MotoAmerica President and three-time World Champion Wayne Rainey says Happy New Year. Wayne is going to be a columnist on MotoAmerica website throughout the coming year. He got started on New Year's Day.
"First of all I want to tell you all Happy New Year. At the moment I'm celebrating 2017 with family and friends up in Lake Tahoe. It's cold but beautiful and a good place to get the New Year started. Looking back on 2016, I'm pleased with how we improved MotoAmerica in our second season, but I also know we can do better and we're fired up and ready to attack the coming season to make it better for everyone - our teams, our riders, our manufacturers, our sponsorship partners and, most importantly, our fans.
As you probably know, we've made some changes to our rules package that brings MotoAmerica's rules in line with the World Superbike Championship. This will make it easier for new manufacturers to get involved in MotoAmerica and I think we're going to see that happen in the next few weeks. Having some new teams in the Superbike class will be exciting for everyone, making the on-track competition even better while creating more interest for the fans.
I'm also excited to have Sonoma Raceway and Pittsburgh International Race Complex on our schedule for this year. It's always good to go to new places and I have fond memories of Sonoma Raceway, which was called Sears Point when I raced there. Pittsburgh is a new track and there's nothing better than going somewhere new because it will present a challenge to the riders and the teams and also gives our fans in that part of the country the chance to come see what MotoAmerica is all about.
Our season opens in just 109 days at Circuit of The Americas in Austin with our Dunlop Tire Pre-Season Test a few weeks before that. The time will go quickly as there's still lots to do, but there's nothing better than getting ready for that first race. I know the teams and the riders start to feel the pressure of the new season and we feel that as well. I remember as a racer, you forget about the season before but you always remember the lessons learned. You’re excited about the New Year and that’s the thrill of being a racer. There’s a lot of anticipation and build up before the first race because everybody starts the new season with zero points so everybody goes in believing they have a chance. Every week you get a little closer and it gets more exciting, especially for the riders and the teams."
Until next time, Wayne.