|Riders' champion||Cameron Beaubier|
|Teams' champion||Yamaha Factory Racing|
AMA Superbike Championship is an American motorcycle racing series that has been run every year beginning in 1976. For most of its existence it has been considered the premier motorcycle road racing series in the United States. It is sanctioned by the AMA American Motorcyclist Association since its inception, and the promotion of the series has been licensed to several organizations over the years. Since 2015 the series has been run and promoted by MotoAmerica, who also manage several other AMA professional road racing championships, including the popular 600cc Supersport class.
The AMA Superbike Championship was created in 1976 as a new motorcycle road racing series taking advantage of the newest large displacement production road-going motorcycles of up to 1000cc's that were increasingly popular with American riders. The series was initially called "Superbike Production" and was initially modeled on a regional series that had been run in California in the previous years.Up until this the most prestigious racing series in the United States was the AMA Grand National Series which required competition in five different formats 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 1 mile and TT courses, which were all run on dirt ovals, and pavement racing. Europe, under the guidance of the FIM, or Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, had a much more developed motorcycle road racing world championship, but it didn't include any American venues in the series.
In 1986, the AMA recognized the changing nature of motorcycle racing by making the Grand National Championship into a dirt-track-only series; road-racing rounds were branched off into a separate championship which was named the AMA Superbike Championship.The fact that the rules were set up to compete using the same large displacement production bikes that people saw in the showrooms quickly made the series popular with fans, racers and after several seasons motorcycle manufacturers took a direct interest and began sponsoring teams and riders.
At the inception of the series there was stiff competition between the more experienced teams racing European twin cylinder bikes, which included the BMW R90S, Ducati and MotoGuzzi motorcycles and the teams racing the more powerful Japanese inline fours from Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha. While the Japanese bikes produced more horsepower, the European bikes tended to have superior handling. The inaugural series in 1976 was won by rider Reg Pridmore on a BMW R90S owned by Team Butler and Smith. European machines won every race in 1976 and the first half of the 1977 series, but after two seasons of work the Team Racecrafters Kawasaki KZ 1000, again piloted by Reg Pridmore, won the first race for the Japanese. With the advent later that year of the better handling Suzuki GS 1000, the less powerful twin-cylinder European bike's race domination was over.
As the series gained more and more attention in America the factories took note, and in 1980 Honda entered the series with a factory team and brought a top rider from their stable, Freddie Spencer, to compete on their behalf. Up until this point Honda and the other Japanese manufacturers were more focused on the International Grand Prix and in particular its premier 500cc Series, which was run on purpose built 500cc racing motorcycles. By 1980 the 500cc class was completely dominated by two-stroke machines, which at the same time had been phased out for road use in many countries. The American Superbike Series was suddenly more relevant and appealing to manufacturers.
The speeds that the 1000cc four cylinder bikes producing up to 150 horsepower were able to achieve were overwhelming the stock frames, suspension and tires of the era. Thus for 1983 the AMA, working with the top teams, decided to reduce the maximum capacity of the Superbike class to 750cc.
Honda, which had been competing in the series on their CB 750Fwas ready with a new bike in 1983, initially planned as a "homologation special" that is, a bike which is built in just enough numbers to satisfy the production rule. (Typically 5,000 units sold worldwide). That bike, the Honda Interceptor VF750F was a huge departure from the air-cooled, two valve per cylinder CB-750F. It featured a square tube steel perimeter frame which wrapped around the outside of the engine, rather than the older hidden round-tube frames. It was a water cooled V4 with four valves per-cylinder. Originally Honda had planned only to make enough to meet the requirement for production racing, but the bike was extremely popular, even at the price which was higher than the older CB-750, and it went into full production. Honda was unsuccessful in winning the championship with the new bike in 1983, as Wayne Rainey riding on Team Muzzy Kawasaki GPz 750 won the inaugural 750cc Superbike championship, but Honda went on to win the next five years in a row of series championships with the Interceptor.
As the popularity of the series grew the long established Daytona 200 motorcycle race, which had begun on a course constructed on the beach in 1935, and had moved to the asphalt auto-racing track in 1961, switched to Superbikes. The race had been one of the few venues where FIM style Formula 1 500cc machines raced in the United States, but by 1988 the speeds the machines were reaching on the high-banked tracks were simply too high for safety given the tire technology of the time. In 1985 the race format moved from GP bikes to Superbikes, and it became part of the AMA Superbikes series. This increased the visibility of Superbikes even further, and cemented in the minds of many Americans that the Superbikes were now the de facto premier motorcycle racers, eclipsing the FIM 500cc series, with their unavailable two-stroke racing machines.
In late 2002 AMA Pro Racing, the promoter in charge of the AMA Superbike Championship at the time decided to open up the series to 1000cc production bikes. Their plan called for allowing near-stock 1000cc machines to compete against the then-current state of the art 750cc Superbikes that were the incumbent series competition machines. In addition, they would be allowed to increase their capacity to 800cc.The complicated rules allowed "claiming" of the 1000cc stock machines, a technique where competitors can buy the winning machine from the owner for a set amount of money, and intended to keep modifications down in near-stock racing classes. Ultimately this complicated mix of machines and rules was not liked by many of the competitors. In 2006 Ducati withdrew factory support from AMA Superbike racing, and in 2008 Honda followed suit.
