American Honda responds to AMA Pro Racing

February 18, 2006 11:48am

For more than 30 years, American Honda has maintained a seat on the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Board of Trustees. Unfortunately, recent actions taken by the AMA have caused American Honda to question its continued participation on both the AMA Board of Trustees and the Paradama (AMA Pro Racing) Board of Directors. Ultimately, American Honda has made the decision to vacate both seats on these boards effective immediately.

Ray Blank, American Honda Senior Vice President, has served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 1989, and on the AMA Pro Racing board since Paradama’s reorganization in the late ’90’s. No Honda representative will take Mr. Blank’s place.

During the time representatives from American Honda served in AMA board-member capacities, the company played a significant role in many positive changes that have taken place in motorcycle racing; the rise of Supercross as a mainstream sport; improvements in rider safety across a broad spectrum of professional motorcycle racing classes; the building of Paradama as a solid business entity within the AMA organization; and sponsorship growth to a level that now supports more full-time professional motorcycle racers than ever before.

American Honda has supported the Paradama concept since it was conceived as a means to create a profitable corporation to fund a vision of what AMA racing should become, and what an AMA non-profit organization could become—a million member organization that fights for motorcyclists’ rights, advocates keeping land open for responsible off-roading and maintains a vital Washington presence.

Recently, however, conflicting interests within the AMA organization have caused a division of ideology and a blurring of the vision that American Honda has always supported. Recent issues, including the departure of dedicated individuals from AMA Pro Racing and its inability to stand by its own rulebook with regard to recent Formula Xtreme considerations, have been particularly alarming.

Honda believes the rulebook is a sanctioning body’s most important asset. When a governing body violates the sanctity of its rulebook, it loses credibility with everyone associated with racing—the teams, the riders, the sponsors and, most importantly, the fans who rely on sanctioning bodies to create racing environments which ensure fair, balanced and exciting competition. Honda believes the AMA and other sanctioning bodies must be responsible for coordinating the efforts of all participants to ultimately benefit the sport. Honda also believes that all manufacturers, through technical committees, must participate in, and collaborate on, development and harmonization of technical rules for each class of competition.

American Honda will continue its corporate AMA membership and will continue to support the AMA’s all important, industry efforts in the areas of land use, riders’ rights and the many other positive programs the organization spearheads.

American Honda will continue to compete in AMA sanctioned racing, and will continue to utilize its resources to build the sport and support more riders and teams. Today, Honda offers unprecedented support throughout the AMA professional paddocks.

Most importantly, Honda remains committed to providing new opportunities for customers to enjoy and race Honda products, and for fans to share in the unique passion and excitement of motorcycle racing.