When we lost Nicky Hayden, we not only lost a great American champion, we lost a motorcycling legend. Our country has had quite a few of those, from Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz to Colin Edwards. It’s an American tradition, but a weak national racing league has seen candidates for the next American world champ thin. That might be changing.
The Resurgence of Motorcycle Racing in the U.S.
For years, the AMA Roadracing Series was where racers aspiring to become world champions came. Our national series even hosted quite a few foreign names that later became champions on the world scene. That changed in the late 1990s as the series seemed to stagnate. Then the recession hit in 2008, motorcycle manufacturers pulled out of the series, and it appeared that the fat lady was singing. Then the KRAVE group surfaced.
Led by motorcycling legend Wayne Rainey, the KRAVE group took control of the AMA Roadracing Series and turned it into MotoAmerica. Their reinvention of American motorcycle racing was meant to reinvigorate the sport here at home, and so far the effort is working.
MotoAmerica is now on the beIN Sports channel alongside MotoGP and World Superbike, and the ratings just keep climbing. In 2017, ratings are over 56 percent higher than they were in 2016, and MotoAmerica’s social media accounts have gone up by 43 percent. More people are showing up to the races, and this year’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event was attended by 61,298 spectators. That’s almost 3,250 more spectators than the 2016 event!
This surge in popularity could see more people taking up the sport, which means more Americans could have a shot at becoming world champions. Will Nicky Hayden finally have a successor to his crown? The motorcycling attorneys at the Metier Law Firm can’t wait to find out.