Jul 4, 2001
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The Time Has Come <BR>There seem to have been numerous problems at NHIS and other recent AMA Superbike events. There comes a time when someone must take control and action. It is hard to let an employee go after numerous years of service. However, that time has come. I have had numerous dealings in the past with Mr. Vanderslice and I must say that they were for the most part unpleasant. I brought up numerous flagrant rule violations with Mr. Vanderslice and was rebuffed in each instance. Other AMA employees who were present at these meetings, Ron Barrick and Rob King, had that ‘I can't believe this is happening' look. After each incident, Ron and Rob, went out of their way to right what we all knew was wrong.<BR><BR>These instances happened in 1996 and 1997. It seems that Mr. Vanderslice has not changed in the way that he deals with others. I understand that Director of Competition is a difficult job. However, it seems that this position may need someone with better organizational skills and a better attitude. The Director of Competition needs to be somewhat of a people person, at least in that they can deal with others in a decent manner.<BR><BR>Ask yourself, where does the buck stop? Take charge and take a chance. The situation can only improve. If the AMA is unwilling to make the change, you may not leave the factories and riders a choice. There are other series. SFX has Supercross now and Superbike may be next if you don't change your ways. If Mr. Vanderslice was as good at spinning his job as Larry Lawrence is you wouldn't have any problems. Larry can fall in a pile of manure and come out making the AMA and himself smell like a bed of roses. If you have any questions about the above incidents, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. <BR><BR>Best regards, <BR>T. David Porter <BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Incredibly Excessive<BR>I just listened to the interview with Mat Mladin that resulted in his being fined $5000 and being docked 1 point. I believe this is incredibly excessive; from what I heard, I do not believe<BR>that any fine or point docking should have even been considered. I think Mr. Mladin was expressing his opinion concerning the track conditions and safety, and I do not think his language was particularly offensive. When put into the context of what Mat was saying at that time, given that his adrenaline was up, etc., he exercised, in my opinion, considerable<BR>restraint.<BR><BR>Thanks for your time.<BR> Ron Chain<BR><BR><BR><BR>Mladin Is A Black Cloud<BR>I'm all for slapping his wrists. <BR>He has a very poor attitude and is a black cloud on the sport (racing talent aside). He and a few others have been able to get away with an unprofessional attitude for too long. <BR><BR>I have been following road racing for 18 years and have watched the sport change dramatically. It is growing by leaps and bounds and it is crucial that we all do our part to keep it a family atmosphere and provide positive role models for our children to look up to. Outbursts from adults acting like children should not be tolerated. Fine him now and every time he pulls similar circus stunts until he either grows up or moves on. We must keep this sport clean and as respectable as possible.<BR><BR>The Bregars<BR><BR><BR><BR>Extremely Disappointed<BR>I was extremely disappointed to learn of your censure of Matt Mladin. This action shows a complete lack of respect for an individual's opinion. Is not the purpose of the AMA to protect our rights. Is expressing an opinion, which seems to be universally shared, not one of those intrinsic rights? <BR><BR>The hallmark of a truly professional organization is one that can listen to criticism be it positive or negative and grow stronger as a result. Your actions lead me to believe that the leadership of the pro-racing (sic) division needs to be overhauled. I am not currently a member of your organization, but I have decided to become member as I believe this best way is to speak out and participate as I think Mr. Mladin has done. <BR><BR>Guy Patterson <BR>Harrisburg, PA <BR>NESBA #142<BR><BR><BR>Where's Charlie?<BR>None of this would have happened if Charlie Watson was still around!<BR>Imola23<BR><BR><BR><BR>Applauds Decision, And Apparently Hates His Job, Too<BR>I applaud the AMA's decision to fine Mat Mladin. Perhaps if he(Mladin) has such a problem with the AMA and a track like Loudon he should pack up and go to WSB or 500 GP. The reality is that any large organization, such as the AMA, will inevitably become caught in bureaucracy. Even if John Ulrich was able to get every AMA cardholder to renounce their membership and join a new organization it too would eventually become flawed. I would rather get paid (if I had the ability) to race at a lousy racetrack run by a**holes any day of the week than do what most of us do for a living. Say thank you to your sponsors Mat, ride your superbike as well as you can, and please shut up. Be like Ben Bostrom; l believe I saw him twice on the podium in WSB last weekend. <BR><BR>Cameron MacDiarmid<BR>Maine<BR><BR><BR>AMA Could Suffer ACU Fate<BR>If you want to see what will happen if you guys do not step back, review what your aims and objectives are, decide just what you're in this for and take appropriate action to achieve those aims, then look across the pond and see what happened to the British ACU. Eventually everyone became so pissed with their arrogant attitude and pitiful organisation that the people who rely on the "business" of racing for their livelihood, the track owners, manufacturers, major teams etc. found it necessary to form the MCCRCB and take over control of Pro Racing in the UK. <BR><BR>It can and will happen, they have the model to work to! You have been<BR>warned.