The World Motocross Championship turned another corner yesterday when news leaked out that a round of the FIM World Motocross Champion would be held at the famous Glen Helen circuit in America.
Probably the best known Motocross circuit in America it was with huge emotion as it became clear that Glen Helen was now a Grand Prix facility. It was back in the early 1990’s that Glen Helen ran a 500cc Grand Prix under the promotion of Roger De Coster and now nearly 20 years later the Grand Prix riders return to California.
MXlarge decided to contact a handful of people inside the Grand Prix circle and ask them their opinion on the news. We spoke to Dave Thorpe, Sylvain Geboers, Josh Coppins and Stefan Everts.
STEFAN EVERTS: RED BULL KTM TEAM MANAGER AND TEN-TIME WORLD MOTOCROSS CHAMPION
"We are very excited about this; it is great for the sport and the riders. Also for Red Bull it is a good step and something they are supporting. For KTM it is the chance to go to America and show our new models, and show our riders. I think Glen Helen is a really good circuit and it’s really a good move for us, very positive for the sport.
"We will do everything we can to make this a really special event. Of course we also would like that Tommy Searle and Mike Alessi race this race. Alessi has been out and all the extra riding he can do is good for him. KTM support this event 100% and are excited to go.
"For me I remember racing the USGP and it was always a big deal, America is a big market and to race there was always a pleasure. I also think with the event being on the West coast there are more fans than on the East Coast, so the chance of a good support from the spectators is possible."
SYLVAIN GEBOERS: TEAM OWNER OF THE ROCKSTAR/TEKA SUZUKI TEAM
"I look forward to it, I support a Grand Prix in the US, and it is needed. I think it is exciting to go back to the US, that must be above any negatives. The news comes quickly, we all have our budgets decided and for some of the teams it is a problem. For those teams that have an American sponsor it shouldn’t be a problem. We are happy there is a Grand Prix in America, for the sport it is a necessity to have a Grand Prix in the US. It comes so quickly, and unprepared, so suddenly out of the corner, at a moment when we are starting the Grand Prix season.
"No doubt Suzuki in America will help us, we are an official team and we are in the area of Suzuki, just as Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha are in that area and will support the teams. I have no clue if there is an event on the same day, and what type of support we will get.
"Whatever is possible I will have, our cooperation with Roger is very good and he will support it 100%, there is no doubt about that. It is no problem for our team to go there. Both Rockstar and Teka are happy to have a Grand Prix there.
"Nobody knows what will happen, what I do know is that because it is so early in the season all the teams will go, otherwise they can forget being World Champion."
DAVE THORPE: CCM TEAM MANAGER AND THREE-TIMES 500cc WORLD CHAMPION
"I’ve had contact with the directors at CCM and they are very positive about it, obviously we had a budget, I want to talk to Giuseppe this weekend about that. If you look at the schedule we have to come back to France the weekend after America, so that is tough. We can’t call Roger up and say give us some Suzuki’s. I mean we have plenty of bikes, so that isn’t a problem. CCM have welcomed the chance to go to America really.
"Obviously it is nice for the team and the company to be seen in America, but I was bitterly disappointed that the British GP dropped off that date, but with it being now put into the calendar later in the year, and then I am okay with that. As always Giuseppe will have a plan.
"I did Carlsbad, I did Glen Helen, and also Hollister Hills, I even won a race there. From a riders point of view it’s good to race there and go and show what they can do. As always there is always the politics and this is going to be a big event, well organized."
JOSH COPPINS: APRILIA FACTORY RIDER
"It’s great, bloody good, wicked track. I am wrapped. I mean I always wanted to race at Glen Helen, and to now have the Grand Prix there it is great news. We do a World Championship and we need to race all around the World. I know some teams will have difficulty with the budget, but for Aprilia they are excited to have their bikes shown in another market. For our team and myself it is a win, win.
"California is the biggest market in the World, so it’s the place to be. You are like me, you are there for the sport and Giuseppe has pulled something out of the bag and what the AMA Nationals has lost is Grand Prix’s gain.
"I mean Red Bull being involved and I am sure they are trying to get James Stewart involved, then maybe Red Bull push to have the Honda team there, if that happens then maybe Monster say lets also get our riders there, anything is possible. Maybe all of a sudden everyone will be there."