Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2005 10 12

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 106 of 107

By SCOOrERMANIA SCOTT ROUSSEAU The Double Points Conundrum roy Lee Designs' Jeff Ward won five of the 12 AMA Supermoto Championship rounds in 2005. Red Bull KTM's Jurgen Kunzel won only one round, and yet Kunzel is the new AMA Supermoto Champion. How did that happen? You can read about the particulars in the front part of this issue, but the short answer is: double points. In an effort to maintain the entertainment value of the series and, no doubt, to appease Reno event sponsor Red Bull, AMA Pro Racing has for the past two seasons instituted double-points events at the final round of the season, virtually guaranteeing that the title could not be clinched before the glitzy Red Bull Supermoto-A-GoGo. Coming into Reno, it shouldn't really have even been an issue, as Ward had very nearly clinched the title by Nashville. All he had to do was cruise in the last two races of the year at Reno, and the title would be his. But when the astronomically remote possibility of Ward losing the title turned into nightmarish reality, the double-points scenario came into play, and Kunzel was the benefactor. Then, and only then, did double points become a problem. On the surface, double points just doesn't seem fair, and team owner Troy Lee of Troy Lee Designs, while gracious in the face of his team's heartbreaking loss of the title, said as much. '~II it does is help the guy who is behind," Lee said. "Durgen] Kunzel is a great guy, and I'm stoked that he won, too, but it should be that the best man wins, and 'Wardy' Deff Ward] was the best man all year long. Kunzel definitely made some screwups during the year, but we really paid for it on this last one. I mean, in Supercross, Ricky Carmichael T could have lost the championship if the last round had been a double-points round. I think everybody's going to look at it all year and say that Wardy deserved to win the title and he didn't - just like two years ago with [Ben] Bostrom. The best man should win. We'll be back, but we need to think about what's going on out here. The best man should win. That's all I have to say." Lee makes a good point about double points. It's a rational conclusion from a guy who has been around motorcycle and what could happen. Just ask the new AMA Supermoto Champion, Kunzel, who only needed to cruise around the track behind Kurt Nicoll to win the Supermoto Unlimited Championship in las Vegas last year, and who saw his title vanish like the air out of his rear tire. Double points sucks, but is it unfair? In my opinion - and using only the Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go as the model, because that's where the double-points conundrum seems to rear its ugly head the racers and teams have to honestly ask automobile racing from the inside all of his life. I just think there is more to consider when broaching the subject. First of all, the double-points thing is not a surprise. The riders have been aware of it, the team owners have been aware of it, promoters have been aware of it, and the fans have been aware of it. I'm not saying that nobody raised the issue before Reno, but the double-points final race was not something that AMA Pro Racing pulled out of its bag of tricks just a week before Reno. The system had been used last year, and everyone knew themselves if the event would be as big a spectacle if the double-points final didn't exist. Would the fans be happy? Would the sponsor be happy? How would the series fare if all was fair? Traditional motorcycle fans might take issue with the whole double-points idea, but are Supermoto fans traditional fans? Is AMA Supermoto traditional, and should it be treated the same way as AMA Superbike, Motocross and Supercross? I'm sure many traditional motorcycle racing fans thinks that NASCAR is stupid, but stupid or not, you can't ignore that it is the number-one motorsports racing series in the world, and that it appeals to more than just longtime, hard-core race fans. If it didn't, it wouldn't be as popular as it is. A year ago, NASCAR instituted a new points system that takes the top 10 points earners in the Nextel Cup and distances them from the rest of the field, making for a 10way shootout for the title with only handful of races remaining. Is that fair for the guy leading the points? I'll bet he'd say no. How about the guy in 10th? I'll bet he'd say the system works just fine for him. But the really important question to be asked should be: Is it more appealing to the fans? Judging by the increasing popularity of the sport in the last two years, the answer is a resounding yes. And aren't the fans what racing is all about anyway? Time and time again, you hear the racers thank the fans, stating that if it weren't for the fans, the racers wouldn't be there. There's a lot of truth in that. Gavin Trippe, the father of the entire Supermoto phenomenon, once told me that the rules should be made from the grandstands in and not from the paddock out. I think that there's a balance that can be struck in there somewhere, but Mr. Trippe makes a great point. So, I guess my point is that I don't hate double points. In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I think it's pretty cool, and I wouldn't mind seeing a double-points final moto or a double-points final Supercross or Superbike race of the year, either. I think that the fans would like it, and I think that sponsors would like it. If the racers don't like it, well, they should just race. Because if it wasn't for fans and sponsors, we'd probably all be forced to sit on the couch and watch NASCAR. Personally, I'd rather watch Supermoto, double points and all. eN CYCLE NEWS • oaOBER 12, 2005 103

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's - Cycle News 2005 10 12