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Old 09-10-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
dankston
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MIC Announces USSB Championship Series

From a press release issued by MIC:

Factory Riders Offered a New National Series

IRVINE, Calif., Sep. 10, 2008 - The Motorcycle Industry Council, the national trade association representing top motorcycle manufacturers and 300-plus other members, will launch a new professional road racing series next year in the United States.

The MIC has formally established USSB, Inc., and already is at work creating a national championship for 2009 that will take place at major racing facilities, feature factory superbike teams and rules similar to those now in place - rules encouraging technological development that advances motorcycle engineering.

The USSB (SM) Championship is being designed to carry on America's tradition, spanning more than two decades, of world-class superbike racing that showcases the nation's best riders on the best motorcycles in the country. The premier class, U.S. Super Bike, will invite teams running the highly developed, factory-backed, fan-favorite racing motorcycles (1,000cc fours and larger-displacement twins) that have long been the basis for superbike racing. The inaugural USSB series will include U.S. Sport Bike, a 600cc category similar to the World Supersport Championship and others.

"We initiated USSB because next year it will offer the only racing series in America for unrestrained factory superbikes and their teams, as well as those who aspire to join their ranks and compete with them," said MIC President Tim Buche. "We recognize the strong support for this level of racing, among enthusiasts, among manufacturers and among riders. With the other series set to abandon superbikes as we've come to know them, USSB will fill that void."

Buche said the MIC engaged in a development process for USSB that takes into consideration the various needs of industry members, manufacturers, track owners, sponsors, racing fans and riders, as well as the desire to grow the sport of road racing. In particular, there is a need to allow manufacturers to use road racing to advance research and development and improve future production motorcycles available to consumers. Buche said that the MIC possesses the resources, the capabilities, the access to talent, and the ability to contract with various groups and firms, to meet all of those needs and wishes.

"This is America, a big country with a big motorcycle market that deserves a world-class championship with full-on factory bikes raced by star riders," said Ty van Hooydonk, USSB managing director. "The USSB Championship is our answer. We want to steer away from engine restrictors, away from mandated power-to-weight ratios, spec tires and spec ECUs. We want to set the stage for racing teams to compete, on the track, in the R&D shops, in the way they develop their bikes and help develop production bikes, in how they develop their engineering staffs and crews, and their riders, too. Let them do what they do best and go racing."

Organization
The not-for-profit MIC has established USSB, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to be the owner-operator of the series. As the sole shareholder for the subsidiary, the MIC board will appoint the USSB Board of Directors that will then function independently and guide the series.

To maintain the integrity of the competition, USSB, Inc. also will establish an affiliated, but independent sanctioning body, USSB Sanctioning, Inc., which will employ the series commissioner, a racing CEO who will have ultimate responsibility for all competition-related aspects of the series. USSB, Inc. will serve as the series promoter responsible for developing series sponsors, managing series communications and partnering with stakeholders and others to present the series.

Four stakeholder groups will each have a voice and participate in series governance: riders, manufacturers, sanctioning and promoters.

USSB will help establish a riders association that will then operate independently as it represents all of the on-track competitors in the series. Participating manufacturers will form their own committee through the MIC and represent factories. Sanctioning will oversee tech inspection, rules and regulations and will manage race organization and administration. Promoters will include individual promoters and a racetrack association in collaboration with USSB, Inc.

Marketing and Communication
"We're going to have a compelling story to share," van Hooydonk said. "The USSB Championship will feature the nation's top level of motorcycle racing, with phenomenal riders capable of competing in any league, and high-tech superbikes that are among the fastest on Earth. We have a great deal of experience with marketing the story of motorcycling, and we will apply all of it to road racing." USSB news and updates will be available 24/7 at USSBCHAMPIONSHIP.COM. The site will be live Friday September 12, 2008.

USSB, Inc. will establish a communications campaign to improve visibility and interest in road racing, include all types of media, and bring in new fans while maintaining its enthusiast base. For 20 years, the MIC has generated major mainstream media coverage through Discover Today's Motorcycling. DTM promotes responsible riding by generating positive print, broadcast and online coverage, and through a responsive news bureau that annually fields thousands of inquiries from journalists nationwide.

