News 26 Jun 2020

No series would ‘be the last resort’ for 2020 motocross championship

Motorcycling Australia assessing options following WEM departure.

Image: Foremost Media.

Motorcycling Australia (MA) has every intention of operating an Australian Motocross Championship in 2020 after departing promoter Williams Event Management (WEM) announced it would be exiting the series today.

Pending government regulations and enforced restrictions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sport’s national governing body will elevate its efforts to save this year’s championship.

Following over 20 years as promoter of the MX Nationals, WEM was initially intending to host a final championship this season before stepping away in 2021 when MA was anticipated to be taking the series promotion internally as it has previously done with the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Following the confirmation that WEM will end its position sooner than planned, MA CEO Peter Doyle has stated that necessary steps will be taken to ensure that champions will be crowned in 2020. Whether it’s a full-length championship or a reduced schedule, it remains a priority for the gates to be dropped unless coronavirus makes it impractical.

“From MA’s position, obviously we were already doing some exploration into next year, so we will ramp that up,” Doyle told MotoOnline. “If at all possible, based on where we sit with COVID-19 amongst the states, we will do everything we can to get a form of championship up and running this year.

“There are a number of options that we will have to consider. They will be from running a similar number of events to what was already planned, a reduced number of events and the worst case scenario is that the COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve and nothing can take place. That would absolutely be the last resort.

“We will absolutely do everything that we can to get a form of the Australian Motocross Championship up in 2020. We need the ability to be able to move between some states and obviously there is also the spectator side of it [to consider].”

The Australian Motocross Championship has been led by WEM founder Kevin Williams since 1997, today’s news marking the end of an era for the outdoor championship. It is yet to be determined whether any private promoters will be involved in the series’ rebuild from 2021.