Oliver Weighs In On New
AMA Rules Proposal
Rich Oliver comments on proposed AMA Pro Road Racing
rule changes for 2004 involving 250cc Grand Prix moving into a
new AMA Xtreme class with 600cc Superbikes.
Rich states, "I do have fond memories of racing
against unlimited-displacement four-strokes in the Formula USA
series. In 1990 I was able to be competitive in an unlimited formula
with my Kenny Roberts Marlboro-sponsored 250 Grand Prix machine.
"I won races at Willow Springs and Road Atlanta,
and finished on the podium at Gratten, Indianapolis, and many
other tracks. If I remember correctly I finished the series in
second place behind Mike Smith. The next year I won the Championship
on a Kenny Roberts 500cc Grand Prix Yamaha.
"The proposed 2004 AMA Xtreme class is limited
to 600cc Superbikes, with the 250 Grand Prix machines allowed
to increase engine size. As far as I know this is impossible to
do with the current machines. Giving the 250 a displacement increase
will not really be useful.
"In order to gain parity with the 600cc Superbike,
my suggestion would be to limit the 600 to Supersport engine modifications.
This would be the same specifications as used in the current 600cc
"On the 250 side one way to increase performance
would be to allow any type of race fuel. Other than that the 250
that I race now (Yamaha TZ250) is as fast as I can make it!
"I had planed on retiring from racing this
season, in order to run my Mystery School program full time. However,
I would seriously entertain proposals to race a 600cc Superbike
in the new Xtreme class. I think that there would be an opportunity
for myself and Robert Ward my Crew Chief to work together in this
new formula, contributing our abilities to a new 600 Xtreme team.
"The last 600cc racing I was involved in was
with the Factory Yamaha team in 1999 on the R6. I remember I qualified
on the pole for the 600cc Supersport final that year at Daytona.
I enjoyed racing the 600s.
"As far as racing a 250 in this new class,
well, if I could get my hands on a factory machine from Europe,
now you're talking! Otherwise, I'd probably stick to a 600."
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