At the end of 2018 we have asked for analysis of the European Championships and Cups to Martin de Graaff, FIM Europe Acting President and Chairman of the Sporting Council (in the photo aside). Here are his reflections.
As Autumn kicked in across Europe, the Sporting Commissions joined their final meetings thereby asserting their commitment to advance the engagements in the various disciplines. This addition marked a great year for the FIM Europe Sporting Commissions with 3 new chairmen joining our family cooperating to promote the sports and the exchange valuable knowledge: Road Racing, Drag Racing and Trial.
The Management Council received the usual list of proposals for the various motorsport disciplines and in the meeting in December everything was discussed and almost approved. The calendar with in total 242 events for European Championships or Cups will become interesting for the Federations, promoters and organisers due to the news in the sports with new classes and events’ update. Federations should remind that applications for FIM Europe Events must be submitted by the FMN and not by a Promoter/Organizer. This is because an FMN can be fined if an event is cancelled for reasons other than Force Majeure, this can be difficult if the FMN did not sanction the event in the first place. Solid the pyramid models in several disciplines which continues to be a first step for the young riders to then jump into the European or World Championships. 2018 was also the year in which the new clothing, produced by IXON has been distributed to all commission members to stress the importance to best represent the FIM Europe Officials at all its events. Calendar fees and prices and kind of licenses due have already been published and riders are already in the position to prepare all the procedures for the coming sporting season.
News for 2019 in random order
Motoball – The European Championship in Russia was a great success with more than 15.000 spectators attending the event of Kovrov, which was also on live stream and registered 270.000 watchers. This Commission is always dealing with new projects. 7 Seniors teams and 6 Juniors teams will participate in the 2019 European Championship which will be held in Mörsch, South of Germany, from 15th to 22nd June. There is always a Federation ready to host the next round and Belarus already expressed its wish to organize the European Championship in Minsk, most probably in the new stadium, in 2020. Trophies stay in Russia at present waiting for the next year’s winner.
Trial – The new chairman in the Commission is Magnus Liljeblad from Sweden and 2 new members. The Trial Commission evaluated 2018 and showed the statistics with the number of licenses in all categories. Statistics revealed that the number of the participants to the EC increased in a significant way, especially and very important, in the Youth class. This has been a big achievement of the Commission worried for the numbers going down. In the 2019 calendar there will be four events in all categories. Discussion took place within the Commission on the advantages and disadvantages of holding qualification for European Championship Trials. It was agreed that this would add little to the event and would quite likely discourage organisers due to the extra complications involved. It is necessary to make efforts to welcome new federations to organize events and to encourage them to develop the sport and not just be driven by promoting championships.
Vintage – The new Commission with four new members joining five re-appointed members is ready to develop all kind of disciplines and to give special attention to the calendars. This Commission has Road Racing, Motocross, Enduro, Regularity and will also have the new Hill Climb Cup from 2019. This Commission is dealing with old bikes and amateurs riders. No license is foreseen in this discipline and the rider pays a symbolic entry fee of 10 euro to join the events. It is a work in progress Commission trying also to involve FIVA and this project will have the support of all members. The new Vintage Hill Climb will consider the sidecars bikes and will be organized together with the Road Race Hill Climb European Championship. It will be interesting to see the results at the end of the coming sporting season. A contract for 3 years has been signed with the new promoter of the Vintage European Cup. This promoter, EECL, is waiting to organize this Cup since two years and finally this company has won the tender.
Supermoto – During the meeting in Fiumicino, where also a reference person of the promoter Xiem was present, it has been stated the most important goal of the Commission to be the increase in the participation of riders in the S1 and SM Junior classes and especially to establish a stable calendar. A discussion was also on the reduction of the maximum age of the participant in the S1 class starting from 2019 with max 40 years of age.
Enduro and Rally – The first event of the 3 of the 2019 Superenduro Cup already took place in Krakow, Poland. Superenduro Cup will be held together with some FIM rounds. Under discussion is a new situation for the TT Rally with a Greek promoter Mr. Meletis. After negotiations for a contract can be signed for 3 years. On the calendar are already on 4 events. This new situation will contribute to regulate the situation of the high number of riders present, but many who do not participate in the FIM Europe Cup, but in the national events only. It has been a successful season and the Championship results of 2018 were homologated and the cooperation with Mr. Butzner as supplier of the Championship was very positive and will go on also for 2019. A set of rules have been already presented by the Commission for all disciplines and approved by the MC. 4 events in the Enduro and Bajas EC are envisaged in 2019 calendar and 2 in the Cross Country Cup one.
Track Racing – The Commission has the important goal to support young upcoming riders from all federations to achieve a higher level of racing together with more experience for international meetings. The good relation with the FIM CCP helps the Commission to work on the rules and their harmonization and to the development of the discipline which work in progress is always supported with the exchange of information with the world championship level. The TRC Development Working Group is studying new competitions for Junior racing which will be presented on the occasion of the Congress in July 2019. 2 more events in the TR calendars are registered for 2019.
