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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

The World Cup of Motocross Shows What Southern California Can Really Do

Embarrassment. Humiliation. Frustration. Anger. Shock. These are all things Southern California motocross enthusiasts, riders, spectators, industry representatives, journalists, and even manufacturers (remember, the U.S. headquarters of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM are all located in Southern California) felt after the last few weeks. The incredible roller coaster known as the Competition Park Motocross des Nations (some people call it Motocross of Nations these days, we don’t) ended when Dorna set a deadline to receive assurances from a band of Indians in Southern California, known as the Luiseno band of the Soboba tribe, that the race would be allowed to go forward next weekend. They didn’t.

As a result, Southern California, the World Capital of Motocross (don’t even try to argue this one with us) came across as a region that didn’t have its act together. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Placing the blame for what happened with the Motocross des Nations scheduled for Competition Park next weekend is complicated, at best. Sure, some parties come to mind immediately. The local promoters (who jumped at the opportunity to host the most prestigious single race in motocross without first securing their rights to operate their track), Dorna (who, by all accounts, was more interested in receiving a huge fee from the hosting facility than dealing with an established, stable track and local promoter), the regulatory environment in California (don’t even ask what it takes to open a motocross track here, and don’t even mention the words “Environmental Impact Report” to anyone who has ever tried to open a track in Southern California in the last five years . . . they’ll vomit), the Indians (who seemed happy enough with the track operating for the past few months — only to change their minds suddenly a couple of weeks before the race), and the United States government agency known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (which was all too happy to throw its muscle behind the Indian tribe and, ultimately, padlock the track). This whole story is huge in itself, and we don’t intend to go into it here.

The irony of all this is Southern California is the World Capital of Motocross, and it is a place where things can happen fast — and often do happen fast. Take the “replacement race” which was organized within a matter of hours. That’s right, next Sunday at Glen Helen Raceway (just a few miles from the Competition Park location), the World Cup of Motocross will take place with several nations being represented (after all, riders and bikes had already been arriving when Competition Park was closed). A few phone calls from the right people to the right people and the race is on, with a $100,000 purse, and commitments from several national teams and industry players. Heck, there is already a TV deal in place for the race, and a support race by “legends” already has the commitment of Jeff Ward, Jeff Emig and Brock Glover, just to name a few.

Yes, the irony is that Southern California is the place where things happen fast and, generally, happen right in the motocross world. What happened with Competition Park is a complete anomaly. It was a convergence of all the wrong circumstances at exactly the right time to destroy the race.

We would like to thank the sponsors who jumped in so quickly to support the World Cup of Motocross. They include Parts Unlimited, Yamaha, Glen Helen Raceway, Troy Lee Designs and Vintage Iron. Take a look at the web site already set up for the event here. Better yet, attend next Sunday’s race if you can.

If you know of riders, mechanics or overseas fans that need a place to stay for the World Cup, drop us an email. We will try to help.

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