Andy McKinstry: So, the 2019 MXGP provisional calendar has been announced, one bit of advice, don’t book any GP’s based off it because it’s most definitely going to change when the official calendar is announced.
A few things that strike out, the British GP at Matterley Basin is pencilled in for March and the first European GP of the season. The chances of that being a mud race are high but on the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised to see the date of that GP being moved.
Youthstream and RedSand had agreed a five-year deal so it’s strange so see that off the calendar after just one year – it’s an ideal GP for the start of March too!
There’s six fly-away Grand Prix’s in 2019 but we knew that for a while now. I personally think six is a little bit too much, especially for the smaller teams, it’s very expensive for them to go there as well as the likes of Russia and Turkey. I feel that four fly away GP’s would be sufficient. Also, just on the fly away’s – the track at Argentina isn’t confirmed yet but here’s hoping it’s at Neuquen once again because it’s hands down the best man-made track on the calendar and one of the best tracks in general.
I had heard rumours earlier in the year that Valkenswaard wouldn’t be used again in 2019 and they’d build a man-made track in Holland instead but I’m pleased to see they’ve decided to use Valkenswaard again.
In terms of versatility there’s a lot both sand and hard pack which is good, I always like to see different kind of tracks throughout the calendar. Overall, I like the look of the calendar apart from the points I already mentioned but it’s going to be interesting to see what chances are made to the final calendar.
Jonathan McCready: It’s a good calendar in terms of being a true world championship which is great, but with six fly away races I fear for the smaller teams’ budget.
I feel YS need to really help the teams out more with costs to get to these events, otherwise it’s hard for the rest of the world to see the depth in both championships if guys capable of top 20 can’t travel because their teams budget can’t cope. Graeme Irwin and Conrad Mewse are already missing out on the two Indonesian GPs this year, with Mewse losing a good chance of getting into the top ten in the championship as consequence.
On the plus side it’s good to show the world championship to new territories and grow the sport, as well as make the top guys global stars. They are racing the best motocross championship in the world and deserve the platform and the profile of being best in the world.
But money needs to come from somewhere and it is surely in Youthstream’s interest to assist all the teams as much as possible to get the depth of a GP in Europe into overseas events like they do in MotoGP and F1.
No USGP is always disappointing but not surprising given their reluctance within the industry to embrace the world championship of the sport because they see it as a rival to their national championship. It is a shame of course, but maybe it can be revived in the future if attitudes change and MXGP is allowed the same level of coverage as AMA racing there in the motocross media which should help fan attendance in time.
The USGP is always a highlight in the world championship calendar and should be a mainstay every year, so lets hope it comes back sooner rather than later for the sake of the sport. It would also be great to see New Zealand and Australia on the calendar – two big motocross countries that deserve to see the best in the world in person.
Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the calendar is the British GP being brought forward to March, the UK isn’t known for it’s great weather in the summer never,ind spring (this year an obvious exception) so let’s keep our fingers crossed for the weather that weekend, as it is usually one of the best events of the year.