The 2014 Garmin Arenacross UK series kicked off with a bang, over in Ireland, this past weekend. In the past, indoor racing in the UK has failed , whether it has been because of tiny tracks, or a lack of top riders, it just has not taken off. However, the Arenacross UK series (which begun last year) has come in and rejuvenated the discipline, it seems, as the series has been well received thus far. But still, there have been some issues. So, we decided to see what you thought, by asking you this question.
Question: Is there a demand for Supercross (and Arenacross) in the UK? Is there room for it with the motocross season just around the corner?
Ade Threasher (Facebook): Yes, but I think it would be better to hold it at the end of the year rather than at the start.
Rosie Connell (Facebook): I think indoor racing would be great. It would definitely attract a new fan base as well, due to it being more accessible in stadiums etc. To hear a crowd in an arena would be great, especially with it full of us British fans giving it some. It would bring the sport into the limelight more, like it is in the USA, the riders will get a better deal, because I don’t think they get enough recognition for being the athletes that they are. It could turn our Searle into an Andy Murray, fame wise. I would d love to see groups of fans donning MX clobber, walking through the cities. We seem to be few and far between right now, I want to see Jake Nicholls’ face at a bus stop and Shaun Simpson on a billboard with his fist in the air!
Adam Keefe (Facebook): Supercross, no. But arenacross, yes. Although it would be great to have a proper SX season in the UK like they have in the US, even the top British racers would struggle to get around a proper SX track. AX is as good as we’re going to get to SX in the UK, the fans love it and it’s good pre-season training for the racers. Just look at how many of the top British guys are doing the AX this year. It definitely has room to expand over the next few years.
Jimbob MC-Arkon Pepper (Facebook): I think it would be a brilliant idea to have more indoor races. With the bad weather that the UK is known for, it means that events will actually happen instead of being cancelled and more people with disabilities will have better access to it, as they won’t have to travel over bad terrain to watch races.
Barlz Kaotixx (Facebook): Yep. Someone give Matt Bates a pat on the back for doing this, chasing sponsorship etc. Give him the backing to hire Wembley [Stadium] and get USA stars over, only my dream. But, I think that both indoor, and out, can work.
Mill Tech Services (@MTcylinders): We hope so! We’d love an excuse to see some sponsored riders overseas!
Ryan Turkington (Facebook): Definitely. Recently, I have started watching the Monster Energy Supercoss series in America with Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen etc, and I always get so hyped for it. If there was a competition like that come local to the UK, I reckon it could be just as big as the AMA, therefore attracting all of the big riders and I know for sure I would attend.
Stewart Payne (Facebook): 100%, riding has been near on impossible this winter with track closures due to weather. I’ve been travelling hours to find somewhere that’s open. If we could utilise indoor spaces, I think that it would be hugely beneficial to the sport.
Brian Miles (Facebook): Yes, some fans are so keen to see some race action, and they don’t want to wait months to see a race, and with the lights and music its something different than normal. We all watch the AMA lads and think it’s mega, so why not do a little UK arena cross series? It makes sense, and Carl Nunn always said in interviews that it keeps the riders sharp, ready for the outdoors to kick off. Bring it on and let’s see some red hot action.
Jack Cezair (Facebook): There would be a demand for this type of racing in the UK, but I doubt it is something that would happen. This is because it would need a hell of a lot of money put into it, which is something we struggle with in the UK. With more and more people taking trips over to the USA to watch the supercross, we need something that will compete with that. [It would have to have] much much better tracks, as the arenacross tracks are nowhere near the calibre of the USA. More of a show, the US SX is like a show, unlike the arenacross. We would also need to attract the big stars, the GP frontrunners. This would take a hell of a lot of work, which I doubt any organisers or promoters would like to take on. But, I’d love to see it happen.
Karen Williams (Facebook): We love it, there is no comparison to the outdoors, it’s the whole atmosphere, the lights, the crowd, DJ, and the one lap dash is always exciting, the soil have been more MX than SX which is unfortunate, but with more rounds to go hopefully that can be changed.
Stefan Pratt (Facebook): AX and SX are different. If you compare our AX tracks with the US AX tracks it’s not a lot different! People need to remember that and stop comparing our AX series to the AMA Supercross. I don’t think there’s anywhere big enough in the UK for a SX track like the USA. Unless it was outdoors, and the arenacross seems to be doing pretty well with more rounds and more guys coming over to ride it. I don’t think a longer series would work, just because we don’t have the weather like in the USA and other countries, and it would shorten the outdoor series, which could cause more people to lose interest in it.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore
Obviously, we all love bench-racing, so we thought we would give you a platform to do just that! Each week, we will be posting a question on our various social media accounts (@motocrossvice on Twitter) for you, the fans. We will then post the best, most detailed answers in our ‘Vice Voice-Box’ column!