So right about now you are probably a little confused. Since when did this become a blog about retired(ish) AMA riders? Think about that last sentence for a minute.
Those who are road racing fans, such as myself, will see where I am going. But for those of you not versed AMA fandom, since TTXGP (and the one FIM round) racing started in 2010 there have been AMA racers in the paddock. At the very first race the two racers that ran away with the race were some the top AMA privateers, Micheal “Barney” Barnes and Shawn Higbee. Many of the other racers weren’t AMA licensed but were club level racers. As the years have gone by we have seen more and more AMA level racers on electric race bikes. But a pattern has started to emerge. There are a few “young guns” like Shelina Moreda who is a Super Sport level racer, and Steve Atlas who has a background in the old AMA Formula Extreme class, a lot of the AMA pros that have either retired or been around for a long time and had a hard time finding rides in the modern economy. Names like Micheal Barnes, Miguel Duhamel, Eric Bostrom, Steve Rapp, Thad Wolff, and Shawn Higbee are big names in AMA racing/history. With the US racing scene slow to recover from the Great Recession there are some great riders that seem to be struggling to find ride, that I would love to see join the elmoto ranks. But it’s not like there are many rides, if any available.
Eric Bostom’s brother Ben, has been in the US moto news a bit as the former World Superbike rider had yet to find an AMA ride. But that news is a bit old, so he may very well have found one in the mean time. But to have both Bostrom brothers in the elmoto world would be a coup. I also would love to see Jake Holden, Jake Zemske, and Tommy Hayden on electric race bikes. I suspect they all have rides for next year, but not at the level they are accustomed. Now, Brammo looks to be full up as EBoz, Steve-O, and Moreda all look to have a bike to ride next year. And Lightning should be bringing both Barney and Duhamel back, but that is just an assumption at this point. So other than a guest spot on a Moto Zero bike, what would they ride? Well, MotoCzysz has been making some noise over on their twitter feed. Now whether this is just a much welcomed simple reaching out to fans or maybe a sign they may be more active this year I won’t speculate. But if they are planning a run on their first TTXGP title They could have as many as two seats available. However, up and comer Shane Turpin has connections with MotoCzysz, having been the last rider to race the E1pc in any elmoto race on US soil. I’m sure he’d relish the thought of having Tommy-Gun or Ben Bostrom as a teammate. But that is only one, maybe two fiction seats at best. Well let me dream some more. A really desper . . . ah, go-getting individual could talk to Mission Motors. As Lightning was not able to break Mission lap times at Lauguna Seca, and I see no major break throughs coming from Lightning or MotoCzysz (just revisions on the cutting edge bikes they have), I see the Mission R being very competitive still. There is one fairly real seat open, Amarok. They have declared, again, that they will be racing in the TTXGP. I have had some contact with them, and I believe they have their ducks in a row this year. I suspect they have a rider lined up, and probably Canadian, as would be appropriate. But if not, an out of work AMA racer would be an attractive option. Virginia Tech has a rider, but if a really big name showed interest I suspect they would gladly step down. Not too many AMA riders residing in Virginia though. And then, a maybe an even more realistic option is to buy a production racer from Muench and import it. The bike isn’t slow, but needs some development time and money. The pack is big enough. It just needs some more oomph.
Over in Europe if Max Biaggi or Carlos Checha ever decide to retire it would be an even bigger coup to get them on eCRP, if they had a bike. Although Branetti is darn fast. I really would like to see Micheal Schumaker (who spent some time in high level motorcycle racing after his first F1 retirement) get involved with Muench, and get them some much needed and hard earned sponsorship money.
So more just day dreaming on my part. But if you notice the names I am using start to look like a Masters league for “retired” road racers. I don’t think this would be a bad thing at all. Very experienced riders, still damn fast, and with a long following would bring not just a lot of attention and money to the sport, but would accelerate development at an even greater pace. Let the ICE guys go for the young exciting guys. Right now we need riders with a huge fan base who can develop bikes.