2017 MotoAmerica schedule is a sign of continuing progress

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We don't normally publish routine announcements here at Common Tread. There are plenty of web sites happy to regurgitate every motorcycle-related news release that's issued. We try to curate the news and add value.

I'm going to deviate slightly from that plan, however, to bring you the 2017 MotoAmerica race schedule. Because while it may seem like minor, routine news, I think it shows just the kind of ongoing progress the domestic superbike series needs to fight its way back toward some of the success and prominence it enjoyed in the past.

MotoAmerica at Road AtlantaAt the most basic level, a racing series must put on a good show and get it in front of eyeballs, both live and in person and on TV. In terms of the first half of that challenge, some tracks that used to host AMA Superbike racing year after year were no longer interested after the sport spiraled downward under the management of the Daytona Motorsports Group. One awkward result was the two-month break this year between the round run in conjunction with World Superbike at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the final round at New Jersey Motorsports Park. After eight rounds in three months, the engines were silent for two months, giving fans way too long to forget about the title chase.

The 2017 schedule addresses this. It's a compact season of 10 rounds with the final round taking place less than five full months after the first one. Plus, in pursuit of bringing the show to more fans, two tracks have been added: an old venue returns (Sonoma Raceway) and a newcomer is added (Pittsburgh International Race Complex).

The series continues to try to build on the popularity of MotoGP and World Superbike by opening the season at Circuit of the Americas in conjunction with MotoGP and running alongside World Superbike at Laguna Seca.

A schedule may seem like a little thing, but the significance, in my mind, is that the MotoAmerica crew is aiming for continuous improvement instead of coming in with the kind of dictatorial "we know best" attitude that marked the arrival of DMG.

Add to that the prospect of Roger Hayden and Toni Elias on a new Suzuki GSX-R1000R that could give the Yamaha riders fits, additional support from Aprilia, a new rules package and new homologation specials from Honda and Kawasaki that could give Superstock 1000 riders new options, and there's reason to be hopeful for season three under MotoAmerica management.

A race is a great excuse for a summer motorcycle trip. Here's the schedule, so you can put in for your PTO early.

2017 MotoAmerica schedule
April
20-23
Circuit of the Americas Austin,
Texas
April
28-30
Road Atlanta Braselton,
Georgia
May
12-14
Virginia International Raceway Alton,
Virginia
June
2-4
Road America Elkhart Lake,
Wisconsin
June
23-25
Utah Motorsports Campus Salt Lake City, Utah
July
7-9
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey,
California
August
11-13
Sonoma Raceway Sonoma,
California
August
25-27
Pittsburgh International Race Complex Wampum,
Pennsylvania
Sept.
8-10
New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville,
New Jersey
Sept.
15-17
Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham,
Alabama

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