With the 2016 European Sporting Season just ended and the new one approaching, we have asked Martin de Graaff, FIM Europe 1st Deputy President and Chairman of the Sporting Council, to highlight the main achievements of all disciplines.
“The successful 2016 season is a result of a good cooperation among all involved people and organisations”, stated Martin de Graaff. “A number of 9 hard working FIM Europe commissions and volunteers are busy with regulations, calendars and running of all events.
“With the help of promoters, federations, organisers and FIM Europe staff members the activities took place in many European countries. And the number of participants and events is increasing.
“In Road Racing the combination of FIM Europe events with FIM races is important for the European Championship. The European Superbike and Moto2 in the CEV Repsol competition ended this year with exiting races. Moto2 will be unchanged in 2017. The Superstock 1000 European Superstock will be a class in the World Superbike program, like the European 600 Cup. During 2016 FIM Europe negotiated with the representatives of several Road Racing classes: the ICGP organisation will have a European Cup with 6 rounds on well known road race tracks.
“After a successful Endurance Cup in Magny Cours a number of 3 events are in the calendar for 2017. The Hill Climb competition with 5 events will also continue in 2017 with 5 races in 4 different Countries. On the 2016 calendar the Mini Road Race European Championship was missing, due to calendar problems. However next year two events, in the Czech Republic and Italy, are on the calendar including a training camp.
“This year the Board and Commission negotiated intensively with the Supermoto promoter. The calendar has been recently published. In 2016 most races took place in FIM events, next year the Supermoto events will be only on the FIM Europe calendar, except one.
“Many Motocross events and one Snowcross race were in conjunction with the World Championship. These European Championship motocross classes are attractive to a huge number of participants with exiting races.
“The 65/85 cc and Open events were in most of the regions very good. Among these young boys and girls there are the future World Champions. The MX Academy, supported by Youthstream, pays attention to the training and education of young riders in European Countries, but with interest to other CONUs, too. The project of KNMV, Youthstream and FIM Europe at Olympic Sport Centre of Papendal (MXGP Rookies) is an example of the complete training and education, like many Olympic federations are practising. The Academy instructors organised for the second time the “train-the-trainer” course at Riga, in Latvia.
“Speedway and Grass Track are Track Races with a lot of variety on the calendar, such as Individual Speedway in Semi-Finals and Finals, Youth 85cc and 250 Speedway, Pairs Speedway, Under 21 Speedway and as from next year also under 19.
“Besides this, the individual and sidecar Grass Track races are very popular: this competition uses also the semi final and final system. For the organisation of the Ice Speedway the commission is depending on the weather conditions.
“Except in the Youth class the number of Trial riders is increasing every year. In 4 events in several European Countries the best riders in this difficult discipline showed their skills to become European Championship. The Women Cup, Youth Cup, Over 40 Cup and Junior Cup will be organised in the same events.
“In July 2016 the Motoball European Championship was organised in Budel (The Netherlands). The duration of this Championship is one complete week with pre-rounds, a semi final and a final. The Russian team took revenge on the German team, which had been European Champion in 2015.
“For the first time a Youth tournament took place with 3 teams. This Junior/Youth tournament will probably be on the future calendars. France is the organiser for 2018 – the French federation developed electric motoball bikes and will give a demonstration in the French round of this championship.
“Besides the Enduro championship, the Enduro and Rally Commission has also a big variety of disciplines. The Enduro Championship consists of 4 events in 4 different countries. The Extreme Enduro and the Superenduro are increasing in the number of participants.
“The Cross Country Cup and All terrain Rally and Bajas are on the calendar in several Countries, even in Iceland. The snowmobile Enduro Cup will be organised in Nordic Countries with the highest chance of snow.
“A very fast motorsport discipline is Drag Racing: breathtaking speed at the end of a quarter mile and short times of a run are the ingredients. Riders cannot buy standard bikes for drag racing, every machine is built by the owners or technical specialists in this spectacular sport. Three races, two in Great Britain and one in Hockenheim (Germany) were on the European Championship calendar. The Street class Bike had also a race in Hungary.
“In the very last race in Santa Pod (GB) at the end of the day of the finals, the riders had to make the runs for the decision who would be the champion in four classes.
“Showing the beautiful heritage bikes to the public and to other users is what happens in the Vintage competitions. Putting these bikes in a museum is a matter, but riding them is the best way to show for what reason these vintage bikes were built in the past.
“Vintage is a kind of motorsport which is almost endless, so many bikes all over Europe are used in competitions in several disciplines. Road Racing and endurance are the most popular in the European Championship. The Commission members are constantly busy to arouse the interest of organisers and Federations to bring their vintage events into the European Championships and Cups.
“From Vintage to Youth classes, all riders and organisers are welcome in the FIM Europe motorsport disciplines. In order to give young talented riders the possibility to take part to races, the Minimum Age Working Group has been created, consisting of specialists in the field of youth sport and two professors. The activities and results of this working group have been published in FIM Europe press releases”, concluded Martin de Graaff.