2013 MotoGP: No Americans?
by dean adams
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nick Hayden and his first Laguna USGP win. Old Glory on a duct-taped pole.
image by burning bush phone
Fans of American riders in the MotoGP world championship are contemplating an Armageddon-like possibility for the 2013 season: that there may be exactly zero American riders in the MotoGP world championship.

Currently, there are three American riders in MotoGP: Colin Edwards II, Ben Spies and former MotoGP world champion Nick Hayden.

As it stands now, none of the three have contracts for 2013. Hayden, depending on the day, is reputed to be re-signing with Marlboro Ducati, or being booted from the 2013 team for Brit Cal Crutchlow.

Outwardly, Ben Spies seems to have the best shot at staying in MotoGP. His 2012 season has not been one he'll look back on with any glee thus far, but it is understood that Yamaha are strongly considering keeping him on the factory MotoGP team through 2013.

"Nick doesn't deserve to be replaced by a guy named Crutchlow, who says if he had a factory bike, he could be winning. He (Crutchlow) hasn't been on the frickin' podium yet." -- Kevin Schwantz
Colin Edwards II is currently racing for the Foreward CRT MotoGP team. The team is widely expected to switch motorcycles soon and with that better results may come. Will Edwards race in 2013 MotoGP? No one seems to know.

1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz also fears that 2013 could be a season which may see zero Americans in MotoGP.

"There's absolutely, every possibility that it's realistic [that there may be no Americans in MotoGP in 2013]," Schwantz said yesterday. "I've heard more positive about Spies, and the fact that he's probably still going to have a spot, more than I have ever heard all season. Hayden, ... Nick doesn't deserve to be replaced by a guy named Crutchlow, who says if he had a factory bike, he could be winning. He (Crutchlow) hasn't been on the frickin' podium yet.

On Edwards, Schwantz said of his fellow Texan: "At this point in his career, you've got to decide, 'Am I happy (racing), or spending time with my family, going fishing, doing the boot camp, hanging out? Not traveling to 18 different Grands Prix in 14 different countries. Plus testing. Plus all the media stuff. Plus.' That's where the work side of it gets the better of you, and you've just got to make a business decision as to what's smartest and what is best for you and your happiness. On Colin's behalf, I think, if Colin were on a factory Yamaha, maybe Colin still has that podium potential in him. (But obtaining a factory M1) ... I think that's a long shot, with the shortage of bikes that there are out there."

Schwantz summed up by fearing for anyone promoting a MotoGP race in America without any American riders in the blue ribbon class. "It would be a tragedy, because American rounds of MotoGP, absolutely no interest to an American if there isn't anybody in the premier class. Right now, we don't have anybody in either of the other two (MotoGP) classes. Red Bull Rookies' Cup has the kid Joe Roberts in it, but they're not at every Grand Prix."


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