MXGP Insider No.39 presented by Kawasaki – Europe Looking For Youth
Welcome to our web-exclusive weekly column: Transmoto’s MXGP Insider, presented by Kawasaki.
While the Red Bull AMA Amateur Motocross Championship held at the Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in America was coming to an end, the MXGP Festival (set for Matterley Basin circuit in Great Britain) was just starting to take serious shape.
For many years now, America has been the place to find the 15-year-old sensations, where riders are pitted against each other in the heated battle of the American amateur scene. In recent years, due to a strong push from Youthstream and their president Giuseppe Luongo, it seems as though young riders are coming out of the woodworks in Europe.
Of course, German Ken Roczen and Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings are two prime candidates, both winning Grand Prix events at the mere age of 16 in 2010, and then backing that up in 2011. Both came out of a very stable European Championship series that now also runs on the same circuits, on the same days as the FIM World Motocross Championship events.
The young riders from the European Championships get the atmosphere of the Grand Prix, the big crowds and also the media coverage. They thrive on the chance to stand on top of a Grand Prix podium on many occasions with their countrymen cheering them on. Luongo believes the European Championship needs to be stronger, to ensure sure that the Grand Prix series continues to grow and remains the strongest International Motocross series in the World.
The MXGP Festival is not just an event for the Grand Prix heroes, but also for young kids, veterans, and female racers. Run over four days, it’s the first event of its kind, with a small similar taste to Loretta Lynn’s. “This unique and exceptional event in Matterley is for the future,” Luongo said. “The goal is to accommodate for the Motocross family – competing on the same week, at the same venue, with the children, fathers and the grandfathers all in one spot. To have male and female champions, all come together for the great festival on our sport.”
Steve Dixon, who presents this event, knows that British sports fans can handle it. With hundreds of riders and thousands of spectators, in time, this might just end up being the biggest Motocross event in the World.
The Matterley Basin circuit is the best Motocross circuit in Europe. It’s built in a small valley, and viewing is 100%. And with it situated just 50 miles from London, it’s the perfect facility for the growth of the sport. Funnily enough, just 30 miles up the road from Matterley Basin at a place called Camberley, the first ever Motocross race was held, all the way back in 1924.
That burning desire from Luongo to improve the sport for younger riders, and looking at making more major events for kids who venture into the sport, this MXGP Festival is the perfect start to what might see the Grand Prix series continue to make progress on the AMA Motocross series.