No Supercross in Oz for 2020!
Last year, with more than 75,000 fans attending the five-round 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, it felt like the national series had not only turned a corner, but was aboard a steep upward trajectory. There were live TV broadcasts for the Auckland and Melbourne rounds, while Melbourne’s finale – the AUS-X Open at Marvel Stadium – drew a packed house with a phenominal 35,000 spectators. It was the largest supercross event ever held outside of the USA, and recently announced as a national finalist for the Australian Event Awards’ Best Sporting Event of the Year.
But, like everything else in the path of this bloody pandemic, the 2020 Australian Supercross Championship has increasingly felt like it was on a wing and a prayer. And this week, coordinated PR from Motorcycling Australia and AUS SX Holdings (the SX series’ commercial rights holder) confirmed the seemingly inevitable; that the 2020 Australian Supercross Championsip – including November’s AUS-X Open – have officially been cancelled.
AUS SX Holdings’ Co-Founder, Adam Bailey, expressed disappointment in the inability to run a series for 2020, but expects season 2021 to be one of the best championships that supercross in Australia has ever seen.
“It’s really disappointing for us and all involved with supercross in Australia to have to cancel this year’s series,” said Bailey. “We wanted to hold out for as long as we could, to try and get some semblance of supercross competition up and running for this year, and actually things were looking great for a fantastic 2020 series only a few weeks ago. With the ever-changing situation we’re up against with Covid evolving so rapidly in recent weeks, we had no choice but to cancel this year’s series. We just don’t have 100 percent certainty that we can safely and successfully deliver a calibre of a series that we expect of ourselves, and that fans and competitors deserve.
“Supercross has been on a massive upward trend and we’re working tirelessly to ensure that this growth pattern continues. We are striving to create a sustainable, globally recognised platform for our Australian talent to showcase their skills, and are committed to delivering this in 2021 and beyond,” Bailey went on to say.
Bailey’s business partner, AUS SX Holdings’ Co-Founder, Ryan Sanderon, was similarly disappointed with the enforced cancellation of the 2020 series, but also remains upbeat about prospects for 2021, and made some interesting comments about the AUS-X Open team shifting their focus and energies in the meantime into generating grassroots support for the motocross industry.
“Whilst we’re as disappointed as anyone that Covid has put a stop to this year, we’ll just use the extra time we have to ensure 2021 is absolutely off the charts,” Sanderson explained. “The pandemic has definitely put strain on sports and facilities throughout Australia and grassroots motocross clubs are no different. They need help to improve the quality of the experience for riders and also to attract new riders and families into motocross. We intend to focus time and energy that would have been used up on our events this year, to help build the sport from a grassroots level. Watch this space!,” Sanderson went on to explain.