450 Words: FIM Red Bull MXoN

October 1, 2007 8:40am
It’s been eight days since the 2007 Red Bull Motocross of Nations and people all over the world are still talking about how much fun of an event it was, how impressive Team USA was, and how good the Budds Creek track was. American motocross fans waited 20 years for the opportunity to see this race again on one of our tracks, and with perfect weather, great prep and a solid plan, the track was as impressive as the event was fun. Anyone who made it out into the camping areas will tell you it was almost too much fun!

Since last Sunday afternoon I’ve watched the usual cyberspace suspects hash and rehash the race. Some of their stuff is funny, some a little too partisan, and more just downright silly. My fellow correspondent “MX Geoff” Meyer tried time and again to make sense of the Team USA runaway, though it would suffice to say it was just the perfect day for Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry, and even on an off-day, Ricky Carmichael is still the best in the world.
But then there’s the track, and credit must go where credit is due. I made a mistake in Racerhead last Friday in not clarifying that Greg Atkins of Youthstream was completely in charge of the circuit. He did the planning, he watched quietly from above, and he did the work he felt needed, along with Mark Barnett, who Jonathan Beasley hired after the difficult national there back in June.

In talking about the NPG’s contribution to Jonathan Beasley and the event, I realize now that I slighted Greg Atkins by not giving him enough credit. The Budds Creek track we saw on the weekend was his track, with his tweaks and his schedule of preparation; the people who came in to help out did whatever they could to help pull off this event, and much of it was elsewhere—like the amateur track and other parts of the facility. They also brought in their own equipment to help with prep and maintenance of the main track, but it was under Atkins’ direction. That should have been made clear, and that’s where I owe Greg an apology.

For the last three years that I have been at the MXoN—in Ernee, France, in Matterley Basin, England, and here at Budds Creek in the USA—I have seen three exceptional tracks where the best riders on each day emerged victorious. That’s the sign of a good track, and all three times that’s been under the management of Greg Atkins.

I can’t wait to see what he has in store for Northern Ireland in 2008, where Team USA goes for four in a row!