Loris Capirossi has been appointed in an advisory role to assist with matters of safety in the MotoGP World Championship. Read more.
New Partnership Allows Full Broadcast Integration for Series Sponsors
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (November 14, 2011) – MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announced today that NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network (renamed from VERSUS on Jan. 2) will be the new broadcast home for the 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The broadcast partnership will feature three live hours on NBC Sports and 21 hours of race programming on the NBC Sports Network, with 11 hours live.
The 2012 season expects to continue the upward trend the series has experienced since MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports became partners in 2009. Since that time, motocross has enjoyed unprecedented growth with fans, and has seen its television audience nearly quadruple in just three years. This new partnership comes on the heels of a highly successful 2011 season that reached the largest overall motocross audience through television, digital and on-site viewers in the sport’s 40-year history. In 2011 the series saw a 36 percent increase year-over-year in domestic television viewership, along with a 50 percent increase in overall website traffic.
“NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network are the perfect broadcast partners for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship,” said MX Sports Pro Racing President Davey Coombs. “We look forward to engaging motocross’ strong and devoted fan-base via the various broadcast and digital platforms available through our relationship with Alli Sports. Our work together over the past three years has done a tremendous amount to grow the sport and we’re excited to build on it with the expanded television partnership with the NBC Sports Group.”
With the move to the NBC Sports Group, Alli Sports will have greater flexibility to offer complete packages to sponsors that include media assets, series sponsorship opportunities, as well as more live hours, better programming windows and the ability to cross-promote the series across various networks and platforms.
“The new television package not only provides new opportunities for our fans, but allows us to better support both our current and future business partners with more robust and flexible sponsorship packages,” said Alli Sports President Wade Martin. “The Series has seen amazing growth on all levels and the new television package is another big step.”
“The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships is a terrific programming property for the NBC Sports Group, particularly due to its popularity in young male demographics,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President at NBC Sports. “It will serve as an important part of our action sports strategy going forward.”
The 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will be broadcast on five continents, in 104 countries. The series’ widely-popular online coverage will continue as well, allowing enthusiasts to log onto the official website of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship to catch all the opening-moto action at www.allisports.com/motocross.
The 2012 race schedule for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will be released in the coming months and will feature a 12 race season at the nation’s premier tracks. For additional information on the series please visit http://www.allisports.com/motocross. Visit the American Motocross Facebook page and follow @americanmx on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on the latest Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship action.
For media information about the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, please contact Media Manager Brandon Short via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 949-365-5750 .
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world’s most prestigious motocross series – the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The industry leader in off road powersport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visit www.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports
Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, is a global business that encompasses national and international action sports tours and events, multimedia production, and a consumer facing lifestyle brand. The Alliance includes: the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the Dew Tour, Winter Dew Tour, China Invitational, King of Wake series, and the Gatorade Free Flow Tour. Alli TV Productions creates original content, produces and presents content with partners, and distributes Alli content through a variety of channels. Alli is owned by NBC Sports and MTV Networks and represents a network of athletes, fans, brands and properties. Its mission is to facilitate the momentous growth of action sports, through competition and lifestyle, for a new generation of fans and athletes. The Alli properties are home to more than 550,000 spectators each year and broadcasts more than 150 hours of original content in 100 countries and 280 million homes worldwide. Visit www.allisports.com.
Lucas Oil Products
Lucas Oil is a worldwide leader in the production of oils, lubricants and additives. Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest-growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry, featuring a premium line of oils, lubricants and problem-solving performance additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the “Official Motor Oil of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship.” Visit www.LucasOil.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing sanctioning body in the United States, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. From its Daytona Beach headquarters, the organization sanctions professional motorcycle racing competition, which includes, AMA Pro Motocross, AMA Pro Road Racing, and AMA Pro Flat Track. Visit www.amaproracing.com.
NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January of 2011, the broad reach and storied history of NBC Sports united with Comcast’s 24/7 ability to super-serve fans to create the NBC Sports Group. The new sports media company consists of an array of broadcast television, cable television and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports & Olympics, Golf Channel, Versus, 11 SportNets (regional sports networks) and their respective websites. Together, the new combined assets of the NBC Sports Group possess an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the Olympics, NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, IndyCar, Wimbledon, French Open, Tour de France and Kentucky Derby.
By Larry Lawrence
Many GIs returning from bases in England during World War II came back with a taste for nimble handling sports cars. Sports car racing grew in the U.S. by leaps and bounds in the 1950s. Land was relatively cheap and as a result a slew of road racing tracks were built in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Most of these road courses like Road America, Mid-Ohio, Infineon, Brainerd, Willow Springs, Watkins Glen and others, were built in a roughly 10-year period from the mid-1950s to the mid-‘60s. While the aforementioned tracks survived, there were a number of tracks that didn’t make it through the lean road racing times of the late 1960s and early ‘70s when the first generation of automobile road racers that spawned the sport and tracks began hitting retirement age.
One of the tracks that bit the dust was Greenwood Roadway just southeast of the little town of Indianola, Iowa. Greenwood Roadway was the brainchild of a group of sports cars enthusiasts, who were tired of traveling hundreds of miles to race their MGs, Jaguars, Alfas, Morgans, Coopers and Triumphs.
For motorcycle racing enthusiasts the importance of Greenwood Roadway was that it hosted three AMA national road races from 1964 to 1966. Dick Mann won the national in ’64 on a Matchless; Ralph White in ’65 on another Matchless and Gary Nixon took the victory in ’66 on a Triumph.
