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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question as above. Always wondered how people get sponsorships, go pro. I guess it can relate to like stock car racing, or formula 1 as well.
Thank you!
 

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First off, you have to have talent... then you have to have a LOT of money behind you. :D
 

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Not sure, but I think you have to start small, racing in smaller circuits, and hope that you win enough to command attention from a sponsor. Once you have a sponsor and you continue to do well, you can continue to move-up the ranks and continue to attract attention from bigger and better sponsors. Acquiring the proper sponsorship is key.

BTW, did I mention that you need a sponsor???
 

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You definitely need a ton of money. Equipment, such as a track bike, suspension, etc., is just the beginning. Tires, transportation and considering that each track day costs on average ~$150 - ~$180, it all adds up QUICK. Once you start getting into the higher levels, you'll start blowing through tires faster and faster.

Once you feel comfortable and have completed an accredited school, such as California Superbike, you can start racing with WERA and CCS, eventually moving on to the AMA as a privateer.

Eventually, along the way, if the right person (or people) can spot your talent, you'll be on your way.

It takes a LOT of hard work and dedication. Seeking a sponsorship isn't really the way to start things. Sure, it's much easier to get somewhere once you have it, but go after motorcycle racing because it's something you love to do. Otherwise, you'll never have enough dedication to make it with the top racers.
 

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Basically the way to go is to join the AMA and pay to race in club races (basically, all you need is the cash, a track-prepped bike, and fast lap times). Enough racing club level will allow you to send out resume's to potential sponsors. Not neccissarily for the parts, but for the ability to say, "Look, I'm good and I'm sponsored because of it." Once you build up enough sponsors in club level, you'd approach an AMA sponsor (like Parts Unlimited, etc.) and try to get a privateer team in the AMA (really expensive...you'd probably NEED money from sponsors just to get a foot in the door there)...then once you're in AMA, win races. Gain more sponsors, and after a few good seasons, approach (or be approached by) a manufacturer. Tell them you want to race for them. If they take you on as a factory rider, that's your real foot in the door for MotoGP. From there, win enough that the factory sponsor moves you up to World superbike (or straight to MotoGP, if you're THAT good...but probably not)...compete at the world level with the factory sponsor, and win races, and the manufacturer will take you to MotoGP. Usually, once you land a factory sponsor, you stick with them until you get as high as you're going...then once your at that level other factory teams may bid for your contract if you're good enough.

So...there you go. =)
 

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A lot of premiere class GP riders move up through the lower 125cc, 250cc ranks first. You dont see very many Americans in the lower classes though. Nicky Hayden got pulled by Honda from AMA superbike, and Colin Edwards from World Superbike. These european riders start very young. Danni Pedrosa and Casey Stoner are only 20 years old and racing premeire class. Set the bar lower and see where it can take you when you get there.
 

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If you haven't been riding your whole life, it's difficult. It can be done, Max Biaggi did it at a very old age in motorcycle terms, but it's quite rare to find someone who wasn't already racing at 12 years old to make it to the higher ranks.

As others said, you start in club races, move upto a national series, and hope you get noticed, pick up more sponsors, and eventually get a factory ride.
 

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I'm afraid if you're not winning races at a regional or national level by the time you're 18, you're probably not going to be invited to the big dance. Nicky Hayden was riding for the Honda factory by the time he was 17. Colin Edwards won the national 250 title at age 18. The problem for us aspiring MotoGP pilots is the huge pool of talent that gets distilled down to a chosen few. Imagine all the fastest of the fast in the world, then pull the top 20 out and they're the ones that get a factory ride. Of that 20, maybe 5 - 6 become famous riders and reap the multimillion dollar rewards.

Mind you, it's not impossible to start late and still rise to the top, but most factory programs have their eyes on youngsters as potential riders. And worst of all even if you're a great rider, if the factory doesn't think you've got market appeal it'll be that much harder for to get your MotoGP bike.

My advice would be to work racing into your life now. Scrape up enough money to get a race bike, gear, and track time to earn your license. Then go racing. You might not ever get a factory ride, but you'll learn a lot about yourself and make some great friends as well.
 

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Originally posted by dragknt
Basically the way to go is to join the AMA and pay to race in club races
No offense, but that's not the way to do it unless you've got a huge talent or connections like Hopkins. The rest of the world views our little series as a joke for the most part. Go win a national title in Spain or Italy in 125 or 250 and it'll put you on the map. WSB is also a decent place to get noticed, but it takes almost as much to get in there as it does GP's.
 

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No Days Of Thunder references? Sheesh
 

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Basically you have to plan on getting your son into it at a very early age and live vicariously through him.:) At least thats what I plan for my son. I'll stick to track days and club circuts, it's just a hobby for the old guys.:(
 

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+1 with Antimatter. Gotta win cups at a young age. Pedrosa started real young. Went to a racing school and his mentor, can't think of his name at the moment, picked him out of like 60 kids to be his protege. Why? Because while the other kids in the race school where out playing futbol, pedrosa was studying about lines and braking and anything motorcycle racing related. Then the next season, BAM Pedrosa wins 125cc championship. Goes on like this for another year then, BAM wins the 250cc championship when he moves up his first year to that class. Now the lil' fucker is racing Premier. I hate Pedrosa. Not cause of his lack of carisma, but because he's younger than me and he races Premier.:( Antimatter is also right about the marketing appeal. Factory doesn't want an ugly mug plastered on all their ROW (rest of world) advertising. So I guess I'd better send some Factories my headshots.[:p]
 

