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MotoGP support races & ASBK

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by Johnny O, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. John Orchard, Ma licence number 133008, Race number 89

    To Whom It May Concern:

    It is with great sadness, anger and dismay that I write this letter, it will be sent to M.A., all state controlling bodies, race event promoters, media and as many racers as I can for support on this matter.

    I am 50 years old, have been racing motorcycles in Australia since 1974, and now as I try to complete my entry form for the Superbike support race at the 2010 MotoGP, I have to say “enough is enough!”

    I am as per 99% of racers in this country in that I race for fun; I have a full-time job, a home and family; it is a struggle to live these days never mind the drain of racing motorcycles. I bring up the costs of competing in the Australian Superbike Championship, and events such as the support races for the MotoGP.

    I understand & expect any form of motor-racing to be expensive (read; high costs) as the world has the never ending issues with insurance and such necessities but it totally disgusts me that people from inside our sport allows the drain on struggling privateers to continue.

    On top of a $645 entry fee for the MotoGP support event (that 45,000 spectators are paying aprox $70 each entry for), I also have to buy & run control tyres; I would need an absolute minimum of 1 front and 2 rear tyres to get me through the weekend (and that’s without any hope of being competitive! And that is also if it doesn’t rain and have to buy rain tyres! I have a stack of tyres in my garage that are either; new ones that I got a good deal on, or they are low-use from other race events.

    So, after $645 entry fee and $925 for the bare minimum for tyres, there is the cost of accommodation at the Island (I know the promoters have minimal control over that but I trying to show a total cost of doing the event); $400 (for low cost, shared), then fuel $200. Seeing as we only get one qualifying session at event, one has to participate in a ride day at the track to at least have some kind machine set-up that’s right for the weekend; $239.

    Oh yeh, renew my race licence; $300, club dues $55 (thanks Preston for keeping them down), upkept safety gear; gloves, helmets, boots; let alone machine costs…… and that’s if I don’t have an accident. I am up for about $2800 just to ride at MotoGP without any machine or riding gear costs.

    Having a ‘control tyre rule’ is totally ridicules; not being able to modify the tread (tread grooving) is also stupid. You are not running a World Championship here (the control tyre rule there is also hampering sponsorship deals and advancement in major tyre technology), this is Australia, a small population country with minimal financial investors in our great sport.

    Now on top of the financial burden of competing at the GP (and Supers), I refer to the disgraceful treatment of National racers at such events; at the 2009 MotoGP that I rode at, we were shuffled around the infield of the Phillip Island circuit with little regard for us; queuing up in one location for machine examination (which didn’t get completed the first day, had to queue again the next day), had to lug all the tyres (some mounted of rims) to the other side of the paddock to queue to have them marked. Them had to go to another location to collect transponders, they another location for a riders briefing!

    It would all work so smoothly if the officials worked their way through the support paddock doing all the checks in the racers garage.

    Then on top of all that, some stupid old guy (that knew someone at MA back in his BSA days) that lets a bit of power go to his head and won’t approve my race numbers that I have been using all year; on the largest plate, the largest most easy to read numbers with the right colours with a mat finish…. Just because they aren’t the exact typeface! I sometimes work as a lap scorer or commentator, I understand the difficulty of hard to read numberplates, but if they are easier to read than regulation?!!! but no, little Hitler has add a little more pressure to a racers day.

    Now after all that, you can shove your support races; many racers that I have spoken to feel the same. My love of this sport means that I will not let these matters go on.

    You should be paying us to ride; we should be able to use any ‘production’ tyre; M.A. should buy all brand tyres from the importers and offer them fairly to all racers without markup.

  2. My dear fellow please allow me to congratulate you on your prose, what a splendidly conceived and written letter. You have articulated the plight of many a club racer wishing to take one step beyond.....

    In their wisdom (isn't that an oxymoron) the current control tyre was brought in because it was cheaper than the 209 and IMO not nearly as good.......
    I even have 209s on my roadie
  3. Thing is John, enough riders WILL turn up and pay to make the organisers believe all is well.
  4. Hopefully with the Formula Extreme series going to AASA for it's insurance and sanctioning thing will improve for those competing under MA sanction.
  5. You could try to race a real race bike aka. a 125cc GP bike....

    But hang on, they don't have real race bikes in the Moto GP support races at all any more.....

    There you go, I saved you money..

    just my 2 cents....](*,)


    while I sympathize with the plight, lets look at who's actually responsible for the cost...in your case approx $2800

    Entry Fee....Promoter / Organiser... = GP Corp & Konsky
    Tyres ..... Manufacturer / Importer / Promoter ( cosy deals, profit margins,,,yadda yadda )
    Practice Day Cost ...... Circuit Owner / Ride Day Operator
    Fuel ....Oil Company / Servo / Distributor

    MA Licence & Club Fees.......$350 ( out of $2800, and that covers you for the whole years racing not just 1 event )

    So what we have is numerous PRIVATE organisations taking the major portion of your dollars, each making a living, some employing people, and yes to a degree, each with their corporate snouts in the trough.
  6. I called the Grand Prix Corporation this morning to cancel my entry, they have backed down, they have said that the 'control tyre' rule will be dropped and I can run any brand of tyre, looks like I'm back in.
  7. JO, you know that the whole event is geared around the premier classes. ASBK is no more than cannon fodder for this event and racing happens around and at the discretion of the MotoGP......well **** that! Unless I was a kid or seriously competing in the ASBK then I wouldn't allow myself to be treated like shit just to "be a part of it".

    The bigger teams have flunkies to take tyres for marking, queue up for scrutineering and transponder collection - as a privateer I reckon it's a good day to be a spectator, my only surprise is that you'd bother entering.
  8. lol, I draft an aggressive post supporting your withdrawal and you re-enter after they offer you a concession. :)
  9. Try racing a sidecar. No Oz championship until it was organised with the marvelous people @ Preston to run in conjunction with the Vic Titles in early May this year! Round 3 only now organised @ a Phoenix club meeting @ Malalla in November & 2 weeks later @ the 6 Hour on the Friday & Saturday Every year our representatives are offered a support race @ Moto GP or SBK by the governing body & it is always taken away from us later. Aussie race cars get to run @ ASBK before us. Sidecars are the longest running Oz championship since the 1920's. No wonder our class is dwindling away!
  10. Would I be right in saying you mostly race at Broadford, post up your race schedule .. I for one will ride up to see you insane buggers race ..
  11. John, this has always been an issue and thanks for taking a stand as the situation of the participants in the support races is definately worsening.

    The cost of insurance is not a big budget item as everyone claims.

    This has been contained by the process of M.A. now owning there own insurance company, based on the Isle of Mann.

    From your entry fees, for any M.A. sanctioned event, the sum of $22 is paid to M.A., as a rider levy, which includes the insurance component. If the event is under a state controlling body permit, ie state championship, interclub or club event, the levy is $11 per entrant. This fund also covers the cost of insuring officials, spectators etc.
    The insurance cost component has not risen for a number of years.
  12. Thanks for that, I was always curious about that.

    Do you have a similar breakdown for much of my race licence goes towards insurance?
  13. Am not aware of % of $$ from your licence going to insurance, though I have heard this said before. Suggest you ask your club delegate to the SCB to ask this question.
  14. great letter Johnny, Good result.... way to stick it to da man