To catalog the multitude of transgressions perpetrated by the new AMA Pro Racing on the road-race paddock would be futile. The list is long and varied and constantly growing. But if there's one thing they've done that's inexcusable, other than laying waste to their own credibility, it's that they've taken the fun out of racing.
Very few people get rich racing motorcycles. The hours are brutal, the physical demands are demanding, the return on investment is minimal. People race motorcycles, people work on racing motorcycles, people support motorcycle racing, because it's their passion, because they love it, because it's fun. But if Daytona didn't convince you, the evidence was stark at Fontana - this just isn't fun anymore.
The atmosphere in the AMA road-race paddock is funereal. The central topic of conversation isn't racing, but what's wrong with racing and how much worse it's going to get. Because, make no mistake, it continues to get worse.
...They're trying to sell a damaged commodity in a dismal economy with far too many restrictions. For instance, tracks are only allowed to give out trophies to the race winner. Second and third place get medals - the winner does also. Tommy Hayden's medal fell off its ribbon on Sunday. One winner leaned over to another and said, "I used to get these in WERA."