DTM staff regularly work with national media, based in New York and other key markets, on dozens of motorcycle stories every year. Recent DTM placements include coverage with "Good Morning America," the New York Times, USA Today, Popular Mechanics, Maxim, Playboy, and even La Opinion, the nation's largest Hispanic newspaper. DTM generated major media for the landmark "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and hosted its own "Rockefeller Center Motorcycle Shows," seen by tens of thousands of visitors in Midtown Manhattan.

MIC Background
The MIC is a not-for-profit, national trade association with its executive office in Irvine, Calif., and a government relations office near Washington, D.C. The MIC preserves, protects and promotes motorcycling and the motorcycle industry. This is accomplished through government relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, and activities involving technical and regulatory issues.

The MIC also:

* Conducts the "census" of motorcycling, the MIC Owner Survey, which is the most comprehensive demographic look at American motorcyclists.

* Tracks new-unit sales through its Retail Sales Report.

* Created Partners Standard Protocol (PSP) which defines industry standards allowing dealers to exchange business data with suppliers from within their dealership management system. PSP is being currently implemented in powersports and other industries.

* Hosts the annual MIC Communications Symposium, bringing together MIC members and a variety of nationally renowned experts on the economy, new business opportunities and American psychographics.

The MIC represents more than 300 manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV parts and accessories and members of allied trades.
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Last edited by dankston; 09-10-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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continued...

Motorcycle Industry Council
Frequently Asked Questions
USSB Championship Series Qs&As

What is The USSB Championship Series?
“The USSB Championship Series” will be the premier professional road racing
series in the United States. Racers will include both world-class riders and
upcoming stars. USSB is a factory supported pro-level series. It is designed to
feature many brands, to attract the best riders, to develop and employ the most
advanced technology the industry has to offer, with the nation’s fastest bikes, all
at traditional racing venues. In addition to providing the highest level of road
racing in the country, which hard-core enthusiasts will appreciate, USSB will
attract new fans through marketing efforts that will generate mainstream media
coverage and also directly reach out to consumers.

What classes will we see in The USSB Championship Series?
The premier class, U.S. Super Bike, will invite teams running the highly
developed, factory-backed, fan-favorite racing motorcycles (1,000cc fours and
larger-displacement twins) that have long been the basis for superbike racing.
The inaugural USSB series will also include U.S. Sport Bike, a 600cc category
similar to the World Supersport Championship, among others.

What are the 2009 Rules?
When finalized, the rules will be substantially similar to the rules used for the
2008 AMA season. In future years, the intention is to develop rules compatible
with World Superbike and other national superbike series around the globe,
which will encourage innovation and technological development, yet reduce
manufacturing and testing costs involved in creating different-spec bikes for
different series.

Why did The USSB Championship Series need to be created in the first place?
The AMA road racing series was sold to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG).
When initial reports of DMG’s plans for the series became known, many of those
with years or even decades of racing experience voiced concerns that the series
failed to meet the needs of riders, road racing enthusiasts, motorcycle
manufacturers as well as gear, performance parts and other aftermarket
suppliers. Rather, the plans seemed primarily focused on a radical alteration in
motorcycle racing limited to severely restrictive motorcycles in place of the
branded racing that stakeholders prefer. Numerous industry participants were
concerned that unless key needs and expectations were addressed and
improvements made, the AMA series as outlined would not serve the best
interests of the sport and would severely limit their ability to participate. The
USSB Championship Series is committed to addressing these key industry
concerns.
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Texas Yamaha Gulf Coast
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txyama
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Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.

Last edited by dankston; 09-10-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #3
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continued...

USSB (SM) was developed by a team of industry veterans committed to carrying on
the true tradition of U.S. superbike racing and producing a championship series
that is exciting beyond great racing, which is a given. Manufacturer participation
in the series will promote innovation and new technology that will ultimately find
their way to production motorcycles. USSB will not restrict motorcycles to highly
specified configurations and it will be the only series for unrestrained superbikes
and their teams. USSB will focus on racing that best promotes rider safety,
competition and innovation, racetrack attendance, television coverage, electronic
viewership and ridership.

