Motorcycling Australia (MA) has informed us that the 2009 Oceania Motocross Teams Championship has been cancelled.
The A.C.T. Motorcycle Club was set to host the event – catering for New Zealand and Australians senior and junior racers – at the Fairbairn Park Motor Sport Complex in the nation’s Capital from August 29-30.
Chairman of the A.C.T. Motorcycle Club’s Motocross subcommittee, Andrew Campbell, said that a lack of entries caused by a wide variety of reasons resulted in the club’s executive unanimously deciding to cancel the event.
“The lack of entries has simply caused the event to no longer be economically viable for the club,” Campbell said.
“It is extremely disappointing for the club, and especially for the people who have worked tirelessly in the lead-up to the championship.
“The club had pinned high hopes on hosting a successful meeting and to subsequently put funds back into improving our facilities… none of that will be going ahead now which is very disappointing,” Campbell concluded.
Future event details will be made available as they come to hand via the MA website at www.ma.org.au.
Below is the letter of explanation that arrived from Allan McNeice, president, ACT Motor Cycle Club:
Ladies and Gents,
You are all stakeholders, volunteers, officials or supporters for the 2009
Oceania MX Teams Championship that was planned for 29/30 August 2009.
By now you may have read this mornings e-mail from Andrew Campbell, the
Chairman of the ACT MCC’s motocross sub-committee, about the cancellation of
Members of the Club’s Executive and MX sub-committee met last night to
discuss the risks of running 2009 Oceania MX Teams’ Championship with
insufficient entries and decided not to proceed.
We needed about 120+ riders for the 5 championship classes and similar
numbers for the 5 support classes to put on a good show for the riders,
supporters, MA, FIM and paying spectators for the 2 days.
Despite a $27,000 prize pool on offer, with $2000 for a Pro Class win, and
$500 for the winners of the other 7 classes, when entries closed a week ago
we only had @50 entries and not enough expert riders to put together a 10
rider Australian representative team. This was disappointing.
The Kiwi’s had put together a strong 10 rider representative team, including
Darryll King and Hamish Dobbyn, and were working hard to arrange sufficient
bikes for them.
The risks of running the event with insufficient riders are:
* An unacceptable and uncontrollable financial risk for the Club. The
budgeted costs for running the event were in excess of $100,000. We were
relying on promoting high profile riders to the paying spectators to pay for
the show; the spectators were relying on us to put on a good show, and we
were relying on the riders for the good show.
* A risk to the Oceania’s reputation as a high profile international
country of origin event, featuring Australia’s best MX riders versus NZ’s
* A risk that a scaled down event with insufficient competition would
result in dissatisfied riders, supporters, sponsors and paying spectators.
The likely consequences are that a couple of thousand MX fans would each
tell up to 10 friends and this would affect numbers for future events at
The risks of not running the event are:
* Disappointing the riders who had entered; the NZ Team and Officials,
the MA and FIM Officials, the ACT Government, our Club members, and the
reliable hardworking active volunteers of the organising committee.
* A risk of financial penalties/losses for cancelled travel,
accommodation, transport and outsourced services.
There may be many reasons why entries were far less than expected, despite
our enthusiasm to host a great event.
During the last couple of weeks Margaret Davenport, the Oceania MX Race
Secretary, John Tisdale, an MA Motocross Commissioner, and Kevin Williams,
Promoter of the MX Nationals, worked really hard for us to get more entries.
They called up lots of favours and asked the Pro Teams and riders to get
behind the Club and their country.
We are not making excuses for the lack of entries, but in the last couple of
weeks we have learned that there were factors beyond our control that were
* Tighter Pro Team budgets. Teams have targeted those events with the
highest profile; MX Nationals and SuperX. Their riders are contracted to
enter particular events, and rely on bonus payments to boost their base
salaries and earnings from prize money. They were not contracted to ride
* Unlike Intermediate A&B Class and Clubman Class riders, Pro and
Expert rider’s treat riding as a business. If there is an opportunity to
earn more from Coaching etc on the same weekend, their choice is easy.
* We moved the event forward from the original dates 12/13 Sept,
closer to the end of the MX Nationals season, and further away from the
start of the SX season. We also had to avoid clashes with 2 other major
spectator events in Canberra, the 2009 World Mountain Bike Championships and
Floriade, plus the current sitting of the Australian Parliament, all of
which take up all available accommodation in Canberra.
* The MX Nationals series finished earlier this month. The top Under
19’s from the MX Nationals represented Australia at the World Junior MX
Championships in New Zealand last weekend. The Pro and Expert riders have
already changed their bike setup, mindset and training program from MX to SX
for the upcoming SuperX series.
* Team managers focused on winning the Australian SuperX series may be
unwilling to risk their riders competing in a lower profile event.
* There are rounds of at least 3 other MX events in Southern NSW and
Victoria that have drawn potential A, B, Clubman, Women and top level junior
riders from this event.
Last night we had to accept the fact that a total of about 80 entries for the 10
classes was not going to cut it.
We have always put on a good show for riders, spectators and sponsors, and
have promoted or hosted many successful events with lots of riders;
* 530 at the 2006 Australian Junior MX Championships;
* 60 plus at our 2008/2009 Dirt Track Club Championship events
* 130 at the 2008 Australian Classic Dirt Track Championships;
* 100+ to the 2009 Kings and Queens and Canberra Cup Dirt Track
* A 40% increase for our 2008 MX Club Championship events
* 216 to Round 1 of our 2009 MX Club Championship;
* 5100 spectators to Round 2 of the 2009 MX Nationals;
* 185 to Round 3 of our 2009 MX Club Championship; and
* 135 Pros, Expert, Clubman and Juniors to the Yamaha MX Cup last month.
We don’t want to run a fizzer, so we bit the bullet and will move on.
No doubt we will all hear from the non participating armchair experts who
will blame one or all of us, but that’s life.
I would rather be condemned for being part of a team that has had a go, than
being a critic who’s never had a go.
ACT Motor Cycle Club
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com