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 Gone are the days when riders lined up after an AMA National waiting to get handed the cash they earned, so that they could buy gas to get to the next race on the schedule. Now, the riders receive their purse money by check. Not just by check, but also by direct deposit to their bank (like anyone would trust the AMA with their direct deposit bank number). The kicker? The AMA takes two weeks to process the payment. Given that the AMA has to write 160 checks after each race (to pay the top 40 by moto in all four National motos) that is a lot of work for their small staff.

It should be noted that no matter how generous the AMA feels about handing out approximately $70,000 per week in purse money to the riders at a National (and $96,000 a week at a Supercross), it’s not their money. The AMA doesn’t pay the riders a red cent. The purse money comes from each individual National promoter and from Feld in Supercross. The AMA’s only visible investment is in clipboards and AMA shirts—so they can look busy.

Instead, the AMA (or its surrogates) takes money from the riders and teams hand-over-fist, but really don’t give anything back. It is often ask why riders have to pay an entry fee to provide entertainment for the ticket holders. Do you think Beyonce has to pay to sell out a stadium? And no matter how you cut it, the riders on the track are the talent. They draw the crowd—without them there is no crowd. The riders shouldn’t have to pay a entry fee, which the AMA then doles back out to them as purse money.

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