What is the operating structure of The USSB Championship Series?
The operating structure is based on several other successful series operations
and best practices within professional racing. USSB, Inc. will be governed by
executive management and a Board of Directors and will be responsible for
promotions and communications, ensuring that the series remains responsive to
the changing demands of technology and consumer preference. USSB, Inc. also
will create an affiliated, but independent sanctioning body - USSB Sanctioning,
Inc., which will govern the competition and employ the Series Commissioner who
will be responsible for all competition-related decisions.

In addition, four stakeholder groups will have a voice and participate in
governance, similar to other series such as MotoGP:

1. Riders Association representing the interests of all the on-track
competitors.

2. Manufacturers Committee representing factory interests and consisting
of representatives from manufacturers fielding factory teams in the series.

3. Sanctioning responsible to oversee tech inspection, rules and
regulations and will manage race organization and administration.

4. Promoters including individual promoters and a group representing
them in collaboration with the USSB, Inc.

A Race Direction Commission and a Rules Commission, consisting of
representatives of each stakeholder group, will be formed to contribute to series
direction.


With manufacturer, sanctioning body, promoter and rider input into USSB,
won’t it just be run by committee?

Input from all stakeholders is vitally important in order to produce world-class
events. It is critical that riders, manufacturers, sanctioning body and promoters
are working together towards the same goal – producing the premier U.S. road
racing series. But the Series Commissioner, who is in essence the series CEO,
will have the ultimate authority and final say on all competition-related issues in
The USSB Championship Series.


Isn’t this just the two-wheel version of the damaging split between the
Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League?

While initially the situations may appear to be similar, actually it’s really like
comparing apples and oranges.

With the auto racing series, team owners were having difficulty making money
and thought a breakaway series controlled by the owners would rectify the
situation. Motorcycling’s top teams are in the sport to market their brands, and to
do so, manufacturers want to continue to spend money on racing. That’s a major
difference.

On the auto racing side, the ownership of the most important racetrack and the
biggest race in the series, Indianapolis, wished to purchase the entire series and
change its direction. In the case of superbikes, the industry, the manufacturers,
the riders and the fans all want to maintain the level of unrestricted racing
currently enjoyed and build on it.

There has been no call for heavily restricted superbike racing, other than from
the AMA series new ownership. The teams of the manufacturers and their
supporters want to go racing. They don’t want to manufacture the racing.
We may see no split among the major teams between the various series
because USSB is the only series designed to meet the needs of major teams.
However, teams always have the option to participate in USSB and other series.
At USSB races, superbike racing fans can expect to see factory rider stars on the
factory bikes on many of the familiar tracks, watch them on TV and read about
them in their favorite enthusiast publications and Web sites.


What is the 2009 schedule and what tracks will host the races?

USSB will seek dates on many of the same tracks AMA has raced on in the last
few years. We expect the 2009 series to run from April through September.

Updates and news about the series can be found 24/7 at the USSB
Championship official website www.USSBCHAMPIONSHIP.com.


Who is the managing organization for USSB? What qualifications and
experience do they have?

The USSB Championship Series or USSB is owned and operated by USSB, Inc.,
a subsidiary of the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC is a not-for-profit,
national trade association created to promote, protect and preserve motorcycling
and the U.S. motorcycle industry.

As an industry association, the MIC is uniquely qualified to leverage its more than
four decades of industry experience to help create, operate and produce USSB.
MIC staff and a team of experienced industry veterans conducted the initial work
on USSB. USSB, Inc. will retain additional professional staff to handle race
operations, sanctioning functions and promotion services as needed.


Why did the MIC get involved in this?

The MIC was not looking for any direct involvement in racing. However, MIC has
been associated with racing for many, many years since great racing events in
this country serve as an impressive venue for industry business activities. They
can be a draw for the major mainstream media that motorcycling needs to
progress, and also for the celebrities who can help promote the sport and are
now “media” in their own right.

But since the AMA series is headed away from decades of American Superbike
tradition with a radically changed series formula it is time for the MIC to become
more involved.

Many years of effort by factory teams, from mechanics to crew chiefs, to
engineers and designers in faraway R&D shops are at risk of being simply
wasted. America’s best riders, and the competitors who came here to race
against our best, all of whom had developed powerful working partnerships with
these teams, faced an uncertain future. Several of the country’s most respected
professional riders spoke out loudly against these sudden changes. Some talked
about leaving to race overseas.

