With the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship in the rear view mirror, our attention has quickly turned to next year. Although a provisional calendar for the 2014 MXGP series was released a handful of weeks ago, we all know that the schedule is changed a few times before the gates actually drop. So, the FIM released the second provisional calendar this morning, with some intriguing changes.
|DATE||GRAND PRIX||VENUE||ADDITIONAL RACES|
|1 March (Sat)||QATAR||Losail||Women|
|9 March||Thailand||Si Racha|
|30 March||Brazil||Beto Carrero|
|13 April||Trentino||Arco di Trento||Women, EMX125|
|20 April||TBA||TBA||EMX250, EMX300|
|4 May||The Netherlands||Valkenswaard||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|11 May||TBA||TBA||EMX250, EMX300|
|25 May||Great Britain||Matterley Basin||EMX250, EMX300|
|1 June||France||Saint Jean d’Angely||Women, EMX125|
|15 June||Italy||Maggiora||EMX250, EMX300|
|22 June||Germany||Teutschenthal||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|6 July||Sweden||Uddevalla||EMX250, EMX300, Veteran|
|13 July||Finland||Hyvinkää||EMX 65, EMX85, EMX250, EMX300|
|27 July||Czech Republic||Loket||Women, EMX125, EMX150|
|3 August||Belgium||TBA||EMX250, MX125, EMX300|
|17 August||Ukraine||Dimitrov, Donetsk||EMX125, EMX250|
|31 August||State of Goias||Goiania|
In case you did not see the calendar on the site earlier, there it is above. Interestingly, the first couple of rounds have not changed at all, so the season will begin overseas in Qatar, and Thailand, as it did this year. However, it has now been announced that the WMX series will begin at the Losail circuit, also, which is a peculiar decision. It is hard enough for the premier MX1 teams to find enough money in their budget to travel to Qatar. So, how do they think that the Women (most of them are privateers) are going to be able to afford to travel all that way? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that change quite quickly.
However, I do think that I understand why they have done that. I have heard them state that they want to make the GP of Qatar a better show next year. So, they are obviously hoping that sticking another class (the WMX) out on track beneath the lights will help the event to draw in a crowd.
Unfortunately, the Spanish GP has disappeared from the schedule, hence why the location for the fifth round is yet to be announced. Currently, both Sevlievo and Lierop are currently missing from the schedule. So, it would not be surprising to see one of those two circuits fill the void. The GP of Hungary has also been removed, hence why there is another ‘TBA’ on the MXGP calendar, which will undoubtedly be filled shortly. Valkenswaard (the GP of the Netherlands) currently sits in between the two ‘TBA’ dates, on the weekend of May the fourth. Interestingly, the Maxxis British Championship has an event scheduled for this weekend at the moment. So, the UK series will surely be forced to move some of their dates around.
Surprisingly, it now seems like ‘the MXGP Festival’ is no more, as the British GP has been moved to the middle of the year (the final weekend in May) and has just two support classes. Although there has not been an official announcement, everything seems to indicate that the British GP will revert back to a regular event from this point onwards. Although it is unfortunate that we will no longer get to see riders like Conrad Mewse perform at Matterley Basin, I am not too disappointed to see that this is the end for the ‘MXGP Festival’.
Bastogne previously occupied that date. However, it seems like there have been some issues behind the scenes, as the GP of Belgium has been moved to the third of August, and the track is listed as ‘TBA’. Of course, the event could still be held at Bastogne, but it does seem unlikely. Perhaps Lommel will make a return? Currently, the schedule does not have a deep sand track, strangely.
At the Motocross des Nations, it was announced that there would be another Brazilian GP next year; this event will host the penultimate round of the series. Following the State of Goias GP, the riders will head to Mexico for the season finale. So, overall, it is going to be an expensive year for the teams contesting the FIM Motocross World Championship. Although the factory efforts should not have too much trouble acquiring the budget needed, you have to feel sorry for teams like Marchetti Racing.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Kawasaki Racing