AMA’s backing of Mini GP may propel U.S. in future years – July 3, 2006

AMA Sports has announced the addition of a 72cc Metrakit U.S. Mini GP Spec class to its Road Race Grand Championships, Sept. 22-24 at the Mid Ohio Sports Car course in Lexington, Ohio.
The event will serve as the U.S. qualifier for the World Mini Festival set for Valencia, Spain, in December.
U.S. Mini GP is a group comprised of several companies and motorcycle enthusiasts. Ozzie Saez, owner of Florida-based Cycle Imports, the U.S. importer of Metrakit product, is the founder and director of the group. According to Saez, the AMA’s decision may help propagate the sport of youth road racing in the United States.
“U.S. Mini GP has worked tirelessly for four years to get to this point,” said Saez. “It is no secret that with current club racing memberships excluding kids under 16 due to insurance or lack thereof, the sport was heading for a shortage of young talent in the very near future.
“This most recent development is hopefully a sign of things to come. I am sure that, when we get another two to five years under our belts, the level of rider coming out of the United States will rival the best Europe and Asia have to offer. Who knows, for the first time in a long time, if not history, we may see an all American 125cc podium at the world level.”
Designed with characteristics and features found on full-size Grand Prix bikes, Metrakit Mini GP machines are purpose-built road-race motorcycles of reduced dimensions and weight, designed for children between 7 and 16 years of age.
U.S. Mini GP currently runs two classes of motorcycle supplied by Metrakit, the 150-pound Mini GP 50cc and 72cc. The 12-inch-wheel 50cc is an 11 hp machine capable of 70 mph. The 72 Spec bike is a 20 hp machine capable of more than 90 mph. The cost of a race ready Mini GP is $3,900. The Spec 72cc kit is $700 and fits on the 50cc bike. A pre-built race ready 72cc spec retails for $4,500.
While Saez’s U.S. Mini GP group works with Spanish manufacturer Metrakit, other manufacturers offering motorcycles for use in mini GP competition include ATM Vittorazi, Blata, BMS, Derbi, DM, FBM, Fuki Planning, GEM, Giannini, GRC, Honda, Pasini, Polini, Stamas and ZPF.
For more information about the U.S. Mini GP, call Saez at 305/889-1800, or e-mail info@cycleimports.com.

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