More examples of the economic pox plaguing MotoGP and World Superbike in Spain and Italy emerged recently, an ominous sign for 2013.
Production of motorcycles and mopeds fell more than 30 percent in Spain between January and October 2012. More specifically, bike production was down 31 percent and moped production 55 percent.
And it's very clear that the mantra of "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" isn't translating from MotoGP or World Superbike to Spanish showroom floors. Production of bikes greater than 150cc was down 70 percent during the first 10 months of 2012.
The auto industry also is suffering in Spain, with production down 17 percent due to the nation's economic troubles. But 2 million cars still were manufactured in Spain - about 50 times more than the 42,000 motorcycles produced.
In Italy, the Mugello Circuit decided to extend a program offering 50 percent discount tickets to the Italian Grand Prix MotoGP race June 2. Three-day event attendance nose-dived in 2012 at Mugello, down to 88,714 after reaching 127,102 in 2011. It was the smallest MotoGP weekend event attendance at Mugello since 2000 and the first time the overall spectator count dipped below 100,000 since 2002.
Mugello once was one of the hottest tickets in MotoGP, with yellow 46 flags and banners coating the grandstands and hillsides. Now Mugello is holding a fire sale on tickets through Jan. 13.
Non va bene.