Gareth Hockey, the main man at RHL Activities, contacted TMX’s MX Diary on Tuesday to discuss the situation at Little Silver. Here’s how the conversation went…
TMX: With the benefit of hindsight, was Little Silver a good location to run the opening round bearing in mind you were running the youths as well?
Gareth Hockey: “From our point of view there was ample space. What messed us up was two things. Friday everything was rolling in fantastic. We knew there was rain forecast but it wasn’t forecast until late. We had a massive rainstorm at 4pm which messed the top paddock up.
“The other reason we had is obviously all the BYC kids roll up on Friday. I personally put a message out to the adult teams to come in on Friday [and] we had some. We’d marked the parking area for them out and with hindsight once we’d had the rain we should have stacked and racked them as opposed to putting them in specific spaces which cost us a lot of space.
“If we roll on to Saturday, everything was still wet. We opened our spectator parking up which was away from the main site but the volume of additional rider support for the adults was never in anyone’s plans. We asked people for the footprint of what vehicles they were going to put in but some of those teams were bringing an additional six or seven vans. There was a miscommunication so we didn’t allocate the additional space.
“We inspected the facility the Monday before the grand prix with the ACU and the ground was good and it was workable so I will not accept that the venue wouldn’t work. We just had some bad luck with weather and we messed up parking.”
TMX: If you hadn’t been running the youth classes, do you think the British championship races would have gone ahead on Sunday?
GH: “100 per cent not, purely and simply because the reason it was pulled more than anything was on Saturday night due to the weather that was forecast and the weather that did arrive.
“Sunday morning probably from 6am until 10am we had torrential rain so the bottom of the venue was flooded. Even without anything going on on Saturday I think we’d have ended up with a decision Sunday morning that we wouldn’t have run.”
TMX: How do you react to suggestions that somewhere like FatCat would have been a better venue for mid-March?
GH: “I take that one on board but hindsight’s a wonderful thing. FatCat would have been all right but the issue is that it’s a practice track – then you get everyone moaning.”
TMX: Has this forced you to rethink your plans for double-headers or is it still all systems go?
GH: “For me, after all the positives from Friday and Saturday that is the future for British motocross. I understood there were a few negatives from some Pro riders but if we’d had a dry, sunny day those riders and, more importantly, the teams and sponsors would have been over the moon with 200 kids and their parents there making the place buzzing.”