It was hoped that the AMA Nationals held at the track would bring in big crowds and help save the financially ailing facility, but as road racer Torello Tacchi, who won the novice final at Greenwood in 1965 on a Ducati, recalls not many showed up for the races in this quite part of farming Iowa.
“Greenwood was sort of in the middle of nowhere,” Tacchi said. “It drew some people, but not the kind of crowds I think they’d hoped for. The track had a nice layout, but the pavement got worse every year we went there.”
The original grand dream of the developers of Greenwood Roadway was for it to be Disney-like facility, complete with hotels and restaurants, but the investors, many from outside the area, operated on a shoestring budget and didn’t make a lot of friends with the locals.
To help raise capital the group sold Greenwood Roadway stock. Today you could paper your walls with the worthless Greenwood Roadway certificates, perhaps with a tasteful Enron border as an accent. The scheme worked well enough however, that the three-mile, 15-turn track was opened in June of 1963.
Almost immediate things began to unravel. The grand dream of hotels and restaurants turned to the grim reality of the track just trying to survive day to day. It wasn’t long before Greenwood Raceway’s credit was no good with local businesses and everything had to be paid for with cash. Employees didn’t get paid on a regular basis and began leaving. It’s no wonder little money was left over to promote the events held at the new facility. So the vicious cycle of lack of funding led quickly to a slow death spiral.
The track itself was a high speed circuit, with some fairly substantial elevation changes. Ralph White, who won the race in 1965, remembers coming over the crest of a hill at triple-digit speed on his fully faired Matchless when a gust of wind caught him.
“Both wheels came off the ground,” White said. “Everything suddenly got real quiet when I got airborne. I was still tucked in when I landed in a ditch. I ground the back of my left hand down pretty good and I was telling the medical people how to bandage my hand so I could ride.”
Bob Hansen and his crew went to work on White’s battered Matchless and didn’t quite have all the parts to make a full repair.
“When Bobby Winters finished the amateur race they were frantically pulling off pieces of his bike in the winners circle and were putting them on mine,” White continued. “They got me ready just in time for the start and it took me awhile to get my wits about me and my confidence back after crashing so hard. I got the lead and had to stop for a mandatory gas stop late in the race. They had a little paper cup of gas they threw in, but (Cal) Rayborn got by. I caught him and his Harley on the last lap and passed him to win the thing.”
Winters and his friends wanted to celebrate after the race only to find that Iowa was dry on Sundays.
“Dan Haaby’s girlfriend asked for keys to the car and said she be right back,” Winters remembers. “Pretty soon she came back with a case of beer. She’d found an old farmer to buy it from.”
White left Iowa with very little to show for his victory at Greenwood Roadway.
“Floyd Clymer promoted the thing and he wasn’t known for big purses,” White said laughing. “I got $750 for the win and I had to split that with Bob Hansen. So by the time I paid for my airline ticket about all I got out of it was a trophy.”
The corners that were cut (literally) in building the track began catching up with Greenwood Roadway. The track’s pavement was thinner than its budget. Too little asphalt was laid in the turns and after the track hosted its first stock car race the pavement came apart badly and there was no money to make repairs. After just three short years the high hopes for Greenwood Raceway crumbled away. In 1966 it went bankrupt and sat largely vacant for years.
Only remnants of Greenwood Raceway remain today. It stands eerily quiet – a ghost track now with only distant echoes of racing engines. The facility is now a training center for heavy construction equipment. Graders and bulldozers line the old track. Grass is growing up covering the old pavement in areas A pedestrian bridge sits rusting on the ground in the old pits.
Rumors persisted for years that the track would make a comeback, but it’s too far gone now. It seems that time has forgotten Greenwood Roadway. Many younger area locals today don’t even know that there town once was home to a nationally known racetrack where stars like Mann, Rayborn, Nixon and White rode their speedy Harley-Davidson, Triumph and Matchless racers.
Here’s a link to old 8mm video of a sports car race at the track.
Rome (Italy), Monday 14 November 2011 – The Superbike World Championship’s first ever official appearance at EICMA, the International Motorcycle Exhibition that took place throughout last week at the Milan Fair, concluding Sunday, proved to be an outstanding success.
With its 500 square metres of SBK Paddock Show, the same structure that forms the focal point for paddock activity during World Superbike rounds, stand G82 in pavilion 18 of the show was constantly under siege from Superbike fans and enthusiasts throughout the four days open to the public.
Following Wednesday’s 2011 round-up and look-forward to 2012 by Infront Motor Sports CEO Paolo Flammini to a packed international press conference, the scene was set for the remaining days with events, bike displays of Superbike, Supersport, Superstock and European Junior Cup machinery, grid-girls, gadgets and posters, on-stage presentations, videos, an dedicated merchandise corner, video-game challenges and most importantly rider interviews and autograph sessions for the general public.
All the top protagonists of the 2011 season were out in force, taking turns to be interviewed on the stage by Virgin Radio’s DJ Ringo, as well as Superbike presenters Giovanni di Pillo and Gianluigi ‘Mister Helmet’ Ragno.
A big thanks from Infront Motor Sports therefore go out to 2011 champion Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri, Max Biaggi, Eugene Laverty, Leon Haslam, Michel Fabrizio, Jonathan Rea, Troy Corser, Sylvain Guintoli, James Toseland, Ayrton Badovini, Noriyuki Haga, Ruben Xaus, Roberto Rolfo and Jakub Smrz, as well as Chaz Davies, Luca Scassa, Davide Giugliano, Niccolò Canepa, Lorenzo Zanetti and all the other people who dedicated their time and efforts to the event.