Ready for this? The last time there were no American regulars in MotoGP (500cc GP) was 1975. Yep, that's 41 years ago!
2016 marked a low point for American motorcycle roadracing, made even more painful considering how prolific the U.S. was in producing top-notch roadracing talent from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Had it not been for a couple of late-season substitute appearances by Nicky Hayden in MotoGP, this might have been the number one story in road racing this year, at least for American fans.
Hayden's races at Aragon and Australia kept the U.S. from being totally shut out in MotoGP. That shoe may fall in 2017, since there's no indication at this point that any American riders will have a shot in MotoGP next, even as subs.
The question looking forward may be how long will it be before we have any American regulars back in MotoGP?
This could turn into quite a long dry spell. Here's to hoping Wayne Rainey and company can prepare a path to the GP for some of our up-and-coming young racers--and quick.