WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOCKER:
250 GP RIDERS MUST MOVE OUT OF THE CLASS WHEN THEY TURN 23; NINE YEAR CAREER LIMIT FOR 250 RIDERS; MINIMUM AGE IS 15
In light of the AMA raising the minimum age limit from 16 years old to 17 years old in 2010 and 18 years old in 2011, the FIM has decided to put an upper limit on the age of a 250cc GP rider?23 years old. Starting on January 1, 2010, if a rider wants to race the 250 World Championship he must be between the ages of 15 and 23 years old.
Where the American motivation is to avoid legal problems, encourage educational goals and put more mature riders on the track, the FIM’s goal seems to be to fill up the ranks of the 450 (MX1) and 650 (MX3) classes (by forcing riders to move to those classes after the age of 23).
Here is the FIM press release: Let the howling begin.
FROMÿ THE FIM: “We are still nine months away from the start of the 2010 450/250 (MX1/MX2) FIM Motocross World Championship season, however, an important decision, taken by the MXGP Permanent Bureau already in December 2007, comes closer: the new maximum age limit of 23 years for the 250 (MX2) class as of January 1, 2010.
“The idea behind a maximum age limit in the 250 (MX2) class is quite logical. 250 (MX2) is a promotional class that gives young riders a chance to mature and to prepare for the ultimate challenge: the participation in the premier class of FIM World Motocross – 450 (MX1).
“To achieve that goal it is necessary that the best and fastest riders move as soon as possible to the premier class. Staying too long in 250 (MX2) makes no sense, as it would block young talents, who have made their way to the top via the European EMX2 Championship. Therefore, a 250 (MX2) World Champion will be allowed to defend his title only one time (in the following year).
“Teams and riders had ample time to plan their future and to make the adequate decisions. The limit for minimum age for 250 (MX2) is 15 years and starts at the riders’ birthday; the limit for the maximum age finishes at the end of the calendar year in which the 250 (MX2) rider reaches the age of 23 years. This rule allows a rider, who, for example, turns 23 years in the middle of the season, to finish the 250 (MX2) World Championship without any problems.
ÿÿÿ “As of then, a decision has to be taken: the fastest riders will move up to 450 (MX1); others, who still need a certain time to work on their speed, will enter the fast growing FIM 650 (MX3) World Championship, that has got a lot of momentum and high quality thanks to the promotional efforts of series promoter and FIM contractual partner Youthstream.”