Drag Racing – The new Chairman from Finland in the Commission is Jari Halonen. The Commission presented the changes to the regulations which have been already approved by the Management Council in December. The two events in Santa Pod has become a must in the discipline. 45 bikes were attending there, in 5 classes, in front of apx 30.000 spectators while in in Hockenheim 57 bikes were attending, in 5 classes, in front of apx 55.000 spectators. Promoter Trabak announced an elevation of the entry fee for 2019. The travel money will be adjusted as well. Trakbak raised the issue about spare crew tickets that is on sale on the open market. Trakbak informed the meeting that they plan a one event Super Street Bike race for the World Championship in 2019. Very important is the involvement of the riders in the discipline and about 20 letters have arrived to DRC with about 30 suggestions to for changes to the regulations and to improve the sport. One new member from Germany joined the Commission after the MC meeting decision in December.
Road Racing – The new Chairman was already Vice-Chairman of the Commission, Martin Hejduk from Austria. FIM Europe has launched the European Superstock 1000 Cup in the Alpe Adria series. As of 2019 the European Superstock 1000 Championship will no longer be part of the FIM Superbike World Championship. It will then develop as a class in the Alpe Adria Series as a Cup along with the European 300 Cup. Interesting the calendar on 6 events and 2 races per event: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Free number of tyres and 170 kg minimum weight for all bikes. Supersport 600 Cup will continue to run with WSBK for 2019. Martin de Graaff asked the Commission to look at the problem caused by the minimum number of riders required for points to be scored. This situation can sometimes result in entered riders being penalised by low number of entries.
Statistics for 2018, provided by the ex Chairman, Ejgil Solkaer, did highlight the effect on Championships and Cups when races are cancelled due to poor numbers of riders with the correct FIME Licence. It was also noted that there have been no protests this season. All working groups have worked well during the year. Overall the 2018 season has been good. CEV Repsol: The European Talent Cup has produced some amazing racing and shown some promising new riders and the work to develop the Mini Bike and Hill Climb series has been positive. The European Moto 2 class is working well for pre-MotoGP riders who are young professional riders starting their career. European Talent Cup is a very good promotional class that is affordable and has attracted good entries. It provides opportunity for young riders and for professional teams to see new talent. Discussion for 2019 for the Supersport 300 European Cup and Moto2 European Championship is good and it is confirmed that will stay with the Honda engines. The Kawasaki Cup will not continue for 2019. The Chairman remarked on the new safety measures to be introduced by the FIM for Track Safety.
New is the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup: the riders will be holders of a Road Racing Continental Promotional license (annual or one event). Contract should be signed soon for 3 years. The calendar will be discussed in cooperation with the federations.
Endurance: it will be splitted in a Championship (as previously) and a Cup (Moto 1000 Open European Cup). The Championship will continue to run with the Road Racing Continental licence (annual or one event) and the Cup with the Road Racing Continental Promotional licence (annual or one event). One new member from Serbia joined the Commission after the MC meeting decision in December.
Motocross & Snowcross – The number of competitions is stable with a very positive cooperation with promoter Youthstream. Changes in EMX300 where Championships stays combined with MXGP/MX2 but renamed EMX2t, with maximum of 250cc. The electronic briefing is introduced in the MXGP/MX2 events. This is a strong recommendation to start this even in EMX races (by T.Skillington). Printed paper briefing should be made available at the paddock office or technical control if there is any doubt about sending it to riders via email.
EMX250 and EMXWomen – 120cc to 250cc 2stroke or 4 stroke.
EMX65/85 Zones unchanged. No semi-finals.
EMX85 – maximum age changed back to 14 years old.
Maximum age of EMX250 riders to be 23 years old, plus maximum age for the 250cc rider in the MXoEN also to be 23.
Martin de Graaff also reported on a visit to Moldovia where he met the President of the Republic who has assured him that the government will fully support a round of the EMX65/85 SE zone and other international sporting events. Moldovia is interested in a round of the World Sidecarcross championship in the future.
Quadcross/Sidecarcross of EN – Has already fixed its rounds for the next 4 years: 2019 (Schwedt/GER), 2020 Markelo/NED, 2021 tba/FRA and 2022 (Jauer/GER).
The 2019 EMX Quad Championship – likely to be 4 rounds, 3 of which to be combined with FIM WC sidecars. There is now very little interest shown by organizers in hosting a round of the EMX Quad championship.
Snowbikecross: new sport, to be held in Russia upon the request of MFR. Date 3rd of March. 2hrs flight east of Moscow (Ural, airport of Yekaterinburg). Name of the place – White Hill / Belegrad. 2 classes:- 2stroke up to 500cc; 4stroke 250cc – 690cc; rules to be specified more precisely/use of motocross rules. MFR to update the rules to be similar to MX rules.
The Commission requested that the minimum age for a rider on a 125cc motorcycle in the WMXoEN be the same as the minimum age of a rider on a 125cc bike in the WEMX championship – 13 years old in both cases.
The Yamaha YZ Cup will take place on 3 classes in 2019, 65cc-85cc-125cc.
Freestyle European Championship: tba
Snowcross EC should take place in Sweden if this event will be confirmed.
The European Watercross Cup, also in Finland for 2019 because it has been very successful in 2018.
The professional trainers of the MXGP Academy will continue their program. Not only by training young riders, but also with a program for trainers.
In general the FIM Europe Sporting Commissions are satisfied, motorsport on this level is increasing. This is all made possible by the Federations, their organisers, riders and all our promoters.
It is good to see the developments in the several disciplines. New ideas are all focused on the quality of events and the increasing number of participants. Motorsport events must be attractive for spectators and potential sponsors.
Cooperation with all Federations and the FIM is of great importance. And the analysis shows that the goals have been achieved.