Michael Jordan Motorsports has announced it will compete in the FIM World Superbike Championship event at Laguna Seca on September 27-28. MJM riders Roger Hayden and Danny Eslick will be wild-card entries in the double-header aboard Suzuki GSX-R1000s.
The final round of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship also takes place at Laguna that same weekend. Hayden and Eslick were in fourth and fifth place respectively in that series coming into the finale, but MJM isn’t running the AMA races, just the World Superbike races. Reading between the lines it’s not hard to see why.
First, the AMA races won’t be televised “due to unresolvable complications in the production arrangements for the event.” No TV means significantly less exposure (in other words, advertising) for team sponsors and riders. In addition, the long-term prospects for a racing series that can’t even arrange TV coverage of its season finale are grim. It makes little financial sense to compete in a series that might soon be broadcast over CB radio.
Second, World Superbike has a worldwide audience, meaning far more bang for the buck for the people who write the checks. Along with getting more exposure for its investment, MJM might be considering a move to World Superbike. That would likely require a larger investment than racing in the U.S., but it could be offset by additional sponsorships. Entering its riders and bikes in a World Superbike race would also let the team gauge its readiness for such a move as well as make an impression on series participants and officials.