WSB Coming Back to U.S. Through 2013

Henny Ray Abrams | May 30, 2009

The World Superbike Championship will be returning to Miller Motorsports Park through 2013, but there are no plans to bring back the AMA Pro Road Racing series, according to a senior track officialMiller Motorsports Park and Infront Motorsports, the promoters of the World Superbike Championship, jointly announced the extension of their original three-year contract which would have ended in 2010. Now the series will have a presence in the U.S. for the next four years.”Miller Motorsports Park, together with our partners at Infront Motorsports, are pleased to announce the extension of the contract to host the World Superbike Championship for an additional three years,” said Dan Davis, MMP CEO and president. “That makes it a five-year deal” from this year.Davis, whose background is in four wheels, added that with the contract discussions out of the way, they can concentrate on continuing to build the event and getting “more spectators for what I think is breath-taking racing.””We are very, very satisfied with this renewed agreement which will bring World Superbike to the state of Utah and this facility,” said Infront Motor Sports SBK Director Paolo Ciabatti. “It’s a great, great facility.” Ciabbatti pointed out that the Miller event won race of the year for its inaugural running in 2008.Ciabbatti also said he’d like to see more young American riders in both Superbike and Supersport, as well as European Superstock, which doesn’t travel outside of the Continent.Of bringing back the AMA, which ran as a support race last year, Davis said there were no plans for their return. AMA Pro Racing withdrew from this year’s event after they couldn’t come to a mutually agreeable financial arrangement with MMP. The Larry H. Miller Superbike Challenge, which features two classes, is running in place of the AMA races. The Challenge has a heavyweight GTO and middleweight GTU class, both with very liberal rules. The track would like to see the Challenge become the premier club event in America. One race official said there had been minimum fall-out from the withdraw of the AMA races. The event has been boosted by the success of Yamaha rider Ben Spies, currently third in the WSB championship.

There was a moment of levity early in the news conference when Davis was suddenly cut off by loud rock music blaring from the press room PA speakers. The song, “Closing Time” by the Minneapolis-based alternative rock band Semisonic, cut Davis off mid-comment and continued to play while track personnel frantically searched for a way to silence it.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.