THE AUGUST ISSUES

Words Scott Bishop

MXoN OR MXdN?

Let’s be honest: we have no say or control over what riders go to this event. We go, we look good, we win a couple of qualifiers, we finish seventh every year and we come home.

But the big issue was, and still is, what do we call this thing? Is it the Motocross of Nations or the Motocross des Nations? And while we’re at it, what is a des anyway?

The des Nations is what the event was always known as back in the pre-wheel and -fire days. And before that it was called the Trophy of Nations. Then, some guy at the FIM who was obviously angry at the French put a line through des and scribbled “of”.

I’m conducting a poll at the next major race and will get back to you with an answer, but my tip is Motocross of Nations because, as mentioned above, no current dirt jockey will know who “des” is.

OUR TEAM FOR THE DES OF NATIONS

Reed in question. Metcalfe is no hope. Matt Moss under an injury cloud and too old for the MX2 class. Ferris has a bung elbow and can barely pick his own nose. Burner riding OK but possibly not at the peak of his career. Coppins is a Kiwi and Anderson is a Pom, so who do we pick for our 2012 team?

Taking a look at the current points from the MX Nationals, it’s hard to argue with Todd Waters and Lawson Bopping taking the 450 rides and Luke Styke in the MX2 class. All three guys have put in the hard yards in 2012, have the results on the board and could possibly form a solid team for years to come.

CLASS CHANGES

It’s all going on with possible class changes for 2013. MA has already announced it’s out with the 150cc two-stroke and the 125cc is back in fashion. There is also talk of a supermini class for 105cc two-strokes, the possible combining of the 150cc four-stroke back in with the 85cc two-strokes. And what about the Under 19 class changing to the Under 18 class in an effort to get more riders into the Pro Lites class?

My train of thought is 125cc is the right call. The bike is easily available from the majority of manufacturers, it’s in line with every other racing organisation in the world and it’s a great bike to learn your trade on. The 105 mini — I’m not convinced. There is an 85 class and a 125 class, so do we need a class in the middle? Do we have the rider base to add the class? I know it’s in the USA but the class is dominated by riders with the deepest pockets.

The 150 came at an unfortunate time. The bike might have been a success in any other era but as its performance isn’t in advance of the 85cc two-stroke, it has caught on with the other manufacturers and a sour world economy all conspired against the bike.

And the Under 19 back to Under 18 is fine with me. The Lites class at national level has struggled to fill the gate at the MX Nationals for the past 12 months, so maybe getting some riders up earlier might even up the class numbers and keep the gates full, as a race doesn’t have the same vibe when there’s plenty of space left on the start line.

SUPERCROSS

IEG has been announced as the supercross promoter for the next few years. Australia needs supercross and the riders and teams all want it to go ahead and be successful.

My concern is why the rush to get it happening straight up? I would like to see everyone just take a season off supercross and for all involved to take stock and learn from the failures of the past as we can’t afford to get it wrong again.

Since Spokes Promotions wound down its supercross profile in 2004, we’ve seen several promoters come and go over the time but none with any long-term success. There isn’t a list of corporations willing to hand over thousands of dollars in supercross sponsorship, manufacturers have had enough of propping the championship up and, as a sport, we need to get it right the first time to regain the faith of riders, teams and spectators.

NO TRACK ACCESS

It would be a great if spectators could get inside the track and view the riders and tracks up close at the MX Nationals. The AMA and FIM manage to allow spectators into the infield with minimal issues and the influx of people all around the circuit creates a great atmosphere.

Now, it may not be easy or simple at some of the venues, but for those tracks that can move people in and out of the infield without interrupting the racing, then I say let’s do it. And if there is a safety issue, make them all wear a fluoro shirt that seems to be the standard safety equipment required for the majority of workplace health and safety issues.

30-SECOND PERSON

Suddenly the 30-second board person has changed from a middle-aged, grumpy man to a young girl wearing next to nothing while she wiggles her hips and holds a chunk of timber over her head. No one has complained about the update.