Courtesy Youthstream

2009 FIM World Motocross Championship Officially approved teams

Following the manufacturers’ suggestion and the teams’ request of entry in the 2009 FIM Motocross World Championship, and based on their history, results, presentation, future program and financial stability, Youthstream is proud to accept and announce these teams as the ‘2009 Officially Approved FIM Motocross World Championship Teams’.

The manufacturers’ suggestions were many more than 24 riders per class as foreseen and Youthstream is very happy to accept all their suggestions. Apart from the 2 riders which every FMNR can enter at each Grand Prix there only remains 5 places in MX1 and 6 in MX2 for the wild card riders.

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The officially approved teams will have their permanent place in MX1 and MX2 World Championships as detailed on the list above. Privateer and Factory teams have the same rights and the duties and will be equally treated. They are able to change their riders until technical control on Friday before each Grand Prix, but they will need to previously inform Youthstream and naturally their riders need to have a valid FIM license, their Federation’s authorization and a completed entry form file. Youthstream supports all the teams who will enter young riders coming from a Continental Championship. The official teams will have time until the 31 October to inform Youthstream of the names of their riders in each class and they have until the 30th January 2009 to send all the official entry forms.

Mr. Giuseppe Luongo, Youthstream President said: “This is really a very important step for the professionalism of our sport to reinforce our teams. Before there were more than 40 teams who invaded the market and proposed their services to sponsors and made promises to riders and mechanics, and some of them did not always fill out their promises and created problems in the market. But surely amongst these teams there were some very good one and these are the ones which we agreed with today.

The reason why we wanted to issue the list now is so that everybody openly knows who are the officially approved teams of the 2009 FIM MX1 and MX2 World Championships and these teams are the only who are able to negotiate with the riders, with sponsors, etc for this Championship. There will no longer be the big difference between the privateer and factory teams; our goal is to bring the value of the teams very similar between each one and everyone will be treated equally and benefit from the same services, TV coverage and media exposure provided by Youthstream at each Grand Prix.”

Youthstream was very careful to attend to the main requests and concerns of the teams which were:

1. To have their participation to the Grand Prix events guaranteed

2. More visibility on TV and media in general

3. To go to the markets where they can find big sponsors

4. To have infrastructures and enough number of passes on the circuit to welcome their sponsors well

5. Create a programme more attractive for sponsors and public

“With these improvements we will reach all the teams’ desires and we want to thank the teams and manufacturers for supporting Youthstream in their continuous investment and development of the FIM Motocross World Championship.”

Youthstream is delighted with what was discussed and confirmed during the meeting between FIM and the Japanese manufacturers in Tokyo at the end of July (FIM was represented by the FIM President Mr. Vito Ippolito, FIM/CMS President Mr. Wolfgang Srb and FIM Sports Director Ignacio Verneda).

Finally the FIM will maintain its will of Motocross being a global sport, i.e. World Championships having rounds in the largest number of continents outside Europe, with riders from all continents.

A true World Championship has to be covered worldwide not only by TV and media but also with events. It is fundamental to include events in the USA (the biggest motorcycle market worldwide), in Asia (the fastest growing motorcycle market worldwide), in Brazil (the biggest Latin American motorcycle market), in Australia (the biggest motorcycle market in the Pacific) and naturally in Europe and Africa where we are already present. A Championship run in Europe does not deserve the ‘World Championship’ title but only a continental title and a continental title does not attract the same interest from multi-international sponsors. Big sponsors have started entering into the FIM Motocross World Championship for the simple reason that we are starting to go worldwide and because we have millions of TV spectators and fans. Fans living in the other continents have the same right as a European; to be able to participate and watch the best Motocross in the world taking place on their continent.

Teams are becoming more and more professional and need to be guaranteed their participation to the Grand Prix, they need to be guaranteed to have television exposure and they need to have professional infrastructures. Youthstream does not want to only be based on the top teams but also on the semi-private teams because Motocross is and we want it to remain a very popular sport with a wide range of participation. Since Youthstream has managed the FIM Motocross World Championship the number of riders and teams participating in the MX1, MX2, MX3 and the EMX2 has doubled.

