View Full Version : Drop Suzuka & Bring MotoGP to the US

04-07-2003, 08:06 AM
With Suzuka being such a risky venue for racers, wouldn't it be great if Moto GP could be brought to the US? I know the attendance in the US at motorcycle racing events isn't the same as in Europe or elsewhere, but, perhaps the attendance issue could be addressed by running the MGP event with one of our AMA events like WSB does at Laguna Seca.

04-07-2003, 08:58 AM
scroll down to this thread...discusses some reports of this actually happening:

<a href="http://pub165.ezboard.com/fapriliaforumfrm11.showMessage?topicID=216.topic" target="top">pub165.ezboard.com/fapriliaforumfrm11.showMessage?topicID=216.topic</a>

04-07-2003, 09:32 AM
www.cyclenews.com/ShowSto...ineID=4557 (http://www.cyclenews.com/ShowStory.asp?HeadlineID=4557)

<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The U.S. Grand Prix will return in 2004, with America certain to host a round of the MotoGP World Championship, according to a high-ranking Dorna official.

“What I will say right now is it’s confirmed is we will have 2004 Grand Prix in the States,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Promociones de Deportes, the GP rights-holders. “I confirm we will have a 2004 GP in the States and we will confirm which is the place and maybe in Jerez [the site of the May 11 Spanish GP] or before Jerez.”

Ezpeleta said that the choice was between Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Homestead Raceway, in Homestead, Florida. There’s also the possibility of the GP returning to Laguna Seca in the future, he said, though that depended on the track being homologated. Ezpeleta and other Dorna and FIM officials have visited both the Florida and Alabama sites, and each had its strengths and weaknesses.

“The racetrack for us is much better Birmingham than Homestead,” Ezpeleta said, “the facilities are much better in Homestead than Birmingham.”

Ezpeleta said he was impressed with the quality of the Barber racetrack. “The racetrack is fantastic,” he said, adding that he’d met with track owner George Barber.

The 2.3-mile road course, laid out over natural terrain, has 16 turns and 80 feet of elevation changes. The racing surface is 45 feet wide with plenty of run-off.

“It’s in the middle of the standard of any European racetrack. And also the racetrack can be safe and the lay-out can be funny. This is, I think, a lay-out that’s safe and the lay-out is fantastic.”

The only class to initially go to the U.S. will be MotoGP, with the rest of the race weekend filled with AMA races.

“At the beginning we will go just there with the MotoGP class and really we need 12 garages and to make temporary garages,” he said.

Barber currently has six garages and the MotoGP class, with its 24 bikes and 12 teams, needs 12.

“For example, Homestead it’s much better. All the facilities are fantastic. The press room, the villas. But I think we will look at all possibilities.”

As to when the race would be, that would depend on the circuit.

“My feeling, just my feeling, is that it will be the beginning of the year,” he said. The weather in Florida would make it a better choice at the beginning of the season, he said, noting that that time of the year might not be as conducive to racing in Birmingham, which would host the race at a later date.

Ezpeleta confirmed that safety delegates Claude Danis, of the FIM, and Franco Uncini, of Dorna, had visited both sites. Ezpeleta also said that Claude Danis had gone to Laguna Seca, which had agreed to do the work to make it safe for a GP.

“Apparently Laguna Seca is ready to make works for a GP, but not for 2004,” Ezpeleta said.

Ezpeleta said that Danis had gone to Laguna Seca to work on the World Superbike homologation.[/quote]

04-07-2003, 01:27 PM
I've not been to Barbers, but, between the other tracks I wish they would look at Road America. I just don't see them racing in a place like Holmstead. Centrally located, 4 miles, 14 corners, fast, beer and brats. What could be better??

04-07-2003, 06:59 PM
I would like Road America too. Only 3 hours away:)
At road america they would have to fix "the Kink".
Kind of scary going 100MPH+ and have a wall/chain link fence less than 5 feet away and tar snakes should be deemed unacceptable. Actually , I think they would have to fix runoff safety factor from 11(kink) to 13a (going under the bridge blind left turn)

Is Homestead like Daytona/Fontana? If so, I find that an extremely lame/joke of a track to race on. I ask, If Homestead is so great why doesn't AMA race there?

