March 22nd will mark the start of an all-new series; a series that has been built out of frustration and necessity. The MX Nationals certainly has the potential to become one of the biggest and most sought after series in Europe. What do I base this on, I hear you say? Well, allow me to explain.
Will it be a success? Well that’s all down to you, the person reading this article, and also those taking part in the eight events. The MX Nationals team aims are to build a race series that riders enjoy, is affordable and becomes accessible enough to bring the crowds back.
Some might say that it is a gamble, but some might say it is a sure thing. After all, you have a series that has listened to what the people want, and is more importantly what people have asked for. People agree or disagree with Giuseppe Luongo’s thinking, but I love his statement, ‘if you think you can do better then put your money where your mouth is and run a series yourself’.
With the British Masters bowing out, and still no PR or news from the Red Bull Pro Nationals series, the pro riders would only have had eight rounds of motocross in the UK. Imagine what the impact would be if the Red Bull Pro Nationals decided to stick to the successful indoor Garmin Arenacross series that have run throughout the winter? The knock on effect would be huge for everyone linked to the sport.
In 2013, we had twenty-three competitive rounds, and three series, for our professionals and up and coming riders. Without the MX Nationals that could have dropped from twenty-three to thirteen in one year, and possibly eight, if as mentioned the Red Bull Pro Nationals stick to the indoor series. I should mention that up until now, there has been no indication that they are not running, no press releases etc, and there are five rounds listed on their website. But, I’m just thinking out loud.
I don’t need to go into detail about the knock on effect of the industry if we were down to eight rounds; this should be quite obvious. For those that can’t quite see it – we need bums on bikes. We need riders out there racing, buying parts, breaking bikes and spending money. It’s a life cycle, and if that life cycle were to alter it would hit everyone. Less time on bikes is less parts being used, less part sales, less kit sales, less dealers fixing and selling bikes, and so on. Do you get it now?
You go on to Facebook, the forums etc, and all you see are people moaning. It is too expensive, honestly. Last year, I took my family (three kids, wife and myself) to a motocross event, and it cost fifty-pound’s. This was on a Saturday, with no bikes going around; we were just there helping setup a friend’s team, and thought that it would be a nice day out. My wife wasn’t even returning the next day with the kids! The issue what modern day Motocross is competing against is like for like cost against a family day out like Alton Towers, Legoland, Goodwood and so on. Charging those prices you are relying on die hard fans and unfortunately those die-hard fans are significantly less than they were in the 80’s. Who’s in charge of bringing new fans into the sport? UK Tourism has a network, a strategy a foundation to bring people into UK through marketing…who’s marketing motocross? Ah…that’s a blog for another day. Anyway, common sense has to prevail to make sure the motocross life cycle keeps on moving. It needs as injection, it needs a bold statement, and I believe that the MX Nationals will be exactly that.
There will be eight great tracks and events, kids twelve and under will get in free, with adults only paying £6 for a weekend, with £1 going towards charity. The first charity is for one of our own, the hospital that is treating Mark Hucklebridge. That means if one-thousand paying adults turn up, the MX Nationals will raise one-thousand pounds for charity, with the help of you guys. This would also mean that there are one-thousand spectators cheering on the riders, and there is nothing better than one-thousand people leaning over and cheering riders on! We want to bring the atmosphere back to motocross, but to do that we have to make it affordable for people, and especially families.
This series really is for the people. It has the same ethics as MX Vice, and that is the one reason I chose to get involved. All three directors are making huge sacrifices financially, and personally, to make sure we can make a difference. This is not just about one event, one series, money, sponsors etc – this is simply about motocross. If we put motocross first, the MX Nationals second, and ourselves third, we will be onto a winner! We are all in this for the right reasons, and we would love to have your support to make this series one of the best out there.
Now for entertainment purposes, our whole focus is on the racing – it really is. There is no beer tent, beer leads to disorder, and disorder leads to police and security and they both lead to hassle and cost which has a knock on effect. As much as we all love the odd drink, there is always one who cannot handle it, and spoils it for everyone. There’s no entertainment at night or in the day – the entertainment is racing – that’s what your entrance ticket covers, and it’s what we will be concentrating on. Kids can bring their BMX, mountain bike etc, and have fun, but don’t expect a roller coaster or a bouncy castle, at least not in the first year.
We have the ‘Fastest 40’ – and that is a roller coaster in itself! You have got the top eighty riders from the UK (and now some from Europe) all trying to make it into the top forty. Trust me, there are going to be so pretty big names not making it in; the competition is going to be fierce! Not only that, there are a couple of dark horses who are seriously fast but are not ‘fashionable’ with a huge point to prove against the recognised professionals. Your £6’s entrance fee should be redeemed just in the qualifying, and you still have two full days of racing to enjoy!
More than anything we want transparency, and we want to give the money back to the riders – an £8,000 prize pot at every round will go a very long way. This series has the industry behind it from the start, with three people that have a huge hunger, and are desperate to make this work. I know where this series will be in three years, so come and join us on the ride! It’s going to be a lot of fun putting motocross back on the map, like it was in the 80’s!