World Supercross loses Mubadala, looks to Sunderland owners for investment

Mubadala Capital has withdrawn from the World Supercross Championship, and a new investor group has been announced to back the championship.

Ken Roczen, 2023 World Supercross British GP. - WSX Media

The World Supercross Championship has announced the withdrawal of its first investor, Mubadala Capital, and the formation of a new investor group.

Mubadala was the principal element on which World Supercross was founded in 2021, and on which it began in 2022. The Abu Dhabi investment firm provided the money that was supposed to get WSX off the ground, before it started to offer some kind of return later down the line.

However, after a 2022 season that reduced from six rounds to two, and with much uncertainty surrounding the 2023 after only the opening round at Villa Park in Birmingham, it has now been announced that Mubadala has pulled out of the series.

To carry WSX forwards, a new investor group has been established, comprised of three investors, including SX Global (WSX promoter) CEO Adam Bailey.

Alongside Bailey in WSX’s new trio of investors are two football club owners. Kyril Louis-Dreyfus owns a majority stake in Sunderland AFC. Achieving this, Louis-Dreyfus became the youngest chairman in English football history. He also “has interests,” a WSX media statement reads, in the Ligue 1 team Olympique de Marseille.

The Ligue 1 links continue with the third member of the new trio, Juan Sartori, who is a board member and Vice President of AS Monaco, as well as Louis-Drefyus’ co-owner at Sunderland.

“We’ve identified exciting opportunities for the burgeoning championship,” said Louis-Dreyfus about WSX, “and can’t wait to further showcase the thrill of the sport and talent of these amazing athletes to more people around the world.

“While we aspire to expand and elevate WSX to become a globally renowned championship, we also recognise the need for immediate short-term changes to ensure a brighter future. There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the challenge.”

Sartori added: ““I’m incredibly excited to be involved in this fresh start for SX Global and the FIM World Supercross Championship.

“Supercross is an incredible spectacle with huge, huge potential. I’m very excited to get started on the task ahead, to grow the sport and showcase it to more fans and new locations around the world.”

Adam Bailey said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Kyril and Juan on this new era for WSX, who share a genuine passion and transformational vision for the championship. Their commitment, experience and business acumen will be crucial in driving the next chapter of WSX.

“We’re committed to build upon our knowledge and learnings over our short 18-month history to deliver the ultimate fan experience, and a world class racing championship for both athletes and fans.

“Our vision has always been to add value to the sport of motorcycling and complement its growth, globally – we have a number of plans and initiatives already underway that we look forward to sharing in due course,” Bailey continued. “We’d like to thank our fans, supporters, athletes and teams for their support since our inception and into this next phase of our progression.”

Officially, the 2023 World Supercross Championship is set to continue on 30 September with the Singapore GP. However, the WSX statement announcing the new investor group says “Further information and future calendar plans relating to the FIM World Supercross Championship will be released soon.” What exactly that means will only become clear with time.

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