News 14 Jul 2021

Proposed ‘drop-round’ system rejected by ProMX stakeholders

Motocross commission and AMG against dropping points in 2021 season.

Image: Foremost Media.

A proposal put forward by Motorcycling Australia (MA) to incorporate a ‘drop-round’ points system in Penrite ProMX was rejected by some of the sport’s top stakeholders, the governing body has revealed.

According to MA, the motocross commission and Australian Motocross Group (AMG) were against potentially dropping a round in a bid to complete the series.

The current Covid-19 outbreak in New South Wales that has led to strict lockdowns in Greater Sydney and continued state border closures this morning forced MA to postpone the Queensland Moto Park (QMP) and Coolum rounds of the championship.

There had been discussion to potentially have competitors drop rounds if they weren’t able to make certain events due to state government regulations, but – at least for now – those ideas have been paused in favour of attempting to complete a delayed calendar.

“MA management has worked hard and investigated many options to attempt to conduct the rounds during August,” an announcement released by MA earlier this morning outlined.

“This included reviewing a drop a round points system, where riders unable to attend a ProMX round due to border restrictions would be able to drop a round of the championship, thus not effecting their overall championship hopes or points.

“Whilst other riders not affected by borders restrictions would also drop a round in the championship points system prior to the final round, unfortunately this concept is currently not supported by AMG or the motocross commission. MA management will continue to evaluate and explore all options during this complicated time for the sport.”

On paper it would appear a relatively straightforward concept, however, with multiple double-header events being considered from this point including the Gillman rounds confirmed today, such a strategy would further complicate the series’ completion. It’s understood the double-headers could have been removed if drop-rounds were introduced.

“As a team I was opposed to the proposal where riders or teams be granted the option to drop their worst round,” commented Honda Racing team owner Yarrive Konsky. “As I am a part of AMG, I made those feelings known to the group as well.

“We all agreed that we needed to exhaust every avenue to complete the eight rounds and getting riders or teams to drop their worst round would not be fair or in the spirit of sportsmanship. It’s simple – it’s not a fair and just regulation to implement and it should not have been suggested.

“Also consider the fact that on any given weekend it could be a double-header some riders could potentially not be able to attend. The fact is, it suited me as Kyle [Webster] hasn’t had a bad round so I could pick and choose one for him and Brett [Metcalfe] has had one bad round. South Australians and Victorians are currently not restricted.

“I don’t want to win a championship that way, none of us do. It’s all about parity, we all have big championship bonuses in place and riders from a restricted state would have no option but to claim the round they couldn’t attend as their worst round, which is unfair, especially whilst some riders may not get restricted.”

The only currently confirmed event scheduled is the South Australian double-header on 4-5 September, with Wodonga, QMP and Coolum all up in the air. If those rounds are salvaged, it would place the series at eight or nine rounds if Coolum was also to remain a double-header, but chances are at least one of those events – likely Wodonga – will be scrapped.

However, with the Australian Supercross Championship due to commence at an undisclosed location on 16 October and with organisers AUS SX Holdings yet to formally announce any developments, ProMX is facing a race against time to complete the series.

It was surprisingly suggested last week that we could potentially see the two series overlap if AUS Supercross does go ahead as planned and ProMX dates are backed up beyond mid-October when the supercross championship is scheduled to take off.