They should build the garages/facilities at Barbers if they like the track so much. AMA could race there also.

Attendance didn't look so great looking around the stands at Suzuka,

04-07-2003, 07:11 PM
Isn't the kink changed for this year? I thought I read something about that over the winter.

04-07-2003, 08:01 PM
I don't know, didn't hear about that.

Guess I'll find out for sure in June. I plan on doing the STT or Nesba track day the following Wed/Thursday after AMA race weekend.

gabriele bigoloni
04-09-2003, 03:19 AM
A race in Japan is a necessity, Suzuka is too dangerous, there's plenty of other venues to pick from. If anything, I'd drop one of the Spanish rounds (3 plus one in nearby Portugal!!!!), way too many (don't hate me Chrono) in favour of Laguna Seca.

04-09-2003, 07:05 AM

Don't worry, as long as they stay in Montmeló that's fine to me.
I only live 5 minutes riding from Montmeló. Climbing up the hills (in the wooods) behind my house you can even hear the F-1 sitting under a tree although you can't see them from there. I do think that 3 GP's in Spain are too much.
However, the Portuguese GP is again in the remodeled Estoril, so we only have 2 left. Jerez and Montmeló. Both tracks are ok, although my favourite is Assen, especially because I raced there many (2:cool: years ago.

Suzuka should be banned, Rossi tried to organise an official protest with his fellow riders, after Melandri crashed on saturday. Nobody supported him, probably because it's a Honda property. It seems now however that things are getting organised by the riders. They really have enough of the Uncini/Butler tandem. After the races, both Butler and Uncini made some very unfortunate declarations to the press. From that it became very clear on whose payroll they are!

Another thing which became cleare is that the closed TV circuit of the Suzuka track does have the images of the accident. Rumours go from a blocking rear tyre to an error in the electronic throttle control. Nich Hayden had a crash also caused by the throttle control. His engine kept full open at the entry of a curve.


04-09-2003, 07:26 AM
<a href="http://www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com/" target="top">www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com/</a>

click on 3D-Map link under Featured Event on right side of your screen.

Miami has THE location but Track is Oval w/ an infield course. Still have "runoff" problems....

<a href="http://www.barbermotorsports.com/" target="top">www.barbermotorsports.com/</a>

Barber HAS the track, they just need to figureout facilitie$.

Let me see if I remember... Barber has 6 garages needs 12 total so build 10 more garages @ 5,000? s/f each @ $60/sf (high) = $3mil of course if you value engineer to auminum, no HVAC, and add a good O'L Boy or two and your in at $1 -1.2mil. or reduce number of garages to be built to 7, area to 4,000 and your in at $600K. sell naming rights and you in under $500,000. Whew! I think we have a deal, unless Miami flat out buys the event.

BUT.On the Horizon..I read in some motorcycle magazine the other day someone is building a track in south Dallas or Houston, w/ Formula 1, and Motorcycles in mind...be ready 2005? Hmm?

04-09-2003, 11:35 AM
Suzuka will most likely always be on the GP circuit.

As mentioned previously, it is Honda's home track, and also where the prestigious Suzuka 24 hour endurance race is held.

Honda is the 800 pound gorilla of motorcycling and if they can strongly influence GP to transition to 4 strokes, it is delusional to think they will let racing at Suzuka end.

They may change the course lay-out as is done at all tracks (recently done at Daytona's chicane) to increase safety as the bikes continue to evolve and speeds increase, but (IMHO) Suzuka will always be on the GP circuit.

04-09-2003, 02:39 PM
Is it just me, or do "make shift" cycle tracks have less of an appeal? I hate the high banked straights, and cones all over the place. I think it cheapens the whole idea. That said, my vote is NOT for Florida.

Of course, I'll just be happy it may be on the East coast!

In regards to Suzuka, its just like Daytona here. The racers hate the wall so close, and it just screams danger (more so than just riding a 185 mph rocket without a cage). But it will always be there.

04-09-2003, 04:17 PM
i raced on few tracks and sears point get my vote , no streights and no walls, so top speed is only 120mph , all this F1 tracks and 200mph top speed is BS , they suit F1 car not a bike ,bikes need smaller safer tracks , wining should be about skills not drag race into strieghts like it is now