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I recently saw an episode of "Two-Wheel Tuesday" where Matt Mladin was a guest. Some of the coverage showed Matt and the new business plane he just bought (he's a licensed pilot BTW). Matt said that he was wasting too much of his valuable time waiting around at the airport, so he just bought this plane so that he could fly himself to the AMA race destinations, as well as for his own personal business use.

At any rate, the plane was no rinky-dink 2-seater. It looked like it definitely cost some $$$. So, my question is, does anybody know what the salaries of some of the top AMA riders are? I know it's got to be 7 figures, and they probably get paid even more for their various endorsement deals, but I'm curious to know how much the factories pay these guys.
 

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There is probably only about a half dozen of them making 7 figures in the AMA now if that many. There are several others making damn good 6 figures salaries. One thing to remember though is that Mladin has been making that kind of salary for several years and he is a good business man with investments and businesses. He's very smart with his money from what I've heard. My guess is he is the highest paid by a decent margin. Ben Spies is probably one of the top paid and I imagine Zemke is right up there now. Duhamel certainly isn't hurting but he's not making what he has made in the past if I had to guess. Jason DiSalvo is probably one of the highest. Yoshimura and Honda have historically had some of the highest paid riders... for obvious reason.
 

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How bout MotoGP? think they get about the same?
 

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Most of the factory MotoGP guys probably get a base salary of anywhere from 1-5 million a year I would guess but they make a ton of money from endorsements.

Like Rossi as mentioned, gets a ton of money from endorsements. Rossi is most likely the highest paid rider in MotoGP because he's the best and probably the most popular. In the rest of the world the MotoGP riders are alot like NASCAR drivers here. They do a lot of commercials. Hell Kevin Schwantz use to do soap commercials back in the early 90s.
 

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Yup, plus Rossi is a celebrity in Europe, and obviously in Italy, so even if he loses the championship this season, he's still going to bank a lot of money and support. Comparitively, Hayden and new guys like Pedrosa aren't big yet. May be if Hayden got some publicity in Hollywood and US commericals, things would change.

This sucks though, those foreign tennis players get more attention and money in our country than our own Superbike and Moto GP guys. What's the risk factor in golf (other than lightning strikes) and tennis? And what's the risk factor in strapping yourself into a missile going 200 mph? Somehow the public has lost their way from cheering guys who risk life and limb to people who can't sing for shit like American Idol.
 

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I've heard somewhere (maybe the "faster" documentary) that the riders at the low end of motogp are raking in less than $200k/yr, and that the salary gap is absolutely stupid. 200k is a nice salary, but lets face it you gotta be a real bad ass to get in last in a motogp race.
 
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