NASA RALLY SPORT ANNOUCES RALLYMOTO PROGRAM FOR MOTORCYCLES
Rally bikes to compete at selected events in 2006, full national schedule in 2007
Knoxville, TN (January 31, 2006) - NASA Rally Sport officials today announced inclusion of motorcycles in selected automobile rally events for 2006, with intent to present a full national schedule for the bikes in 2007.
Cross-country motorcycle rallying, sometimes referred to as "Rally Raid," is considered by many to be the toughest motorcycle sport in existence. In essence, the sport is similar to automobile stage rallying in that the riders have to navigate around an extended course interspersed with timed sections called "special stages" or "special tests". The route between each special stage is known as a "liaison section" (several terms originate from French, as many of the International events, notably the Dakar Rally, are run by French organizations).
NASA Rally Sport, the stage rallying sanctioning arm of the National Auto Sport Association, already sanctions automobile stage rallies throughout the United States, and coordinates the United States Rally Championship with the United States Auto Club (USAC).
"With a full schedule of automobile events already, including the United States Rally Championship, it seemed to be a no-brainer to add the bikes to our events," stated John Shirley, a principal in NASA Rally Sport, "Just like with automobile rallies, we saw a competition area that had not been developed in the United States, but has tremendous participation at an international level. Since our national event infrastructure is already in place, we should be able to bring the bikes online relatively quickly and seamlessly."
"The plan is to have the bikes compete at the Olympus International Rally in Washington State in May, and selected other events this year as a prologue. If the prologue events are a success, and we have no reason to believe that they will not be based upon research and feedback from the biking community, the intent is to present a full United States Rallymoto Championship national level series in 2007 with events on both the east and west coast," added Steve McQuaid, organizer of the Olympus event, "we're very excited about this expansion of our events, and think it's a winner for all involved, competitors, organizers, and the sport overall."