Yamaha Backs DMG

Henny Ray Abrams | September 10, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY, SEPT 10: Yamaha U.S.A. has committed to race in the 2009 AMA Superbike Championship, run by the Daytona Motorsports Group, opting not to take part in the recently announced MIC-backed U.S. Superbike Championship, according to the race team manager.

Reached at his office on Wednesday afternoon, Yamaha race boss Keith McCarty, who hadn’t seen the MIC press release announcing the series, said “at this moment our plans are to race in the DMG (AMA Superbike Championship) series that it was sold to the AMA. I was at the meeting. And it’s basically, in my mind, an extension of what the AMA’s been doing and kind of the direction that we’re going.” But, he added, there were a number of concerns.

“Our desire is to go racing, but we have a lot of discussion points and a lot of things being said and now we have a division, and so maybe that division is going to create more jobs, it sounds like; I don’t know,” he said. “Something tells me we don’t have enough players to do a very good job having two series. That’s my feeling. I don’t think anybody wants to feel like their pounding their chests if they went to the right one. I think that if there are two series then everybody loses. I don’t see a clear-cut winner. CART and IRL couldn’t produce a clear-cut winner. Now they’ve kissed and made up and they got back together, but I guess we’re all silly enough to believe we can do it better than they did. Somebody is anyway.

“I think that they feel real powerful that they can make the other one say uncle. And it never works. So, very disappointing.”

McCarty said Yamaha is moving forward with plans to race in both DMG classes, American and Daytona Superbike. He also said they couldn’t race in both the DMG and MIC championships. Asked if there was anything that could convince him to race in the MIC series, he said, “Well, I think if DMG doesn’t have a series that would certainly persuade us. We don’t have a schedule yet from either sanctioning body now. Both of them say they want to have them.

“Again, I think I don’t know all the details, and so I’m kind of talking blind here and it’s probably better to have all the details in front of us before we read our crystal ball and see what to do. But right now we’ve been making plans to be with DMG, quite frankly, and we’re waiting for their schedule to come out and I expect that they will be all of the same circuits that we’ve been racing with AMA and that’s really what we’re interested in doing.”

McCarty wouldn’t comment on whether Yamaha had any riders under contract. The contracts of Jason DiSalvo and Eric Bostrom expire at the end of this season. DiSalvo, who is also looking overseas, attended last weekend’s Donington Park round of the World Superbike Championship.

“I think if you’re going to ask me the order in which things will happen is that we’re going to get to see schedules, it sounds like now from two series, and I’m going to guess that people are going to get to declare which schedule they’re going to attend,” he said. “And then from that point on, you’ll find out all the other details of how they’re going to work in that schedule, work in that arena.

“Again, I don’t know. It sounds like this MIC thing is very far along. I didn’t think it went very well with the promoters, but apparently they got through to somebody, because if they think they can have a series, they obviously got to have tracks. If they’re pulling tracks away from what the AMA thing has been, I guess that’s the prerogative of the track owner.”

McCarty said making plans is “very difficult. As of right now, I guess we’re hoping that the DMG thing’s going to materialize and then we have a place to go. If it doesn’t, I think that would be a really bad thing for a lot of people, because this isn’t an orphanage here where we house wayward people that don’t have jobs any more. So I think there’s a lot of difficulty with this whole thing. Right now we have to start planning and doing things right now in order to be prepared, so that’s kind of what we’re doing. Until we find out that nothing’s going to happen, then we’ll deal with that.”

Yamaha is unique among the American distributors in that their race crews are salaried employees, unlike the other teams, which mostly employ contracted personnel.

“I think things are in full swing. As I mentioned, we’re preparing to race DMG, so that’s something that goes on, it’s an ongoing thing. As far as a deadline goes, I think when they get done, they get done. Some agreements take longer than others and you take them one at a time. I do my best work when I focus on one thing, so that’s kind of how I’m approaching this.”

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.