British Motocross Championship

Opinion: Shaun Simpson’s speed was outright ridiculous at Hawkstone Park – the internet trolls didn’t see that

Shaun Simpson

Shaun Simpson

I so wanna be one of those cool internet kids who just disses everything without experiencing anything at all but I’m just not cool enough. And adding to my geek status is this little factoid – I went to the Maxxis round at Hawkstone Park and I absolutely loved it. Does that make me a terrible person?

The British motocross championship really seems to annoy keyboard warriors for one reason or another, whether it be the lack of riders, or lack of fans, or lack of sunshine, or lack of 4G, or lack of reasonably priced ice creams (other overpriced refreshments are also available). What I don’t understand is how they know it’s so woeful without actually being there though. Funny that…

At Hawkstone there were fewer fans than I would have liked to have seen and there were fewer riders, too, but something that made up for the small numbers was the total commitment and passion of each and every person that was there, whether they be lining the fences or stretching the throttle cables on their highly-tuned race bikes.

I honestly saw a lot of things to feel great about and I spoke to a lot of people who reminded me that a day at the races really isn’t that bad even when your day at the races is far from being perfect.

Case in point, Elliott Banks-Browne who scored zero points but had an infectious smile on his face at the end of it all as he was obviously seeing the positives – the track was amazing, the weather was great and he was riding as good as we’ve maybe ever seen him.

He wasn’t the only one smiling either and I’d be surprised if anyone left Hawkstone feeling overly miffed. Write in and tell me if you did at the usual address or email me – anthony.sutton@jpimedia.co.uk.

There was some exceptionally close racing in all four classes and some riders were doing stuff that I never thought was possible – Shaun Simpson’s speed on certain parts of the circuit for example was just outright ridiculous.

But the internet trolls don’t see any of this. They look at a results sheet or an image of the event and decide it must be rubbish because of A, B and C through to Z when that’s really not the case. What’s worse is when they champion something that they previously slated for being rubbish.

So how do we re-engage that audience? Maybe we don’t need to re-engage THAT audience but if professional motocross is going to survive in the UK as a legitimate professional sport then we need to engage AN audience and fairly quickly, too.

There are many schools of thought as to how that should – or could – happen but let’s remember that somebody still needs to pay for it all. The cost of running these meetings is already absolutely astronomical and it’s constantly going up whereas the price of admission and prize money payout has to remain consistent or you’re gonna read all about rip-off this and rip-off that.

Lower entry fees for riders and cheaper admission prices for spectators would be really great but if we get those then what’s going to prop up the rest of the event?

A smarter guy than I reminded me on Sunday that it’s actually okay to make money as it’s money that makes things happen and ultimately everyone needs it. Perhaps running the sport more like a business would give us the building blocks we need.

It definitely works in other sports and you’ve only got to look at something like golf where participants pay a lot of money to use the equipment they’ve paid a lot of money for. But the business model of that sport works and sustains a whole lot of professionals who make a real living from the sport and as a result the fan base is huge.

Maybe we’ve just had it too good for too long and our expectations are way bigger than the investment that we’ve been financially willing to make and we’re now paying the consequences. Again, I’d love to know your thoughts…

Until next week – adios!

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