It is tough for most of the professional motocross riders in the world to make a living, whilst risking their lives every single weekend. Sure, you hear a lot about riders like James Stewart, Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto; these riders make millions of dollars from their sponsors and it is well deserved. Heck, some would argue that they deserve more for the amount of effort they put into doing what they love.
However, this is where our sport is slightly skewed. The riders mentioned above have the opportunity to hire world-class trainers, ride on their private tracks at their facility, and hire the best possible team to surround them at the races. This then puts these riders in the best possible position to succeed, and when they do it results in more money from sponsors. It is a vicious circle. What about those other riders in the field that put their lives on the line each week? Browse through the results sheet from any professional race anywhere in the world; not all of the riders are at the top, and not all of them have sponsors like Red Bull, Monster Energy and Nike listed next to their names.
But still, these riders put in just as much effort as those at the top. Take the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series for example, when a rider like Kyle Chisholm (a solid, consistent top ten guy) is struggling to make a reasonable amount of money, something is wrong. From the outside looking in, things are not always as they seem either. Although some riders look like they are on a top team with everything provided to them; some are using their own money to continue pushing on with their dream. But, the FIM Motocross World Championship is no different, nor is the Maxxis British Championship. There are many riders all over the world that are desperately trying to ‘live the dream’. It seems as though only a select few can succeed at doing this, unfortunately.
It seems that these riders are under the spotlight in the United States; their struggles seem to have more focus put on them. This is the problem with the Maxxis British Championship, and the riders that face this uphill climb. No one really hears about their fight to stay on the track, which doesn’t help their cause.
Back to the topic at hand, there are companies out there that are helping these riders stay on track through contingency money. When you think about it, it is a win-win situation for both parties; the company in question can get their products recognition, whilst the rider gets a reward for all of the hard work, and effort they put in. But unfortunately, it has not always been this way; still not all of the companies provide riders [mainly privateers] with some kind of reward for using their product.
However, there are some out there; undoubtedly this will help a handful of riders that will be on the starting line for the first round of the Maxxis British Championship this weekend. Evidently, Race FX are leading the way in helping the privateers; here is what they will be providing for the riders at all eight of the Maxxis British Championship rounds this year:
“Recognising the commitment of the many privateer racers who make up the bulk of the British championship entry and the need to support the life-blood of the series more, Race FX has got together with a number of its brands to come up with a significant support program that will be in attendance at every one of the eight British championship rounds this summer and will provide help to privateers by providing them with a range of products for them and their machines to the tune of a massive £20,000!”
This type of input is needed more in the Maxxis British Championship; essentially any one of the many privateers on the gate qualifies for the Race FX support program. I do think that it is underestimated just how much this helps the privateers make it to the gate each week. In the USA the contingency that riders receive is much, much more than you find over here. A top ten rider over in America can still afford to train everyday of the week, and try to better their racing career. Whereas most of the riders that are around the top ten in the Maxxis British Championship have to find another job somewhere just so they can make it to the race at the weekend.
The biggest issue at the moment is that we are a niche sport; perhaps there is not enough money in the industry to support every rider on the gate? However, it is still surprising that contingency money is not too common in the Maxxis British Championship , in comparison to the USA especially.
Words by Lewis Phillips