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Motocross: The Big Problem

Ever wondered why motocross doesn’t get any decent mainstream media coverage? Well, I did too.

So I asked MCN editor Gary Pinchin (former DBR editor) just why motocross doesn’t even get any coverage in MCN.

Here is his worrying answer:

Hi Jonathan,

Unfortunately our market research shows there’s little interest in motocross for our readership.

I was Editor of Dirt Bike Rider for near on two years prior to joining MCN so I do have an affinity with the sport but when we have covered it, it’s drawn little, if any response.

We actually created an off-road section in MCN not long after I joined but, like I said, we got no response from readers – or advertisers.

We also tried on-line with regular coverage of AMA, GP and British races but we could see no one was even reading it.

I guess the sport is well-served by the specialist publications already out there.

I’ve been at MCN since 2000 and, interestingly, you are the first person who’s e-mailed to ask me the question in the probably the past eight years.

Thanks for your interest,

GP

So there you have it in black and white. Motorbike fans are not interested in motocross… that’s the bottom line.

But just why road racing fans refuse to watch motocross is puzzling. Many of the road racers they are watching grew up doing motocross and are fans of the sport. Jonathan Rea, Tommy Hill, Andrea Dovizioso, Bradley Smith and Neil Hodgson for just five examples, yet ironically, the fans that watch these guys race have no interest in motocross.

Keep in mind this isn’t even the fans of mainstream sports like football or golf. These are motorbike fans that have no interest in motocross. While many of us motocross fans love Moto GP, WSB and BSB there is no crossover the other way by the fans or the motorcycle media. And that is a huge problem for our sport.

Motocross needs a bigger fan base to sustain itself, from rider’s salaries to team sponsors.  Without a fan base sponsors won’t come and that in turn affects rider salaries, because teams have less money to pay the riders. It’s a vicious circle and one that motocross needs to find a way out of.

Motocross needs to change in the UK and promote itself better. It needs to appeal to a wider audience and the sport’s media. Arenacross is one part of that and that is why it is so important that the top riders and teams support the series because it brings the sport to a different audience and hopefully they will stick with us and follow the outdoor scene too.

Motocross is the best sport in the world but people just don’t know about it. And if they do they don’t appreciate the skill or know the personalities within the sport to follow it on a human interest side.

It is up to the media to promote our sport better. At MX Vice we want to help give the sport and the riders more exposure and tell their story, there is a long road ahead to get motocross the coverage and respect it deserves, but we have to start somewhere!

Article by Jonathan McCready

MX Vice Editor || 25

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