Wednesday, 19 August 2015
More GNC Rules Thoughts
There are some great comments giving lots of different views to the 2016 GNC rules - see them here. DTRA Rookie racer Damian McCann sent these thoughts in...
UPDATE: I've replied to some points. Damian's words are in italics, mine are bold with my initial after.
Tried to post on the blog but too many character and its too late and i cant be arsed to try and edit it as I have to fly in a few hours time, i may have gotten carried away a little:
Having only got into all this 2 years ago I'm not sure I know enough to comment but I have fallen in love with the sport so even though i don't have a solution here's my thoughts: I think you all have really good points and I think you should all join the AMA board!
Gary I agree that it needs its own identity and twins and leathers etc. gives it that identity. When I was first investigating flattrack the thing that captured me was the images of the awesome framers, that look like nothing else in motorcycling leant over sliding round a mile track. The thing that really captured me and this gets into marketing, social media etc. was go-pro footage of Sammy Halbert at a night race (above) and it was a rear facing camera, he was absolutely hammering it and then you had Mees etc.. Drafting and getting inches within the camera and then anchors on or going flying by with the bike snaking about, only to be overtaken again, it gave me goosebumps! It was new to me and was the first time in years that Motorsport had me excited, I wanted to see more.
Having said all that I joined the DTRA and I bought a DTX bike because it seemed more accessible and cheaper. I love it and because I race a DTX bike I look at Wiles or Baker or Brindley, Neaves etc and think "damn i want to ride like that". On the smaller tracks we ride on they are far more spectacular than the framers. I do feel there is a slight bit of snobery (not sure thats the right word) between the two types of bikes and this can't help the sport. Peoria was intense racing!
I think DTX bikes have their place and logic would tell me that they should give the sport a wider target market ie. from wise old Harley Riders to young motocross whippersnappers. The trick is to get the kids into it and they'll get into competing through DTX.
I've never been anti-DTX, I don't want one, but I've said from the off that the racing is exciting, but my belief is the overall spectacle isn't bringing people through the gate. This isn't about grassroots, or support classes, purely selling the big race to punters and sponsors. G
I went to the Xgames and there was a good turn out of over 30's but very few kids spectating. As Brad says Speedway or certainly british speedway is in crisis, it desperately needs new blood, more riders. I go to see Newcastle speedway, again, very few kids but then the average speedway fan probably can't afford to take the kids and perhaps this is the same with AMA events, I don't know I've never been to one I'm just assuming it's an older possibly blue collar fan, whereas motogp just like premier league football is becoming a sport for the wealthy corporate world. Fans choice is good and bad, now you don't need to go to a race and who wants to sponsor something where even on tv you can't get your message across because most people will watch it Mon a laptop or device, the screens so small etc. They could do a lot with fanschoice and it should be a major boost to the sport.
To finish on a positive note as Brad says, in comparison with speedway, grass track etc. from what I can see flattrack is moving in the right direction:
Fanschoice is hugely important, despite my comment above and gets better, with improved camera angles, commentary with Chris Carr.
The AMA seem to be trying to do something: rule changes good or bad they are changing which means they are trying at least. Bringing someone like Bayliss in from another sport is the right idea even though it's been a disaster due to injury and probably not the right personality and could be seen as making a mockery of the sport so they need to tread with care on this one. Stuff like thundermedia footage. Xgames. Hooligan scene. I agree with Anthony that it probably needs to be a lot more international. And the gap after rnd1 Daytona doesn't help much I don't think.
I think Bayliss was great for the GNC. The accident was unfortunate, but it shows how difficult the sport is. He's making his comeback at Springfield. He's a trooper. G
DTRA successful through good organisation, non-motorsport sponsors, a cool image, great dedicated participants.
- Superprestigio is helping with awareness, although I agree it's only because of the Marquez factor.
- Marquezfactor; it seems like every other superbike/motogp rider is using dirt track to improve their skills, that can only be a good thing for awareness.
- Sideburn/Dirt Quake etc.
- Articles in the independent, MCN, it would seem in the Uk it is getting more coverage than ever but this doesn't help the top level, or certainly not the scale of new fans it needs to pull the money in.
Like I said I don't have a solution but I'll certainly be doing my bit to get the uneducated educated. Damian
There are so many things that could be improved, but things are moving the right way and no one has all the right answers. The twins thing is very controversial and does seem rushed for 2016, but is that just the actions of a governing body trying to grasp the nettle and move things along, while there is interest an momentum? That can be viewed as good or bad, but change is sometimes painful. As a fan, I'm excited about the idea. G
Damian got back in touch to say this was the video that inspired him to start racing.