Yamaha Motorcycle tests
Giuseppe has a plan...even better, he has a new plan every week. Photo: Massimo Zanzani
According to Youthstream’s Giuseppe Luongo, the flyaway Grand Prix format announced earlier this week will be discontinued and replaced with a new format–the second one this week...and how long it will last is anyone’s guess. Go to the "MXA Weekend Report" to see what Luongo was proposing a couple days ago.
For the flyaway races (Qatar, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil) there will only be two GP motos (35 minutes plus 2 laps) with 250 and 450 riders mixed together, but racing separately for their respective class points. The starting field for these two motos will be increased to 40 riders, but really only 20 riders from each class (or some combination thereof) will be racing. So, the fields have actually be reduced from the 30 that Youthstream said they would accept last year or the 40 that the sport has always considered normal to 20 riders for 4 of the 16 GPs.
So, the Grands Prix of Thailand, Mexico, Qatar and Brazil will be two motos with 250 and 450 riders on the track at the same time.
This means that the proposed three-moto format of two days ago, which would have seen a 450 moto, a 250 moto and a combined third moto is dead...but maybe only dormant.
HOW WILL YOUTHSTREAM HELP THE TEAMS GET TO THAILAND, QATAR, MEXICO AND BRAZIL
Youthstream will allow the top 15 riders in each class to get a break on the shipping costs. No money, but a discount on freight charges. This passes for the travel money from the good old days, but how much freight Youthstream pays depends on what team you ride for. The KTM, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha 450 teams get to send 1320 pounds of freight, while lesser teams only get 880 pounds or 440 pounds paid for.
The 250 World Championship team only get 880 pounds for the top 10 riders, 440 pounds for 11th and 220 pounds (the weight of one bike) for riders in 12th through 15th.
Of note is the fact that after the first two flyaway races (Qatar and Thailand), the freight payment for the 450 class will be reduced to maximum of 660 pounds on down to 440 pounds for Mexico and Brazil. And the 250 GP teams will only get a max of 440 pounds of freight for the top ten riders and 220 pounds for 11th through 15th.
AND NOW FOR THE KICKER!
Giuseppe Luongo says, “We believe the 2013 overseas Grand Prix events with the new system will be very successful; if we see that having the two classes together works well and we reach our goals in terms of show, costs, safety and TV coverage (as we expect) we plan to implement a similar format for the European Grand Prix events. However, due to the high number of participants in the European Grand Prix events and to give the middle and support teams the possibility to take part in the World Championship and to show their riders and sponsors we need to slightly modify the format.”
So what does Luongo think will happen to GP motocross in the future? If you guessed the three-moto system that was big news a few days ago, you are right.
The proposed GP plan for 2014 and beyond is one 40-man 450 moto, followed by one 40-man 250 moto. Then, there will be a “Super-Final” with 250 and 450 riders combined.
The make-up of the Super-Final will be the top ten from that day’s 250 and 450 motos combined with the top ten in 250 and 450 season points. Obviously these could be the same ten guys both times, so after the top ten in points are seeded into the Super-Final, the top ten from that day’s motos be selected as far back as necessary to get ten riders, from each class, into the Super-Final
The points will be paid by class...which means that the first 450 rider will get 25 points and the first 250 rider will get 25 points.
Luongo says, “This idea has come from listening to the various requirements coming especially from teams and manufacturers, television and sponsors; this brought us to re-study the entire program me and to use this opportunity to re-launch our sport, because in terms of race format it’s very old and has not followed the evolution of the market, media and public who now request more easy to understand, fun, extreme, cool and spectacular – this is why the X-games, freestyle, and the Monster Cup in Las Vegas are very successful. With this format we will enter a new era for motocross, while respecting the roots of our sport because riders will continue to compete in two races for the same duration (they won't have to change their type of preparation) and hard-core fans who loves the 1970's and 1980's style of motocross will still have their two races, just the second one will have a much higher level of racing and show."
WHAT IF A RIDER ISN’T FAST ENOUGH TO COMPETE AT THE GP LEVEL, BUT HE QUALIFIES FOR THE SHOW?
Luongo says, “For the safety reasons and for a higher level of competition, the average times from the top 10 in the pre-qualifying practice will be taken and calculated at 108%, and the riders who are over this time will not be able to take part to the race. In extreme weather conditions the event management may decide to not use this rule (this rule will be enforced for all MX1 and MX2 Grand Prix events in 2013 – not for MXON).