A new future for World MX? (Youthstream to take on motocross)
The official announcement from the FIM (Federation Internationale Motocycliste, based in Switzerland) that they have chosen Youthstream to be the company to manage the FIM Motocross World Championship rights has been made.
President of the FIM’s CMS division, Wolfgang Srb, said, “I am delighted about the return of Mr. Giuseppe Luongo to the FIM Motocross World Championship. He has been a very professional partner in the past and I am very optimistic for the cooperation FIM/CMS and Youthstream in the years to come. We will work very hard, together with our partners from the riders and teams, the manufacturers, the Federations as well as the organizers, for a great future of World Motocross.”
Stefan Pierer, Chairman of the Motocross Manufactures Association (MXMA), said, “First of all the MXMA is glad that the FIM was able to present the new promoter of the “FIM Motocross World Championship” in time to get prepared for the upcoming season.
“Mr. Luongo is a highly experienced promoter who has a deep insight to our sport. Due to his involvement, we believe there will be an increase of the popularity of the Motocross World Championship, and a fruitful cooperation between riders, manufacturers and local promoters in the upcoming future.”
“We also would like to take this as an opportunity to express our thanks to DORNA Off-Road, the company that has done a great job over the past few years. The transfer of experience and knowledge from Road Racing and especially their close cooperation with the MXMA ended up in a deep involvement of the manufacturers and precise technical regulations.”
“I am very happy about the come back of Mr. Luongo to the management of Motocross,” was the statement from the 6 time Motocross World Champion Stefan Everts, “Because in the past he made many big steps forward for the sport. As he has had 2 years to look from outside this sport and to understand the necessary things that need changing to make more steps ahead. I am sure he is the right person to arrange the problems of Motocross, he is a businessman with a heart 100% for Motocross, and this is what everybody wants.”
Giuseppe Luongo, President of Youthstream says “From experience, we thoroughly understand how valuable it is to discuss and listen to ideas from all those involved – Federations, Riders, Teams, Manufacturers, Organizers, Fans and Press.”
Mr. Luongo stated that after discussions with FIM, MXMA and other parties, the following details are imperative:
1. To offer more rights and freedom to the Organizers for their own advertising, hospitality, stands, National TV rights and to produce their own Grand Prix passes.
2. To open the paddock to the fans.
3. To return to the traditional system of two races per class.
4. To make the race programme longer and more attractive for the spectators. Saturday – all the practises, one 125cc race and one 650cc race. Sunday – the two races of MXGP and the second race of 125cc and 650cc.
5. To have the last race on Sunday finish at 17h00, this will allow more people to be able to come to the event.
6. To make a delayed TV programme of 1 hour, that is broadcasted about 3 or 4 hours after the race at prime time (21h00), this will enable us to create a programme concentrated on the excitement and show of the event. We will use portable cameras for the special shots and a camera on-board which will record images. Naturally, at the end of the race we will have the news on satellite.
7. To come back to the old system of Motocross Des Nations, of bringing all the biggest National teams and fans for the greatest Motocross race of the year.
8. To make a calendar for a true World Championship including many different countries with overseas Grand Prix – to achieve this, the costs of organizing an overseas Grand Prix will be reduced.
9. Maintain the respect we have for the FIM, the Jury-system and of course continue with dialogue and partnership with the FMN, MXMA and all the other partners.
10. All the necessary services will be continued; time keeping with transponder and split time, electricity, water and sound system in the paddock, hospitality, press office, permanent passes, track designer, pit lane with all it’s services, internet, and more.
“To stay out of Motocross and be far from the every day involvement for 2 years has given me the possibility to look at things more objectively” continues Luongo. “I can see the good and the less good that we did with Action Group in the past, and I can see what has happened in Motocross in the past two years. Clearly, the professionalism, television and technology that is in Motocross today was brought by AGI (Action Group International) and at that time it was necessary to make the big step forward because if we did not make these strong efforts, we could never know it’s true potential. Now, after the efforts of, first, AGI, then after Dorna off-road (the biggest and most professional company in the motorcycling sport), we distinctly see the possibilities of this sport. We have to aim to keep all the good, use the most recent technology and for the sporting and relationship side, take a step back toward the more traditional times – I believe with these compromises it will be the best solution for everybody and Motocross will run like a dream. Just as a reminder these are the steps taken from 1997 by AGI permitting Motocross to have a higher level”:
“1. A clean paddock with hard ground with washing areas, electricity, water taps and services.
2. Hospitality for FIM, guests, Press, Teams and VIP.
3. Time keeping with transponders and split timing with live script for TV, Internet and monitors.
4. Sound system for public and paddock.
5. Live television production (12 cameras), with live, news and magazine programmes broadcasted throughout the world. In 2000 we produced 51 hours live, and we also had an agreement with EBU for the news and live programmes to be on the satellite.
6. Service for Press (press office with responsible, modem, fax and many telephone lines).
7. Internet and web site with live results.
8. The pit lane had monitors with live TV and time keeping.
9. More structures to welcome the public (toilets, signalling, security, etc).
10. A professional podium with tent for interviews for TV and Press.
11. The permanent pass system for Teams, Riders, Press, VIP, etc (free of charge).
12. The professional way to prepare the circuits with a circuit responsible to manage all the maintenance.
13. A Rider’s autograph session for the public.
14. A staff that was always kind and at the disposal of Teams, Press, FIM and spectators to manage the event and to listen and give answers to everybody.
15. The support of the “Mobile Sport Ambulanz”.
16. Promotion of Motocross all year around the World with Press, TV, video games, exposition shows, etc.
17. A calendar with 16 races and, over the years, the FIM Motocross World Championship visited Brazil, USA, Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela.
Mr. Luongo concludes “Youthstream has a strong respect in the FIM leadership and the secret of Youthstream’s success is the belief in partnership, to work professionally with passion and maintain a healthy dialogue and respect for all the partners. It’s highly motivated and professional staff will manage both FIM World Championships – Motocross as well as S1 SuperMoto – in the best possible way. It is obvious that it is necessary to create business because there are around 70 families who live with the work created directly from Youthstream, and around 500 families who live with the money brought from SuperMoto and Motocross. But, our respect for business comes after our respect for the safety and of the value of the sports that we manage.
Because of the strong FIM and FIM Motocross Commission (CMS), this product has a true value, they give a balance of all the different interests. It is clear the FIM is the owner of the building, and the promoters are merely tenants who rent for some years, we have to act on the rules made by the owner.
The races before the AGI and DOR period did not have anything resembling this, many of the races were organized on a similar level as some local Championships. I still remember the first 10 minutes of every race we had on Eurosport in 1996 – the people could not believe it. It is important to remember the development this sport has made over a reasonably short time, but unfortunately, we also do not have the same market as road racing or the following of football, F1 or cycling. This is the reality and not to disappoint, we have to be realistic, work with this and give truly our best – then Motocross will flourish along with all the parties involved and we will reach the highest level possible for this sport.”