Belgium has always played an important role in the development of motocross. In 1934 the first race in the world named ‘Motorcross’ was organized in Belgium (Zoete Waters – Oud-Heverlee).
It’s in Belgium were the starting gate system was invented. The first winner of the new European Championship in 1952 was Belgian rider Victor Leloup. René Baeten was the first Belgian World Champion in 1958. Our little country has had 15 different world champions and 56 world titles.
Living legend Stefan Everts has a record of 10 world championship titles and 101 GP victories. Due to all these successes there were also many motocross riders who wanted to practice the sport in order to be able to become as good as their idols. During the seventies there were about 60 motocross training tracks in Belgium used for practice and/or competition. At the end of the eighties and beginning of the nineties the permit restrictions imposed by the government became more and more difficult to respect by the track owners and a lot of them were obliged to close their track.
At the end of century there where only about 6 tracks left open for practices. Many races are organized on temporary tracks with only a permit for one, two or maximum 3 events per year. But also these organizations are facing more and more problems to obtain the necessary permits. Sport and infrastructure is a competence of the two different regions (Flanders and Wallonia) and therefore different actions were undertaken by the sector. In Wallonia, there are at this moment only 2 tracks with training facilities. The minister of sports with the support of ex-rider Thierry Klutz decided to invest in new facilities, in Mont-Saint-Guibert, in Rognée and another one here in Bastogne where the GP organizer will build and exploit the track. In Flanders there exists since 2002 a decision of the government to have 12 training tracks. Since this decision only one track has been opened (Genk) others were closed (Neeroeteren). No progress was made despite all the projects that were put on the table.
A lot of lobbying was done by the sector, but remained unsuccessful so far. In 2009 a national demonstration was held in Brussels with more than 2000 motocross riders and fans present passing by the different administrations. At the end of 2011 the sector (federations, industry, and riders) decided to have one spokesman towards the Flemish government, former World Champion Eric Geboers.
This year a special action was launched at the international motor-show in Brussels by selling trees. More that 500 trees have been sold so far and these will be virtually presented at the MX of Nations in Lommel to the Flemish Minister of Environment, Joke Schauvliege.
The sector wants herewith to give a positive signal to the authorities. The trees will be planted near the remaining training tracks to compensate the CO2 emissions.. For more information: www.motorcrossCO2bos.be Contact:
- Kevin Moonen, Red de Motorcross Mail: email@example.com
- Stijn Vancuyck, consultant deux-roues de FEBIAC GSM: 0496 51 21 77 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org