same hallowed ground, on the same weekend, as the
stars of the MXGPs creates a massive revenue stream
that flows conveniently into Giuseppe’s Youthstream
We can’t blame Luongo for being a frugal businessman. After all, that’s how he rose to power. Our
complaint is that the combining of the EMX Amateur
classes, often having as many as three support races
on the same day, puts too many wheels on the track
throughout a Grand Prix weekend. For a racetrack to
meet Grand Prix standards, it must be prepped and
maintained to the highest level possible. Soil is key.
Any track owner knows the intricacies of keeping his
track prepped, watered and disced to perfection. If he
doesn’t, he shouldn’t be hosting a major event. Failing
to properly maintain the track causes a chain reaction
of potential disaster. Too much water and the dirt
transforms into a quagmire that dries out and becomes
a slot-car track. Too little moisture yields a concrete-like
surface that does little to promote close racing. In
many ways, dirt bike racing is all about the dirt.
Unfortunately, Giuseppe Luongo doesn’t care about
dirt under the wheels of the GP stars; instead, he cares
about the dirt under the ticket and sign-up booths.
This year’s MXGP series has suffered the misfortune
of holding races on tracks not fit for local motocross in
Poughkeepsie. It goes without saying that the Grand
Prix tracks of Qatar and Thailand were embarrassments of the highest order. To call these Grand Prix
tracks was an insult to fairground tracks around the
world. But ridiculous fly-away tracks aside, even some
of the best racetracks have turned to junk in 2015.
Former GP wonder tracks have become dry, parched
and potholed. Why? Forgive us, diehard racers, for
what we are about to say, but there are simply too
many wheels churning up dirt over the course of a
two-day Grand Prix weekend. The EMX classes translate into extra hours on tracks that already endure a
considerable beating by the 250 and 450 GP classes.
When you add in the separate practices, qualifiers
and motos of three support races, you don’t just wear
out the dirt, you steal prep time from the track crews.
Track prep has distilled down to the section of track
from the starting gate to the first turn—after that,
it’s pothole and dust city. The word “treacherous”
comes to mind.
If you don’t believe us, ask Clement Desalle, Tony
Cairoli, Max Nagl or any one of the riders who have
blamed poor track conditions for their injuries. In fact,
Tony Cairoli cites poor track preparation and design
as the reason he gave up on racing his beloved KTM
350SXF and switched to a more powerful KTM 450SXF.
Tony said that the new batch of tracks weren’t
prepped well enough to allow his talents, and those
of his smaller engine, to shine. Thus, he went big to
try to get to the front faster. Riders crash; it’s part
of the sport. But in 2015, title contenders in both
classes dropped like flies before the series reached the
final stretch. The list of injured riders runs long. Ryan
Villopoto, Clement Desalle, Max Nagl, Tommy Searle,
Jeffrey Herlings, Dylan Ferrandis, Ken De Dycker,
Aleksandr Tonkov, Petar Petrov and more were
sidelined this year.