News 30 Jul 2015

Australian MXGP plans delayed until 2017

World championship won't return to Australia next year.

Image: Ray Archer.

Image: Ray Archer.

Plans for the MXGP World Championship to return to Australia in 2016 have been shelved, with MX Nationals boss Kevin Williams confirming discussions are now instead taking place for 2017.

During a press conference at last year’s Motocross of Nations, Youthstream president Giuseppe Luongo hinted at a possible grand prix return to Australia for the first time since 2001, however those movements have now stalled.

Speculation was sparked once again earlier this month when the provisional 2016 calendar was released featuring three rounds TBA on the mammoth 19-event schedule. It is anticipated that such an event will require a $1.5-million to $2-million budget to run at GP standards, making government financial support critical for it to go ahead.

Williams is eyeing a realistic 2017 return and will meet with Youthstream at the US GP in September. At that event he will discuss the infrastructure of fly-away events with Luongo while gaining a direct insight to rounds outside of Europe.

“I have confirmation to meet with Giuseppe and his crew at Glen Helen, to look at the infrastructure they use at fly-away races and put together what the costings will be for Australia, with the view to see if we can raise the money and government support to have a round in 2017,” Williams told

“I’d received a contract from the organisers to look at for 2016, but with a number of state governments changing and that type of thing, I wanted to go overseas and meet first-hand rather than through email correspondence. That will be the best way to get a proper understanding.”

Williams revealed that he has up to four venues in mind for the event if MXGP does return to Australia under his management – Appin, Broadford, Coolum and Murray Bridge – pending government funding and the logistical challenges of accommodating world championship fixtures.

“The three venues we work with at the moment that I believe have the current capacity to stage a GP would be Broadford, Coolum and Murray Bridge, plus Appin would also be one. Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland all have venues that are capable.

“So it’s just a matter of seeing what infrastructure we’d need to bring in, with respect to their mechanic and signal-zone area, the two-storey structure and all of those elements. That on its own, if it’s not negotiable, may knock Broadford out as a potential venue.”

Williams was heavily involved in Broadford’s historic pair of grand prix events during 2000 and 2001 as CEO of Motorcycling Victoria’s Major Events Unit at the time, which led to a boom of Australian talent on the world stage during that period. Currently Australia is represented by Todd Waters and Dean Ferris in the premier MXGP category.