Even teams who had not recently won the Superbike championship, or even a
race over the past few years, expressed the view that they did not want to lose
the current racing formula. They wanted an opportunity to rise up and beat the
defending champions with the existing rules left in place. They wanted to show
that they had the ability to build stronger teams and develop faster riders. They
wanted to continue to race, under the current rules, for the challenge and for the
sake of pride. The desire to compete is part of their corporate DNA and the top
superbike riders and teams could be ranked among the best in the world. They
are that skilled, that accomplished.

There are a good number of factory, manufacturer-supported teams in today’s
Superbike series. There are four full-factory teams now racing and not long ago
there were five. The manufacturers spent millions upon millions of dollars
supporting these teams, and additional money sponsoring individual races
across the country. By the manufacturers’ own words, the new AMA series was
not going to meet their companies’ needs.
__________________
Christopher T. Bankston
Assistant Manager
Texas Yamaha Gulf Coast
http://mafia.com

txyama
http://texas-yamaha.com

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.

Last edited by dankston; 09-10-2008 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:31 PM   #4
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final continuation....

And reaction among most fans, as judged by letters to enthusiast publications
and Web sites, was almost universally negative. They said they wanted to see
the best riders on the fastest bikes. Many of them stated that they did not want to
see, either in person, or on TV, highly restricted bikes, or what they feared would
be glorified club racing.

The AMA Superbike Championship, as we have known it through 2008, may not
be ideal. But there was no MIC interest in developing another road racing
championship until it was clear the AMA series would no longer exist as it has
been known.


So the motorcycle manufacturers are doing their own racing series, then?

No. This is a common misperception. The Motorcycle Industry Council is initiating
USSB on behalf of its members. This is the industry starting its own racing
series, which will be independently operated.

Can the MIC really pull this off?

Absolutely. The MIC will start and nurture an entirely new and independent
enterprise, USSB, Inc., with the sole mission of owning and operating the
nation’s premier road racing series. USSB, Inc. employees, board members and
business partners will be selected for the expertise they can bring in promoting
and operating this racing series.

We believe there is no better entity to start a proper motorcycle racing series
than the industry itself. No one can know motorcycle racing better than
motorcyclists. No group has more at stake or will care more about achieving
success. The MIC has but one motive: Improving the industry. Accomplished by
promoting, protecting, preserving.

Note that the industry has strived toward nearly 15 years of rapid growth.
Motorcycle sales in the early 1990s were a quarter of what they are today. The
industry worked extensively to turn around the generally bad image of
motorcycling that existed 20 years ago. Media coverage two decades ago was
almost universally negative. Today, motorcycle industry representatives are
welcomed inside the offices of the biggest media outlets in the country. The
motorcycle industry can count among its friends more CEOs, celebrities and
Capitol Hill officials than ever before.

Meanwhile, American road racing has not enjoyed similar levels of growth and
increased awareness.


How is this part of the MIC’s mission?

MIC is initiating the series for the teams, for the manufacturers, for the riders, for
the fans, all to better promote the business of motorcycling in America. It is the
function of the MIC to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling. A world-class
road racing series in the United States, done right, will help promote motorcycling
here.


What does the MIC have to gain?

The 300-plus MIC members and their thousands of employees and all of
motorcycling in America stand to gain much from a successful national
championship road racing series. The MIC is a not-for-profit association that
works on their behalf. A great deal of business is accomplished at world-class
racing venues, which can serve as the backdrop that attracts major media,
corporate and celebrity involvement in motorcycling, not necessarily just racing.
And the showcases that great racing venues provide also help generate a lot of
consumer sales and can inspire new riders. Win on Sunday; sell on Tuesday
when the bike shop opens.

USSB, Inc. was established specifically to create a sustainable, popular
superbike championship that will benefit many across the industry.
__________________
Christopher T. Bankston
Assistant Manager
Texas Yamaha Gulf Coast
http://mafia.com

txyama
http://texas-yamaha.com

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.

Last edited by dankston; 09-10-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:18 PM   #6
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I wonder if umbrella girls working the AMA series will be allowed in the new MIC series or will there be separate competition for them as well?
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