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AMA Response to Honda Announcement

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Dal Smilie, newly elected chairman of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Board of Directors, today expressed disappointment over the decision by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. to withdraw from participation in the AMA Board of Directors.

Ray Blank, Honda’s representative on the AMA Board, announced his resignation at the Board’s meeting February 18 in Indianapolis. Honda said that it will maintain its corporate membership in the AMA and continue to compete in AMA-sanctioned racing. The company has also pledged to support the Association’s work to protect the rights of American motorcyclists.

Blank had served on the AMA Board since 1989. He also served on the AMA Pro Racing Board. At its meeting in Indianapolis, the AMA Board made the decision to replace the single AMA Pro Racing Board by a group of rulesmaking committees specific to each discipline of AMA professional competition.

That decision was part of a series of changes in the AMA’s organizational structure designed to increase the responsiveness and transparency of the Association’s work in its three key areas: rights, riding and racing.

“It is unfortunate that American Honda has chosen to withdraw from the AMA Board at this important time, when the AMA is embarking on a new era,” Smilie said. “However, we respect Honda’s decision and welcome their continued participation in the Association.

“I have worked with Ray for the past 17 years on the Board, and all of us appreciate his contributions,” Smilie added. “Ray has informed us that Honda will be involved in the new pro racing committees that will lead to a more responsive approach to rulesmaking for all disciplines of AMA professional competition.”

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