Motorcycle racing -- and the world's top two riders have broken away from the ruling body to set up rebel 'World Series'.
GV PAN: British Motorcycle Grand Prix:(August 1979) Barry Sheene leads from Kenny Roberts and Hartog; time keeper watches as Sheene chases Roberts to finish line. (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR: Roberts seated with barry Sheene, answers reporter's questions; racing scenes overlaid. (6 shots)
NUTTING: "Why have you decided to set up the World Series?"
ROBERTS: "A number of reasons. One is safety. For years -- Barry can answer it better than I can, because he's been in it longer than I have -- he's tried to get safety facilities improved with the FIM for three years, sitting on the board, and they just refused to listen to him. The money, and the circuits that we had to run weren't nearly up to par, so I asked earlier this year in Spain, in May, I set the FIM official down at that race and I asked him if there was any way I could change the FIM..And he told me that he has been trying to for years --- and he's in the FIM. So I figured there was no way that I could change the FIM, so I decided that we would race another series, called World Series, and I think that I got all the riders involved at that point so we set up a new series."
NUTTING: "What are your plans for racing on four wheels at Daytona in February?"
ROBERTS: "Well, I'm going to do the 24-hour race at Daytona for fun, because a 24-hour race obviously isn't as serious as, say, the Formula One."
NUTTING: "Do you feel that's where your racing future lies?"
ROBERTS: "No. I feel that the future is naturally the World Series. See, I think motorcycle racing is a little more attractive on the television because of the size of the bikes, it's much easies to pass and the racing is so close, it's so competitive. And since it's time now to organise the sports and make it more professional the natural place for me would be motorcycle racing."
SPORT: MOTORCYCLE RACING
REPORTER: ANDREW NUTTING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Motorcycle racing -- and the world's top two riders have broken away from the ruling body to set up rebel 'World Series'. American Kenny Roberts, the world 5000cc champion, and Britain's former champion barry Sheene announced their move at a new conference in London on Friday (14 December). They said they're dissatisfied with the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM).
SYNOPSIS: Sheene and Roberts, who won a close and exciting British Grand Prix in August, want more money for riders and stricter safety standards in the sport. Visnews reporter Andrew Nutting talked to them.