Youthstream, promoters of the FIM Motocross World Championship, announced today the provisional schedule for the 2019 season, and it has a few changes.
For the second straight year, the calendar will feature 20 rounds that stretch across Europe, Asia, and South America. For now, the series will kick off on February 24 at a to-be-announced location and end on September 22 at the road racing circuit Imola, in Italy. The 2019 Motocross of Nations will be the following weekend at the Dutch TT road racing circuit, Assen.
Let’s examine the changes for 2019:
With RedBud hosting the 2018 Motocross of Nations, Youthstream elected not to host a USGP in 2018. Although the MXoN is moving back to Europe in 2019, the provisional schedule is without a USGP. This could change, though; the MXGP schedule tends to change frequently in the lead up to the start of a new season.
Asia is growing
Asia is a huge market for motorcycle sales, and Youthstream finds it important to take advantage. The 2018 calendar featured two rounds in Indonesia, and 2019 will grow even more with rounds in China, Hong Kong, and also the two Indonesia rounds.
Here is what Racer X European contributor Adam Wheeler said about the interest in Asia following the MXGP of Indonesia last weekend:
Why Indonesia? The public’s insatiable appetite for racing (the following for MotoGP alone is one of the biggest in the world, never mind Asia) is based on the importance of the motorcycle in day-to-day culture. In 2017, almost six million bikes were sold. It’s a hefty market for the brands. The inclusion of Hong Kong and China on the provisional 2019 MXGP calendar emphasizes how the series is a visual and affordable promotional tool for the manufacturers in a corner of the world where image has a lot to say, even if the model range of motorcycles sold is actually quite small and orientated around scooter and small-capacity two-wheelers. With two races in the territory this summer, it will be curious to compare and contrast Semarang this weekend with Pangkal Pinang and where the longevity for MXGP could reside.
Also, MX Vice recently chatted with Youthstream vice president David Luongo about why the series travels to Indonesia, why Hong Kong, and more. It’s worth a listen.
Off the schedule
At this time, the venue for Argentina has not been announced. Neuquen has hosted the event the last few years and has gotten great reviews from the riders. We’ll see if it returns.
Spain is currently without a round. Red Sands, a new venue in Castellon, hosted the MXGP of La Comunitat Valenciana this year, but for now, is not on the schedule.
Bulgaria was a late addition to the 2018 calendar after Youthstream announced the cancellation of the MXGP of Sweden. For now, it is off the schedule for 2019.
Assen is also off the schedule due to the rule that a track cannot host a round of the FIM Motocross World Championship the same year they host the Motocross of Nations.
Below is the full 2019 provisional calendar.
|March 24||Matterley Basin||Great Britain|
|April 21||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|July 7||Pangkal Pinang||Indonesia|
|July 28||Loket||Czech Republic|
|September 29||Assen (MXoN)||Netherlands|