How to win a free weekend at the races (and see who shows up on the grid)

Road Atlanta MotoAmerica motorcycle races

Here’s your chance to win a free trip to the MotoAmerica races at Road Atlanta and watch them kick up some red Georgia clay. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

You’re essentially out of shopping days before Christmas, but you still have a week to enter to win a free weekend at the MotoAmerica races at Road Atlanta this spring. Let me tell you, April in Georgia is not a bad thing at all, if you live somewhere with winter, like I do.

MotoAmerica is running a contest to name its new racing class for middleweight twins. 

Road Atlanta MotoAmerica race

April is a fine time to be in Georgia and Road Atlanta offers a variety of spectator viewing spots. Photo by Lance Oliver.

The new class for twin-cylinder motorcycles between 600 cc and 850 cc range is part of the sweeping changes MotoAmerica made to its class structure for 2018. (For a quick rundown of the changes, see my story at RevZilla.) Classes for bikes like the Yamaha FZ-07 (MT-07 going forward), Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the tried-and-true Suzuki SV650 are already popular in amateur club racing, and now those bikes get a spot on the pro stage.

The new class does not yet have a name, however, and MotoAmerica is turning to the fans for ideas. To enter the contest, submit your suggestion here before the end of the year. Four finalists will be put to a vote on social media and the grand prize winner gets two hospitality tickets to the races at Road Atlanta, two airline tickets to Atlanta, a rental car to get to the track, two nights in a hotel, $200 in spending money and some MotoAmerica gear. The other three finalists win a year’s supply of Liqui Moly lubricants and additives, a set of Dunlop motorcycle tires or a MotoAmerica Swag Bag.

So who will be racing twins?

The interesting question to me is: Who will be racing in these twins races? I’m having a hard time making the math work for the new 2018 MotoAmerica class structure.

The new classes are Superbike, Superstock 1000 (no longer running on the track the same time as Superbikes), Supersport (combining both of the previous 600 cc classes), the yet-to-be-named twins class and the Junior Cup (replacing the KTM RC Cup for young racers). Teams are struggling financially in the current motorcycle industry environment in the United States, so I wonder how MotoAmerica is going to fill five grids, and since the twins class is the one that’s entirely new, it has the most question marks.

I find it hard to imagine that many teams will have the funding to run an entire season in the class, especially since it’s not going to be as cheap as you may first imagine. Sure, buying an MT-07 doesn’t cost that much, but MotoAmerica describes this class as “the tuner’s dream” because a lot of freedom is allowed for engine modifications. That may mean that winning will require spending a lot on engine work and parts.

I do see this as a great opportunity for expert-level local racers who are already racing these middleweights in amateur competition to line up for a MotoAmerica race or two when the series comes to their part of the country. MotoAmerica already partners with local club racing organizations to give them time on the track between the pro races, which keeps the track active for fans and gives the amateurs a chance to get a little more exposure. Maybe this will be a step up from that.

I’ll give MotoAmerica credit for audacity and daring, which they have shown from the beginning. If I had been reorganizing the classes, I would probably have been tempted to go from five classes running three races to three classes running three races, not five classes running five races.

We’ll see how it works out. In fact, the first chance to see how healthy the grid looks will be Road Atlanta, April 13-15. Come up with a really clever name for the twins and you might get to see it for free.


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