British MXGP hosts 'Ride to the FIM Awards' stage 2

The second stage of the 'Ride to the FIM Awards' took place at Matterley Basin, ahead of the Awards themselves in Liverpool in December.​

Ride to the FIM Awards, 2023 MXGP of Great Britain.

The MXGP of Great Britain played host last weekend to the second step of the ‘Ride to the FIM Awards’.

The ‘Ride to the FIM Awards’ began in Silverstone at the beginning of August, where the first step was a part of the MotoGP British Grand Prix. Step two was held just last weekend, on 22 September, at Matterley Basin in Winchester.

The famous motocross track is the (by now, long-established) home of World Championship motocross in the UK. With the exception of 2021, which was influenced by Covid, the last year an MXGP season passed without a British Grand Prix at Matterley Basin was 2017, when the track hosted the Motocross of Nations instead. The same is rumoured to be on the cards for 2024.

At the 2023 MXGP of Great Britain, the Friday preceding the Grand Prix saw the delivery of a workshop to young motorcycle racers focused on media, and how to make the most of it. In a discipline such as motocross - where sponsorship space is both limited to begin with and subject to its own concealment by the movement of the track surface caused by the passage of motorcycles over it - understanding how to make the most of the media as a rider is arguably even more important than in other disciplines where perhaps the expenditures needed to be covered by sponsors is slightly greater. 

Antonio Alia Portela, FIM Motocross Commission Director, opened the event: “On behalf of the FIM I want to welcome you to the ‘Ride to FIM Awards’ the event that will lead us to the Awards Ceremony of the World Champions. It may seem like a long journey to become Champions, but all of you will be able to reach this goal. I recommend that you get the best you can from this workshop, always trying to express your personality, in a professional and positive way, enhancing your commitment and passion for our sport.”

David Luongo, CEO of MXGP promoter Infront Moto Racing, also spoke at the event: “Thank you for your participation in this workshop at one of the most spectacular tracks in the Championship. You guys are our future, we work for a championship where you can express your talents and you must work on your potential and professionalism. Today qualified professionals will give you advice on how to approach the media, a fundamental tool for your exposure and the popularity of our sport on a global level. I wish everyone a fruitful weekend!”

Other speakers at the event included Marionna Leiva (Infront Moto Racing Marketing Director); Nikki Malin (Yamaha Motor Europe MXGP Media Manager); David Bulmer (HRC Honda Racing MXGP Press Officer); Roger Harvey (HRC MXGP Advisor); Shaun Simpson (former MXGP rider and Grand Prix winner, and current owner-manager of Team Gabriel SS24); and Adam Duckworth (Chief Editor of MotoHead), who acted as moderator. Current factory Beta MXGP rider Ben Watson also joined the session as a guest.

On the race track in Matterley last weekend, factory Honda rider Tim Gajser took the MXGP-class spoils with his first 1-1 scorecard in over 12 months, while Jago Geerts won his final MX2 Grand Prix before he moves up to the factory Yamaha MXGP team in 2024.

Both world titles had been settled the week before at the MXGP of Italy in Maggiora, where KTM’s Andrea Adamo won his first title in the MX2 class, and two-time MX2 champion Jorge Prado won his first MXGP crown with GasGas.

The third and penultimate stage of the Ride to the FIM Awards will take place on 25 November at Motorcycle Live, with ‘FIM World Champions Day’. This will see some of the most decorated British riders in attendance, including Carl Fogarty and Jonathan Rea. 

Stage 1 - British MotoGP

The 2023 FIM Awards will be held in Liverpool this December at the ACC Liverpool conference centre, and the Ride to the FIM Awards got underway at the British MotoGP last week.

ACC Liverpool will host the FIM General Assembly on 1 December 2023. This comes a day before the FIM Awards gala, in which the champions of 2023 will officially receive their awards, takes place there the next day.

FIM President, Jorge Viegas, said: “Liverpool is recognised around the world for its contribution to everything from industry to sport and popular culture, its famous football clubs and music bands are known to people all over the globe. I cannot think of a city in Great Britain that is better suited to hosting an event that will truly celebrate another fantastic season of FIM competition.”

ACU General Secretary, Matthew Wear, added: “We are delighted to be working with the FIM to bring the FIM Awards to the UK and look forward to celebrating the achievements of the World Champions across all of the disciplines. The ACU look forward to welcoming fellow federations and their members, officials and world champions from across the globe to this special evening in Liverpool, a truly wonderful city that will do the FIM Awards proud.”

In 2022, the FIM inaugurated the ‘Ride to the FIM Awards’ which is a series of promotional events in the lead-up to the Awards evening itself.

For the 2023 edition, the Ride to the FIM Awards began at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone during Two Wheels for Life’s Day of Champions on Thursday 1 August. There, the FIM auctioned two ‘VIP Experience’ tickets for the FIM Awards which sold, in the end, for £4,200. 

Andrea Coleman, CEO of Two Wheels for Life Charity, said: “Two Wheels for Life is very proud to be supported by the FIM Foundation. We are proud to show that motorcycles are saving lives across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Two more tickets were up for grabs on Thursday, too, via a QR code in the FIM hospitality unit which was opened to the public for the day.

The next stage of the Ride to the FIM Awards is set for the MXGP of Great Britain at Matterley Basin on 23-24 September. The final round of the 2023 World Championship season, the British GP is also the last stop of the year before the Motocross of Nations in Ernee, France on 7-8 October.

In Matterley Basin, the FIM is collaborating with MXGP promoter Infront Moto Racing and the UK’s Auto Cycle Union (ACU) in an event on the Friday before the GP (22 September) helping young riders - 50 of whom have signed up for it, from various motorcycling disciplines - better understand and approach their media duties. 

Speaking at the event will be current HRC motocross advisor Roger Harvey, whose motocross career stretches back to his own time as a Grand Prix racer in the 1960s, and four-time MXGP overall winner and owner-rider of the SS24 KTM team, Shaun Simpson.

The third stop on the Ride to the FIM Awards will take place at the NEC in Birmingham during Motorcycle Live. 

At the NEC, four-time Superbike World Champion Carl Fogarty, two-time Superbike World Champion James Toseland, and two-time Motocross World Champion Dave Thorpe will all field questions from WorldSBK race winner James Whitham on the Black Horse Stage.

Further, there will be a competition which will involve the public audience, testing their knowledge of motorcycle racing history, with the winners getting the chance to attend the FIM Awards on 2 December.

Finlay McAllan, Managing Director of Motorcycle Live, said: “To be able to welcome a multitude of World Champions, and the FIM to Motorcycle Live on Saturday 25 November is something we're really excited about. 

"The Black Horse Stage, hosted by James Whitham, will form the centre of the action, with FIM Day allowing visitors to meet riders, listen to their interviews and racing stories, and be part of a true spectacle of racing talent from past and present heroes.”

Finally, the Ride to the FIM Awards will make its last stop in Liverpool on 2 December, where all of the 2023 FIM World Champions, from over 40 disciplines, will be available for autographs and photos between 15:00 and 17:00 at ACC Liverpool.

Ducati Monster SP (2023) track review - Silverstone GP circuit on the Monster SP

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