2007 Return of FIM Motocross of Nations to America

MONTEVARCHI, Italy and SOUTHWICK, Massachusetts -- A long-anticipated return of the famed Motocross of Nations to the United States was confirmed today (June 10) at press conferences scheduled during the Italian round of the 2006 World Motocross Championship Series in Montevarchi and the AMA National Motocross Series’ only event in New England.

Youthstream, which promotes the World Motocross Championships on behalf of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), confirmed that agreements are in place for the 62nd Annual Motocross of Nations to be held at Budds Creek (Maryland) Motocross Raceway on the weekend of September 21-23, 2007. This will mark just the second time that the famed event will have been held in the United States, and only its fourth appearance outside of Europe.

The FIM Motocross of Nations is a competition for national teams often referred to as the olympics of motocross by fans of off-road motorcycling. The event typically attracts 30-plus national teams, with Great Britain, Belgium and the United States the traditional powers. Those three countries have combined to win 46 of the 60 Motocross of Nations heading into the 2006 renewal at Matterley Basin near Winchester, England, this fall.

America’s only previous experience hosting the Motocross of Nations came in 1987, when Team USA scored a hard-earned victory in difficult muddy conditions at New York’s Unadilla Valley Sports Center. That victory came during an unprecedented 13-year American win streak that lasted from 1981-93.

“I am very pleased that we will present the 2007 Motocross of Nations at Budds Creek,” said Youthstream President Giuseppe Luongo. “It’s great to have the strong backing of the FIM and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) at one of America’s finest motocross circuits. The friendly rivalries created by the Motocross of Nations are something really special, and we invite motocross fans from throughout the world to come to Budds Creek and cheer for their teams.”

For event promoter and Budds Creek Raceway owner Jonathan Beasley, the event represents “a lifelong dream” and the biggest challenge ever for a track that has hosted numerous high-visibility events including FIM Grand Prix, AMA Nationals, AMA Amateur National Qualifiers and All-Terrain Vehicle Association Nationals.

“My staff and I are thrilled to have this opportunity and determined to make the event a memorable one,” Beasley added.

Budds Creek Motocross Raceway is located just 35 miles south of the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. in rural Maryland.

The Motocross of Nations will be sanctioned by the FIM with the AMA as the host federation. FIM Motocross Commission President Wolfgang Srb and AMA President Robert Rasor, who is also an FIM Vice President, expressed enthusiasm about the announcement.

"I am sure that fans not only in the USA but worldwide will be happy that the world’s most prestigious motocross event will be held at Budds Creek,” Srb said. "The Motocross of Nations is the showcase of our sport and deserves to be staged on the best circuits of the world. The FIM congratulates all the partners who concluded this deal."

“The AMA is excited to help bring the Motocross of Nations back to America on the 20th anniversary of AMA Team USA’s victory in New York,” Rasor said. “Budds Creek Raceway is a proven grand prix circuit and will be an excellent venue. We look forward to welcoming teams from throughout the world to the USA in September of 2007.”

Saturday’s formal announcement will conclude a process that began early in 2005 when Youthstream retained Ohio-based Heartland Media and Events to seek an American venue for the Motocross of Nations. The negotiations were coordinated by Heartland Media and Events’ Bill Amick, who previously served on the professional staff of the AMA and who since 1986 has been a member of the FIM Motocross Commission.

“We announced in May of 2005 that Heartland Media and Events had been retained to begin work on this project,” said Youthstream’s Luongo. “A number of venues were consulted, but Budds Creek Raceway was our first and our favorite possibility. The close relationships among Bill Amick, Jonathan Beasley and the AMA made it possible to solve the negotiations with minimum difficulty. Now, along with the FIM we can focus on the job of making the event a great success.”

“It’s a privilege to play a role in this project,” Amick said, “and we intend for the 2007 Motocross of Nations to usher in an era in which the event will occur more frequently on this side of the Atlantic. As the FIM and Youthstream move forward and motocross becomes more and more a global sport we can build upon traditional rivalries and cultivate new ones with the active involvement of all of the FIM’s Continental Unions.”

A number of physical upgrades are already in progress at Budds Creek Raceway in preparation for its traditional AMA National Championship event on Father’s Day weekend and for the 2007 Motocross of Nations.

For more news on the FIM World Motocross Championships and the Motocross of Nations, consult www.motocrossmx1.com. News about AMA racing is available at www.AMADirectlink.com.