<BR><BR>Dave Carson<BR>Pittsburgh<BR><BR><BR><BR>Adversarial Relationship Is Unbelievable<BR><BR>I've ridden motorcycles for 42 years. I've been an AMA member for many of those years. I am very happy with the AMA's government interface/watchdog function, museum, vintage days programs, etc. etc.<BR><BR>However, I am also a total road race fan and former racer thinking of returning to the track. Hence the following comment: the adversarial relationship you have established with your pro riders is unbelievable. What are you thinking? I suggest it is time for you to find a more suitable position within (or outside) the AMA.<BR><BR>Further, since apparently nothing has been learned from the Edmondson debacle, it is time for the AMA to relinquish management of pro road racing and serve as a sanctioning body only.<BR><BR>Bill Hiller<BR>AMA #614718<BR><BR><BR>Self Destruct Is On Schedule<BR>If It is AMA's Pro Racing intention to self-destruct they're well on their way and with the past incidents this seem to be a recurring problem. God Speed as far as I'm concerned. Their obvious disregard for rider input and participation in rider safety issues has directly resulted in catastrophic injuries to the personalities that are directly responsible for the success of superbike racing in the USA. Besides the all-important safety issues is the AMA's Vanderslice who's more concerned with the bottom line than the progression and betterment of the sport. Being the dictator and having the final say seems to be the priority for this ego-driven man. I can only hope that the riders and manufacturers realize that a change is essential and necessary in order to facilitate the growth that superbike racing in America deserves.<BR><BR>Sincerely, one of many who recognize the obvious.<BR>Mikoste@aol.com<BR><BR><BR>Angered And Disgusted<BR>I read with great interest, transcripts from last weekend's Loudon press conference and the subsequent AMA press release. I found Mr. Mladin's comments to nothing more than an expression of his concerns and expertise as a top rider and current AMA Superbike champion. I was angered and disgusted by the subsequent AMA press release and fine of Mr. Mladin. <BR><BR>The AMA press release is deceptive, bordering on fiction, but more importantly shows the AMA to be disorganized, domineering, pompous and rather childish. I have been an proud AMA member for seven years and demand that your organization take a good hard look at itself. Imposing fines upon riders(or in this case the current series champion) because they express an opinion about track safety that may not be in lockstep with the AMA is wrong! <BR><BR>What was so detrimental about his comments? Was the AMA afraid that he may be correct or is it the AMA is unwilling to accept criticism? A profession racing organization such as the AMA should encourage input from its riders concerning all matters of racing, especially safety. <BR><BR>The actions and attitude of the AMA needs to change, and the change must start at the top. Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag on this one and by fining Mr. Mladin the AMA has drawing much attention to this situation. A situation in which the AMA looks very, very bad.<BR><BR>Joel Alleger<BR>DBM Associates<BR>Whitehouse Station NJ<BR><BR><BR><BR>Absolutely Horrified<BR>I was absolutely horrified at the recent behavior of the AMA brain trust. Over the past 20 years I have trusted your leadership to do what is right in the marketing/promotion and most importantly the safety of OUR sport, yes that word is OUR sport, because if it was not for the vision of many concerned riders many years ago the AMA would not exist. I'm afraid that the AMA has become nothing but a group of frustrated "has beens" which are piloting OUR sport much in the same manner as the captain of the Titanic.<BR><BR>The latest controversy now involves an off-color comment made by Mat Mladin, prior to that, AMA's public whipping regarding the safety of its riders, it's unfortunate that it takes a small well-organized effort based solely on the safety interests the riders to successfully mount a campaign to raise the needed funds for implementation of Air Fences throughout the AMA Pro circuit and then to smaller venues and may I say in less than two months. Where was the AMA? Does it not stand to reason that OUR safety should be YOUR primary concern?<BR><BR>Last year I received a phone call from a member of the Hooters Race team advising me of the death of my friend Jamie "B", after the initial shock I began to ask questions as to why no haybales were present that may have saved his life, again the AMA had no response let alone any accountability as to who was responsible for this executive decision.