MotoAmerica may run the 80th Daytona 200 and a King Of The Baggers race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in 2022, according to MotoAmerica COO Chuck Aksland.
“I think there’s potential for the event, but there’s no agreement in place. We’re still waiting to see,” Aksland exclusively told Roadracingworld.com Friday in the paddock at Laguna Seca. “All of us have a history with the Daytona 200. My uncle [Skip Aksland] raced in it, my dad [Bud Aksland] participated in it with Kenny [Leroy Roberts] many times and also with Skip. I raced there in the 250 class.
“When I went back there in March, when you drive through that tunnel it’s still pretty special when you see bikes hauling ass around the banking. It’s just a cool feeling to be there.
The Daytona 200 had been run by AMA Pro Racing for decades until 2015. That’s when the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA, located in Ohio) re-assigned the rights to run professional motorcycle road racing from AMA Pro Racing (a.k.a. Daytona Motorsports Group, located in Daytona Beach, Florida) to the then-newly created MotoAmerica led by President Wayne Rainey.
Because AMA Pro Racing is owned by NASCAR, which also owns DIS, the running of the Daytona 200 was passed to the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), which ran the race under its SportBike rules but with AMA sanction.
The Daytona 200 maintained its sizeable $175,000 purse and continued to draw large grids of participants, but those participants did not include as many professional teams and International stars as in the past partly due to there being no traditional television coverage of the race.
That could change with the race run by MotoAmerica, which has its own television production team, worldwide broadcast partners, a live streaming subscription service, and an established viewership.
“It used to be the biggest event in the world as a pre-season event,” said Aksland, “and that’s why you had a lot of teams coming over there testing, British teams coming over. If there’s a way that we can lend a hand to kind of get that type of event going again we would be proud to help out.”
The at-track attendance could also be boosted by MotoAmerica bringing its King Of The Baggers class, which could attract more attention from the bulk of the motorcyclists who attend Daytona Bike Week each year but don’t always come inside the speedway.
The inclusion of the King Of The Baggers is dependent on the outcome of a Dunlop tire test, including Kyle Wyman and the factory Harley-Davidson team, scheduled in August.
A MotoAmerica-run Daytona 200 would likely not be a points-paying round of the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship and the event would likely not include the Superbike class. A MotoAmerica-run Daytona 200, however, may be open to all tire manufacturers and not just MotoAmerica’s current control tire supplier Dunlop.
A deal between MotoAmerica and Daytona International Speedway could be formalized as soon as August.
DIS did not respond to a request for comment prior to post time.
ASRA President Kevin Elliott declined to comment on this story.
Stay tuned for more details.