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Wayne Rainey is the 2015 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year

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Already in the Hall of Fame, Wayne Rainey is receiving the Motorcyclist of the Year award for 2015 from the AMA. The former Superbike and GP champ is in the midst of perhaps his greatest challenge, i.e., rescuing U.S. road racing from the depths plumbed by DMG. Rainey and his partners have completed their inaugural year of  MotoAmerica racing, but, immediately, the new series has brought credibility and common sense organization back to the sport in this country. Let’s hope fans and manufacturers give MotoAmerica their full support as it moves forward.

Here is the announcement from the AMA:

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association announced today its 2015 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Wayne Rainey. Rainey, three-time world champion, two-time AMA Superbike champion and now president of MotoAmerica, leads a team that has revitalized professional road racing in the United States.

The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year award recognizes the person or persons who had the most profound impact within the motorcycling community in the previous 12 months. It is awarded annually by the AMA Board of Directors.

“Wayne Rainey and his partners and employees at MotoAmerica demonstrated in 2015 that they had the knowledge, fortitude and collective wisdom to not only restore professional road racing in America to greatness, but to reinvigorate an industry and fan base that had been languishing for years,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman.

“That success is built firmly on the foundation of Wayne’s character and perseverance to be successful at what so many before him have realized is one of racing’s most challenging tasks,” Dingman continued. “Where others failed, Wayne is succeeding, and his efforts transcend the sport itself in many ways.

“It is therefore my great honor to recognize Wayne Rainey as the 2015 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year,” Dingman said.

MotoAmerica took the reins of professional road racing in late 2014. That’s when a deal was struck between and among MotoAmerica, Daytona Motorsports Group and the AMA that enabled MotoAmerica to take over commercial and promotional responsibility for professional road racing in America and restored the AMA as the sanctioning body for professional road racing.

In 2015, MotoAmerica operated the first season of its professional road racing series, sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. The MotoAmerica series, the new home of the AMA Superbike Championship, built a strong platform and set professional road racing in America on a new path for success.

“One season alone does not make a successful race series,” Dingman said. “But guided by Wayne’s ideals of fairness and integrity, and his overarching goal of preparing U.S. riders to challenge for world titles, MotoAmerica is clearly on a path toward long-term success.”

The full story of Rainey’s creation and development of MotoAmerica can be found in the January issue of American Motorcyclist, the official journal of the AMA.


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14 Comments

  1. Coast Runner 101 says:

    I’ve always said racers should run racing. The’ve been there and know how to take care of and look out for the riders. Congrats to Wayne.

  2. achesley says:

    Amazing what fanschoice Tv has done for flattracking this year. I hope we can get a deal like that for American Road Racing . Heck, all motorcycle racing would suit my old self just fine.

  3. Jeremy in TX says:

    Rainey deserves the award. He has a long and hard road ahead of him to get American motorcycle racing elevated above joke status, but I think he is the man for the job.

  4. Gary says:

    Wayne was a great sportsman as a racer and a real class act beyond the track. I we will all benefit from his stewardship.

  5. Blackcayman says:

    I had the 1990 Rainey Shoei Replica Helmet. I was a big fan of his and I was riding the 87 FZ750.

    He was a class act back in his racing days. 10 or so years ago I was at Laguna Seca the weekend of MotoGP & AMA Superbikes, its was epic.
    most decent and normal man in spite of him attaining Rock Star status. We talked about
    Walking though the pits we happened upon Wayne and stopped to chat him up. He was the motorcycles and racing for 20 minutes like old friends.

    Biggest Class Act in Motorcycling

    • Gary says:

      The early FZ750’s were outstanding machines! Back in the day of technical innovation when nobody followed the same format and we had V4’s, air/oil cooled in-line 4’s, and 5-valves per cylinder. You could hardly call Japanese bikes bland back then.

      • Blackcayman says:

        loved that bike….

        It was replaced by a 1990 FZR600…which was so light and nimble. It was a watershed event.

  6. stinkywheels says:

    He, Malcom Smith, and Kevin Schwantz are what American motorcycling is all about. I wish more of the world had this impression of us rather than beer bellies on loud slow bikes.

    • Butch says:

      Ditto that.
      I was fortunate enough to met Malcolm Smith at the Vintage Event in Birmingham Alabama a couple of months ago.
      He was promoting his new book and was taking photos with anyone who asked.
      A true living legend in the MC World.

  7. Dino says:

    Congrats! I hope the series gets proper promotion, expose more people to the sport and build more fans..

    Been to a couple Superbike races, and there is nothing like being there! I need a little kick to get me back to the races again… If you can’t follow them on TV somehow, it is hard to stay interested, and get to the track when they come to town!

    • Scott says:

      TV is critical! I can’t do the Fans Choice thing. It has to be on a TV channel that you can record on a DVR and watch it. I know Rainey is working on a TV deal, so hopefully he can get it together.

      I truly admire Wayne Rainey for what he’s trying to do for the American racing scene. We have become virtually irrelevant in the world, and if there’s anyone who can bring us back, it’s him. It’s a monumental task, but he really cares about it.

      Congrats, Wayne. You deserve it!

  8. ROXX says:

    Just AWESOME!

  9. Aloha-Terry says:

    Well done, a very good man and deserving of this award.