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Don't listen to these idiots with their "your gotta start young on 125's and get sponsors" talk. Just go out and buy the fastest liter bike you can find and tear ass up and down public streets. There are manufacturer's scouts that go to the local bike nights and such searching for new hot talent. You never know who they are so its best to play it safe and do wheelies whenever there are people around. It also helps to have a really loud pipe so that you can get their attention. Racing honda civics between stop lights is a good way to show them your competitive nature. Doing burnouts and stoppies is also a good way to impress them. Follow these tips and you'll be rubbing elbows with Rossi in no time. Oh, and make sure your not wearing gear. They are looking for fearless riders, not pussies worried about getting a few scratches on their pretty skin. Good luck.
 

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Originally posted by FLOJOE
Don't listen to these idiots with their "your gotta start young on 125's and get sponsors" talk. Just go out and buy the fastest liter bike you can find and tear ass up and down public streets. There are manufacturer's scouts that go to the local bike nights and such searching for new hot talent. You never know who they are so its best to play it safe and do wheelies whenever there are people around. It also helps to have a really loud pipe so that you can get their attention. Racing honda civics between stop lights is a good way to show them your competitive nature. Doing burnouts and stoppies is also a good way to impress them. Follow these tips and you'll be rubbing elbows with Rossi in no time. Oh, and make sure your not wearing gear. They are looking for fearless riders, not pussies worried about getting a few scratches on their pretty skin. Good luck.
Now was that nice??? LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by FLOJOE
Don't listen to these idiots with their "your gotta start young on 125's and get sponsors" talk. Just go out and buy the fastest liter bike you can find and tear ass up and down public streets. There are manufacturer's scouts that go to the local bike nights and such searching for new hot talent. You never know who they are so its best to play it safe and do wheelies whenever there are people around. It also helps to have a really loud pipe so that you can get their attention. Racing honda civics between stop lights is a good way to show them your competitive nature. Doing burnouts and stoppies is also a good way to impress them. Follow these tips and you'll be rubbing elbows with Rossi in no time. Oh, and make sure your not wearing gear. They are looking for fearless riders, not pussies worried about getting a few scratches on their pretty skin. Good luck.
[xx(] are you joking? i hope so.

Originally posted by zx10rpsycho
Basically you have to plan on getting your son into it at a very early age and live vicariously through him.:) At least thats what I plan for my son. I'll stick to track days and club circuts, it's just a hobby for the old guys.:(
i'd do that :D. my son (haha. what son? ok future son) is up for a fun challenging life.

EDIT: or daughter. I'd be proud.[^]:D

EDIT2:
Originally posted by JCP636
The sole reason i'm going to law school is so that when i get out i know ill have enough money to fund my aspiring motorcycle racing career.:D
[:++1] I'm gunning for an MBA after i finish my undergrad. Same reason-ish. ^^ I'm jumping the gun so much, I haven't even started college yet...

But once you get out, will you have the TIME to fund your aspiring motorcycle racing career? =) You're gonna have a busy life! And that's awesome! :)
 

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Originally posted by -gary



No offense, but that's not the way to do it unless you've got a huge talent or connections like Hopkins. The rest of the world views our little series as a joke for the most part. Go win a national title in Spain or Italy in 125 or 250 and it'll put you on the map. WSB is also a decent place to get noticed, but it takes almost as much to get in there as it does GP's.
Did you read my whole post? I mean, as a young American rider with little to no experience (as the poster has), you can't really just wake up one day and decide to go to spain and win a 125 championship. While the rest of the world doesn't pay attention to the AMA, the factory teams do. Ducati Corsa has a lot invested in AMA, as do the big four. The goal isn't to get noticed by Eckl Kawasaki when you're racing as a privateer in AMA Super Stock. The goal is to get noticed by AMA Kawasaki, or even Attack Kawi, and make your way from there. Factory sponsors and talent will take you much farther than some far-fetched dream of moving your broke-highschool-sudent-ass to Spain and miraculously winning a world championship. Really, if you're in college / out of college, it's already too late to start trying...so you'd have to make the move in highschool or before, at which time it's almost impossible to realistically up and move to Spain on a whim. IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by dragknt



...I mean, as a young American rider with little to no experience (as the poster has), you can't really just wake up one day and decide to go to spain and win a 125 championship. ...
:D just to clear something up, i have no intention of going pro hehe. The only time I've been on a streetbike is my friend letting me ride his zx6r up and down the street. =) Good friend eh?:D
 

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Just deciding to be a GP star is also unrealistic. Unless you're 12 and have some time to burn club racing in the US AMA will get you nowhere, or at least there's a 99.9% chance that it will get you nowhere. Sad fact is that world championship teams do not draw riders from the US series unless you have some great talent or great connections. You can spend your entire career working your way to the top of AMA and then you'll just be looked over for the 17 year-old kid that's hot in 125 at the time. If you haven't made it big here by the time you're 18 or 19, then just forget it.
 

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I think it should also be noted that you be BORN into a Motorcycle family too.... i.e. the Haydens and Edwards out there....

Now about getting my daughters into MOTOGP... ;)
 
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