A wider range of exposure is needed in order to gain more sponsors for teams and organizers and we need to increase the quality of the show at the Grand Prix to make it better value for money for the spectators, and therefore for the organizers and TV broadcasters. Our five improvement points for the future are:

1. To improve the quality of the show at the Grand Prix to provide more interest for the public and therefore aid the organizer.

2. To bring the Grand Prix events all over the world to gain more sponsors’ interest for everyone and to improve the value and credibility of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

3. To support the semi-private teams with rules that guarantee their participation and TV exposure.

4. To continuously improve the infrastructure at the Grand Prix to give more comfort to the teams but essentially to give easy and comfortable access to create interest from sponsors and a wider range of public.

5. To continue improving the media and television coverage around the world for the benefit of everyone involved in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Youthstream will realize these improvements from next year:

A) Increase the number of overseas events, starting with USA and then with other important motorcycle markets.

B) 40 riders to enter and start in each class, MX1 and MX2. In order to stabilize the MX1 and MX2, the official teams will have a guaranteed participation in the FIM Motocross World Championship with the number of riders for each class as listed above. In MX1 and MX2, all 40 riders will take part in the GP (2 x free practice + 1 race of 20 min + 2 laps on Saturday for the starting positions on Sunday. Sunday will remain with 2 races of 35 minutes plus 2 laps for each class). Youthstream will enter 38 riders per class (MX1 and MX2) and the FMNR will enter a maximum of 2 riders per class. Teams/manufacturers can propose to Youthstream a maximum of 24 riders in MX1 as well as in MX2. The remaining riders will be selected directly by Youthstream as wild card riders.

C) Youthstream will improve the TV production with a live camera on-board and also the world wide distribution in markets where we are not already present, with the recently announced deal with Freecaster, fans from all over the world can watch the live programme via internet for free.

D) Youthstream will install personalized manufacturer double floored pit-lane boxes. This will provide the official teams with a professional structure, very clean and visible to public and television where engineers and mechanics can freely work on the ground floor, and an upper floor for sponsors, VIP guests, etc so they can be part of the action without interfering with the teams’ work and to increase the value of the teams’ sponsors.

E) Youthstream will install personalized bike washing areas for each official team to allow mechanics to work cleanly and to not have to wait in line to wash the bikes and this will provide more visibility to the teams.

F) Youthstream will film and edit a four minute programme on each official team and these programmes will be inserted into the FIM Motocross World Championship highlight programmes of each Grand Prix.

G) Youthstream will supply to each official team the agreed number of permanent and one event passes for its staff and guests.

H) Youthstream will offer to the official teams for free of rights the possibility to install their own hospitality in the paddock for their team members and guests. Teams also have the opportunity to install a little hospitality on the upper floor of the pit lane for a maximum of 15 guests.

I) At the end of the season Youthstream will supply to each official team a 15 minute DVD of the best images, free of rights.

J) Youthstream will improve the sport and technical staff to guarantee better services in the paddock such as better performing and cleaner sanitary services, better security controls on the ‘hot-spots’ (such as pit-lane and waiting-zone) and professional blue flag marshals on the race track.

Youthstream will continue to develop and to professionalize the FIM Motocross World Championship without touching the soul of our sport. We will continue with two races per class, we want to have fans as near as possible to the show and close to riders, we want to keep the popular festive spirit and we want to increase the show and activities on the Saturday to permit fans to enjoy also this day and for this reason we have included the Women’s and Veterans’ first race and the MX1 and MX2 grid position races on the Saturdays’ programme. The secret of our success is finding the right balance between the professional, the amateur and the fans.

Dr. Wolfgang Srb, President of the Motocross Commission of the FIM, commented: “Youthstream´s vision for the future of the FIM Motocross World Championship is exciting. We at FIM share the clear commitment of bringing the best Off Road Series in the world to as many continents as possible. Giuseppe Luongo and his staff work very hard on the growth of the Championship and so do the teams and the riders. Within the next three to five years I expect a number of 18 GP’s per year and very likely six of them will be outside of Europe.”

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