in conjunction with the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet. The remaining rounds are currently being scheduled and we plan to make an announcement soon.



Will the races be televised?

Yes, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship will be televised on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), a leading cable network and the home of action sports programming.



Besides title sponsor Red Bull are their any major sponsors?

Yes, KTM Sportmotorcycles USA will be a class sponsor and several leading companies have expressed interest in being involved with the series at different levels. We expect to be making additional announcements soon.



What top level riders will race this series?

A number of national and international riders have expressed interest in competing in this series including: Jean-Michel Bayle, Ben Bostrom, Chris Carr, Doug Chandler, Joe Kopp, Mike Metzger, Scott Russell, Kevin Schwantz, Jeff Ward and Jake Zemke among others.



How many classes will be presented?

In year one, two classes will be presented. The Red Bull Supermoto class will be for motorcycles up to 450cc and the KTM Supermoto Unlimited class will feature 490cc and over motorcycles.



How were these classes chosen?

After thorough examination of the marketplace and with extensive discussion with all the major OEMs, these classes were established to maximize brand participation. Virtually every OEM currently offers, or soon will, a 450cc motocross machine and several companies, primarily the European brands, offer a big-bore machine eligible for the unlimited class. In all cases, the machines can be easily modified for supermoto competition. Another factor in our decision was to establish classes that would dramatically help curtail the rising costs of racing. For example in the 450 class, a participant could use one motorcycle for motocross, flat track and supermoto.



Will there be any support classes?

Yes, we plan to offer at least one support class. When that information becomes available, we will make an announcement.



Will the major OEMs offer contingency support?

Yes, several OEMs have stated that they plan on offering contingency support.



How will this championship be managed?

AMA Pro Racing Associate Director of Commercial Development, Chris Bradley, will be responsible for day-to-day activities in managing the series. Additionally, a race operations manager will be named soon.



How can I obtain information on rules, licensing and entries?

Rules will be available on March 17 and licensing/entry information will be available on April 7. All can be accessed by visiting: www.amaproracing.com .

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