AMA changes could benefit young Canadian racers

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Stacey Nesbitt is racing in the Middle East this weekend, as a wildcard entry in the Asia Dream Cup. Photo: CSBK
A new AMA series could give Canadian riders like Stacey Nesbitt (seen here racing in Qatar) a chance to further develop skills before moving up to bigger machines. Photo: Statoni Racing/Facebook
A new AMA series could give Canadian riders like Stacey Nesbitt (seen here racing in Qatar) a chance to further develop skills before moving up to bigger machines. Photo: Statoni Racing/Facebook

So a Canadian kid wins CSBK’s CBR250 championship: What’s next? Soon, it could be the AMA.

While a couple graduates of Honda’s older CBR125 series (Jodi Christie, Bodhi Edie) are now distinguishing themselves in the CSBK superbike ranks, it took time. Stacey Nesbit, the 2012 CBR250 champ, is still working on her skills before challenging the CSBK big leagues, and the 2013 champion (Tomas Casas) will probably follow the same route.

Current CSBK rules say once a racer wins the CBR250 series, they aren’t allowed to return to the series the next year; if a kid doesn’t have the time, money or skills to tackle the series for the 600 or 1000 sportbikes, they’re not really able to race competitively, unless they luck out and score a ride in an international series.

Some news from south of the border could change that though, as the AMA is reshaping their roadracing series structure; they’ve made some tweaks to the classes (Daytona SportBike and AMA Pro Supersport will merge in 2015), they’re changing some technical rules, and they’re also talking about bringing in a new development series, on motorcycles in the 250 cc to 300 cc range.

This sort of move could allow Canadian riders to continue to compete on small-displacement motorcycles, against a much broader pool of talent. Not only would this give the riders more opportunity to develop, it would also provide more international exposure for up-and-comers.

One other possible side effect of the small-displacement series, is that it might help to boost sales for small bikes in the US, making manufacturers more likely to import them to North America (a benefit to us Canadians!) – although Harley-Davidson’s XR1200 series certainly didn’t seem to do much to boost that bike’s popularity, so it’s not a guarantee.

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