From 2009 to 2014, the Daytona Motorsports Group was the organizer under supervision of the AMA. The AMA, not pleased with motorcycle counts and participation in their events, stripped the DMG organization of the sanction and awarded it to a new organization led by Wayne Rainey, KRAVE, with assistance from Dorna (which organises the FIM MotoGP and World Superbike Championships).
KRAVE organized multiple championship road racing series for the AMA, which are collectively known as the MotoAmerica Road Racing Series beginning in 2015.
MotoAmerica chose to align the multiple racing classes closely with those used by FIM, which simplifies the work that manufacturers must do to compete in both series.
The most successful riders included Doug Chandler, Scott Russell, Ben Spies, Miguel Duhamel and Mat Mladin, who holds several series records including seven championships. Five non-Americans won the title – Englishman Reg Pridmore, Australians Mat Mladin and Troy Corser, Canadian Miguel Duhamel, and Spaniard Toni Elías.
Television rights are held by MotoAmerica, but can currently be seen on FOX Sports 1 & 2, MAVTV Network, MotoAmerica's Facebook page, MotoAmerica's Youtube Channel, and MotoAmerica's LIVE+ App.
The Honda CB750 is an air-cooled, transverse, in-line four-cylinder engine motorcycle made by Honda over several generations for year models 1969–2003 as well as 2007 with an upright or standard riding posture. It is often called the original Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM).
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is an American nonprofit organization of more than 200,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists' legal rights. Its mission statement is "to promote the motorcycling lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling." The organization was founded in 1924 and as of October 2016 had more than 1,100 chartered clubs.
The Suzuki GSX-R is a series of sport bikes made by Japanese manufacturer Suzuki. Current models are the GSX-R125 and GSX-R150 since 2017; GSX-R600 which was manufactured from 1992 to 1993, and then since 1997; the GSX-R750 since 1985; and the GSX-R1000 since 2001.
A sport bike is a motorcycle designed and optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on asphalt concrete race tracks and roads. They are mainly designed for performance at the expense of comfort, fuel economy, and storage in comparison with other motorcycles.
Neil Stuart Hodgson is a British former motorcycle racer, who won the 2000 British Superbike Championship, and the 2003 Superbike World Championship titles. He then went on to have a moderately successful four years in the American Superbike Championship, with a best 5th place championship finish.
Frederick Burdette Spencer, sometimes known by the nickname Fast Freddie, is an American former world champion motorcycle racer. Spencer is regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of the early 1980s.
The Daytona 200 is an annual motorcycle road racing competition held in early spring at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 200-mile (320 km) race was founded in 1937 when it was sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). The original course used the beach itself before moving to a paved closed circuit in 1961. The Daytona 200 reached its zenith of worldwide popularity in the 1970s when the race attracted the largest crowds of any AMA race along with some of the top rated international motorcycle racers.
Erv Kanemoto is an American former Grand Prix motorcycle mechanic and motorcycle race team owner. He was one of the most successful motorcycle racing tuners and race team crew chiefs of the 1970s through the early 2000s, working with motorcycle racers who won two national championships and six world championships. He is best known for his association with motorcycle racers Gary Nixon and Freddie Spencer.
Miguel Duhamel is a Canadian former professional motorcycle racer. He is the son of Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame member Yvon Duhamel. He is tied with Toni Elias for the fourth-winningest rider in the AMA Superbike series with 32 wins. Duhamel was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2016.
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The Supersport World Championship, abbreviated to WorldSSP, is a motorcycle racing competition on hard-surfaced circuits, based on mid-sized sports motorcycles. Competition machines were originally based on production-based motorcycles with 600 cc to 750 cc engines, depending on the number of cylinders. After trials in UK national series British Supersport, from 2022 the regulations have changed to allow eligibility of larger-displacement engines, to relect the engine sizes being produced and encourage different manufacturers.
Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs highly modified production motorcycles, as opposed to MotoGP in which purpose-built motorcycles are used. The Superbike World Championship is the official world championship series, though national Superbike championships are held in many countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada. Superbike racing is generally popular with manufacturers, since it helps promote and sell their product, as captured by the slogan "Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday".
Gavin Trippe was a motorcycle racing promoter, journalist, and publisher who was inducted to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005. He died following an automobile accident in California.
American Flat Track is an American motorcycle racing series. The racing series, founded and sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1954, originally encompassed five distinct forms of competitions including mile dirt track races, half-mile, short-track, TT steeplechase and road races. The championship was the premier motorcycle racing series in the United States from the 1950s up until the late 1970s.
MotoAmerica is the organization that promotes the AMA Superbike Series since 2015. Sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), it features six classes of road racing: Superbike, Stock 1000, Supersport, Twins Cup, Junior Cup, and Mini Cup.
The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is the regional motorcycle road racing championship for Asia, held since 1996.
Jason Pridmore is a retired American professional motorcycle racer who turned professional in 1990. He last raced professionally in the 2014 FIM World Endurance Championship on a BMW S1000RR for Team Penz 13. His professional career spanned 22 years, during which he won 21 American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) national races 17 of which are Superstock class wins which is second to Scott Russell. Pridmore was the AMA Formula Extreme Championship in 2002, the AMA 750 Supersport Championship in 1997 as well as the FIM Endurance World Championship title in 2003 & 2012 respectively. In addition to his professional racing career Pridmore instructs motorcyclists through his STAR Motorcycle school and JP43 Training programs. Pridmore also spends time as an expert analyst for Bein Sports coverage of the Moto America championships.
The 2020 MotoAmerica Championship was the 6th season of the MotoAmerica Championship.