Mark Burkhart on the Graves Yamaha YZF

After HMC KTM deciding to pull out of AMA Supermoto more official factory teams are doing the same. The Factory Graves Yamaha Supermoto team decided it will not be competing in AMA Supermoto anymore, because of the current economic enviroment, the changing of the championship ownership into the hands of DMG and the uncertainty about the 2009 AMA Supermoto season. The Ripit Aprilia team won't be competing in the 2009 AMA Supermoto Championship either. RoadracerX had an interview about the downfall of AMA Supermoto with Graves Yamaha team owner Chuck Graves:



What happens to the Supermoto side of things for next year?
I think that Supermoto have set themselves up … it’s really unfortunate that it hasn’t had all the things it has needed to be successful at the national level in America. Probably part of those problems come from its growth—too quickly too soon—the current economic environment, and the changing of the guard with DMG. Add these things up all at once and it’s probably not going to happen. We had faith and went into this thing in 2008, but it was just more of the same things: races were cancelled and promoters weren’t doing well at events. We were excited about the exposure we got at the X Games level, but at the national level it needs some work and maybe a cash infusion.

Gavin Trippe and Keith McCarty have really tried hard to do everything they can to make it professional and successful. The AMA had some different guys running it and Gavin stepped in and kept it alive again for 2008, but it wasn’t enough to make it viable for 2009. Our position at this point is that if there is anything we can do to help Brandon Currie or Mark Burkhart stay on Yamaha, then that’s what we’ll do. We were all-in for 2008 but looking at how it went, it was very difficult when economics are tight to decide where are you going to make the cut. It’s not like there isn’t exciting racing or we didn’t enjoy it, it was just really not viable to keep it with the number of spectators and the way it is structured at this time.

Could you see yourself making a return to that series someday?
Truth is, I love Supermoto. I would spend my own money to go Supermoto racing, even if it didn’t make good business sense. It happens to be one of those economic environments where we need to be careful where we spend our money and I’ve got to get a lot of trimming in right now, and instead of laying off staff, I would prefer to trim back the racing that doesn’t make sense. We would love to be back in Supermoto, but there would have to be some changes needed to make that happen: a nice, stable schedule and good leadership from DMG because they own the property. It’s one of those things where we’ll take a year off, and if DMG can make it good then I’d be back in a heartbeat. I don’t know if they can do it in a year. I have to believe they have a vision for racing and I think the wheels in most motorsports are round and black [laughs], and if they apply themselves, they can do a great job. 

Darryl Atkins on the 2008 Aprilia SXV

Also another Factory team is pulling out of AMA Supermoto for the 2009 season. This is the Factory Ripit Aprilia team with Darryl Atkins and Ben Carlson. Pretty much for the same reason, they will be taking a year off to see where the championship is heading and if they like what they see they might return in 2010.

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