The engines are off and Wayne Rainey is chomping at the bit.
The three-time 500 class world champion and current president of MotoAmerica can’t wait for the season to start, putting an end to the short winter hibernation period, so he can enjoy the show on the track.
The Californian greets American fans with a note in which he expresses his great passion for racing and for his role: “First things first, Happy New Year - Wayne begins - Last year was good, this year is going to be even better. We’ve been busy during the offseason, so time has gone quickly, but I still wish the racing started next week.”
Rainey promises great things.
“For starters, we are very close to announcing a new television package for the 2019 season and we’re taking the production of the TV and digital package in house. It will be a lot of work, but it will be more accessible than it’s ever been. This is the biggest thing we’ve ever announced. It’s the next step and we can’t wait to tell you about it.”
We are keeping our class structure the same for the coming season with Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000 and Twins Cup back again. We’ve made a few small tweaks to some of the rules and those changes should make the classes even more competitive.
It’s also been good to see some of the rider announcements that have come out lately: Of course, the biggest one was the second Yoshimura Suzuki seat that went to Josh Herrin. Throw in the fact that we get to see two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach, making his début with team Yamaha Attack in the Superbike class, and you can see why our fans are chomping at the bit for us to get started. In fact, looking at the Superbike grid, in addition to defending champion Cameron Beaubier, you’ll find his teammate Garrett Gerloff, the two Suzuki bikes with Toni Elias and Josh Herrin, Scholtz on the R1, Lewis on the GSX-R... it will be the strongest Superbike grid MotoAmerica has had in its five-year existence.”
Supersport will again be hard fought. Just when Hayden Gillim might have thought things would get easier with his friend Beach moving to Superbike, along comes word that PJ Jacobsen will be doing the series on a Celtic Racing/HSBK Racing Yamaha. As is always the case with racing, there’s always someone who is going to step up and compete, and those two likely won’t have it all their way.
Liqui Moly Junior Cup will be a slugfest as always and we’ll start the season with the parity that we saw by the end of last season with all the manufacturers having a chance to win.”
Wayne is also thinking first and foremost about the paying public, the fans who come out to watch the races.
“We are continuing our efforts to make the MotoAmerica weekends about much more than just racing. Last year at Sonoma Raceway, we worked hard to make that event family-friendly and we included a carnival that proved to be extremely popular. So much so that we’ve decided to go with that at the majority of our races this season. I eagerly await the start of the season at Road Atlanta the first weekend of April. I hope to see you all there.”