In this week’s Racer Head Davey Coombs said the Big News we’ve all been waiting for – what’s going to happen to the AMA Toyota Motocross Championshps – will likely be announced before Hangtown next weekend. To quote DC:
Needless to say, there are going to be a few confused people out there, but the vast majority of motocross fans and industry folks will just be glad to put this all behind them and start focusing on the racing and the future.
How’s that for intrigue? Will we see the one-moto format announced for 2009? We’ll definitely lose the stupid “Lites” moniker for the 250s and go with the much better MX2 designation.
But will we see the beginning of the exodus of factory teams? Joe Gibbs Racing is the model for future big-time MX race teams. There’s no way around it. If the sport is going to grow significantly, the professionalism of the teams – not just in equipment but in rider training, preparation, communication skills, etc – has to rise to meet the challenge. Having a bunch of 20-year-olds making $300,000/year and doing their own thing is not going to cut it.
Before the meathead brigade goes all cockeyed and starts calling me names over this little tidbit just hear me out. Many very large, successful motorsports franchises run this way. The factories are very, very involved, but they provide mainly technology to a variety of privately-managed teams. This is a much more cohesive and productive arrangement. Factories are in the business or making and selling technology. They are not in the business of running race teams. Race teams are a marketing expense, or sometimes an R&D expense. But mostly marketing. It makes far more sense for factories to provide technology to privately managed, for-profit businesses that are geared specifically to running race teams. We’re already seeing this. But JGR is a whole new level. And for the first time it’s a team that can truly out-perform the factories in the way they run the business of racing.
What else will we see? I don’t know. But, in the words of Ross Perot, “I’m all ears.”