<BR><BR>Of course there was your utterly professional handling of the Roger Edmondson debacle which will now cost your membership millions, but now the AMA is concerning its self with the word "shit" and the perceived tarnishing of the sport and the legions of devoted fans that will be migrating to other forms of motorsports all in a futile effort to gain respectability and show "who's the boss".<BR><BR>Your leadership abilities are akin to those of a group of 3-year-olds fighting in a sandbox over who can hold their breath the longest. I hope you are all proud of your "accomplishments".<BR><BR>Sincerely, Jeffrey & Nicole Hoffman<BR>Draganee Racing<BR>Port Orange Fl.<BR>CCS #'s 73 & 731<BR><BR><BR>Greater Good Not Served By Suppression Of Free Speech<BR>Mike Sebastian wrote in his e-mail, "The right decision was made by the AMA, in the punishment of Matt Mladin. I personally don't approve of such behavior by professional athletes and racers the like. ...I have always tried to make it a point to support those that have the greater good in mind." Geez, that is funny!<BR> <BR>Greater good in mind?! <BR><BR>Greater than what? Self gratification? Self Grandiose accolades? <BR><BR>In mind of what exactly? The rest of the AMA membership? The fans? <BR><BR>M.V. has MY greater good in mind? What is he now some kind of self appointed Demi-god? <BR><BR>What is this A-hole talking about? <BR><BR>This is exactly the kind of thinking that has held back the AMA. <BR><BR>These 'like-minded' individuals are a huge detriment to our sport. <BR><BR>Taking back the AMA cannot happen fast enough to weed out these moronic individuals. <BR>John, cool move by putting this guy's e-mail first, smack on the first page. <BR><BR>George Gervasi<BR><BR><BR>Point Shouldn't Be Taken<BR>I don't believe that championship points should be deducted for any off-track conduct, no matter how serious. Using the precedent from two years ago is specious, since Mladin was then docked his pole point for blocking Ben Bostrom in qualifying and thus potentially denying Bostrom the pole.<BR><BR>And although the MP3 file of the press conference conveys considerably more of Mladin's vitriol than the transcript, I believe that tone of voice is too subjective a standard to consider in determining whether conduct is detrimental to the sport. Mladin's behavior should be judged<BR>based on the words of all involved, and not the tone of his words.<BR><BR>Susan Haas<BR><BR><BR>Basic Right Of Free Speech<BR>To put it simply, Mat Mladin addressed the safety of himself and other riders at the Loudon press conference. This is beyond a merely "personal" issue and should be recognized as such. I have read the transcript of the press conference and the AMA's response seems to me to be misdirected and innapropriate. To attempt to diminish the import of the main thrust of his comments belittles the AMA and demonstrates an apparent disregard not only for the safety of the professional riders who are the heart of the pro racing organization, but also the basic right of free speech.<BR><BR>Tom Keating<BR>AMA member and race fan<BR><BR><BR>Should Be Allowed His Opinions<BR>I am not a Mat Mladin fan, so I would love for him to lose a point, however I feel that that Mat was and is totally right in his statements. He is allowed his opinions and as arguably the best rider in the nation his opinions should be weighed greatly. I personally think that the AMA has not done enough to protect the very riders who make the AMA Pro racing what it is. What are we waiting for at these tracks with NASCAR retaining walls? Do we have to lose a world class rider to realize that ALOT of these tracks are not safe for our riders? It is obvious that even bad accidents aren't enough to make a difference i.e.. Duhamel?! I watch races from overseas and see HUGE run offs, I wish we had that kind of investment in our racers both pro and up and coming here in the states. <BR><BR>I realize that we participate in a dangerous hobby, but we need to make <BR>valiant efforts to ensure the best of protection for the riders. <BR><BR>One more thing, the Air Fence....great idea....what took so long? <BR><BR>Sincerely, <BR>NCSuperbike@aol.com<BR><BR><BR>Seriously Disappointed<BR>As a long-term AMA member, I am seriously disappointed by recent actions of AMA Pro Racing, among them the fine and penalty imposed upon Mat Mladin, current world (sic) superbike champion. That action is totally unwarranted and should be reversed in its entirety, with a public pledge that racers will be treated with dignity and that free speech will be respected. It was his opportunity to set the records straight the way he saw it, speaking only for himself, a right he has earned.<BR><BR>Respectfully submitted,<BR><BR>Leonard Lloyd<BR>AMA # 291270 [18 years]<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Wrong Decision<BR>You have made your decision regarding Matt's behavior and I think it was a wrong decision. The AMA is an organization of its members and each of those members has his right to an opinion and a style in which to deliver it. He slandered no one. If it had not been for his and riders like him who speak their mind you would have raced Superbikes in the rain and shame on you for running the 600 event.<BR><BR>Sincerely,<BR><BR>Peter J. Moran<BR>AMA #237 - 600ss, 750ss, Extreme, AND Superbike<BR><BR>