If you’re not a fan of modern MXGPs then it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and be very negative about the early-season fly-away GPs. Especially after the recent Indonesian debacle where the weather came close to ruining it, especially as there were some questionable decisions made about track preparation leading up to the event.
But if motocross is to have a true world championship, it can’t just be held in Europe on traditional tracks. It has to spread its wings to more far-flung countries to take motocross to a new and emerging audience. Often to countries where motorcycles are sold in huge numbers.
We don’t disagree with the fly-aways but if you’re going to send top teams around the globe, get it right with the choice of track and its preparation, bearing in mind the likely weather conditions. And put it in a country where a large crowd will go, adding to atmosphere and making it look and feel like a world-class event. Not in front of a tiny audience, as has happened at the opener at Qatar for five years in a row now.
The teams commit financially in a big way to the series and sometimes that seems to be overlooked by the GP bosses. There’s no prize money or big money share-outs from GP organisers, as happens in MotoGP where teams are given millions of Euros to help them get to each round of the series. The teams spend a lot to get to the races, so they should have top class events to race at.
We understand Youthstream’s vision of putting the sport on TV and spreading the word via social media, but they should present the riders with the best stage possible on which to show their talents. They deserve to race in countries with the best tracks in front of big crowds. Looking like amateurs paddling through mud bogs is not doing them or the sport we love any justice.
Compared to the problems of Indonesia, round three of the series in Argentina was incredible and we applaud MXGP bosses for taking the championship to this awesome venue. It’s a track that looks as good for spectators there as it does on TV and showcases the sport as it should do.
The Argentinian circuit looks like it should be on the AMA calendar as it’s very similar to lots of US-style tracks with elevation changes, big rollers and big, fast jumps. Many of the sections of track have different choices the rider can take, rather than one obviously fast line. And the high-speed nature and wide corners makes racecraft a real necessity. It was good to see riders with different options on the track and actually using them. And it made the racing exciting to watch.
With a fast track covered in soft soil, there were hard bumps under the dirt which made many of the riders say the circuit was more sketchy than it looked. But it definitely favoured the brave which was brilliant. We need more of these kind of circuits in the calendar – using the natural land but in a very modern way.
If all fly-away GPs were on racks like these, in front of big crowds, then it would be very hard for the perennial nay-sayers to complain.