A shift in the way the FIM Motocross World Championship is run could occur if current FIM Deputy President Jorge Viegas succeeds in his bid to lay claim to the hotseat of the governing body of global motorcycle sport, and topple incumbent President Vito Ippolito as the Venezuelan goes for a third successive term.
The 57-year-old Portuguese made a surprise public presentation and announcement of his candidacy for the Presidency at the Motocross of Nations in Latvia two weeks ago and cites his wish to see the FIM regain a higher degree of control of their many disciplines as one of the main points of his manifesto for improvement and change.
“At the moment it is very promoter-driven and I believe that we must change this,” said Viegas who has been an FIM representative since 1999. “I am deputy head of the federation so I know very well what is going on. It is hard to explain but if you go to a race like MotoGP then you are completely ignored. It is only about business and promotion.”
“I think we need this big shake-up,” he continued. “It is like we are sleeping and we have to bring the FIM back to what it should be. It will cause friction; I am running against the President! I think I have a good cause and I am not doing it because I suddenly thought ‘I want to be president’ but some big federations want a European president and they want to get back to the ‘real thing’ and so they have pushed me.”
It is a bold move with the FIM elections slated for Jerez de la Frontera, Spain on November 22 on the eve of the FIM Awards. If Ippolito is voted in once more then Veigas knows the writing is on the wall. “I will be completely out of motorcycling,” he said. “I am playing all of my cards. I have been in this world for 40 years but in my heart, I cannot be with a man – who is my friend – that I do not believe in politically any more. There are a lot of movements going on to back me.”
Viegas’ candidature program seems to promise more emphasis on many of the political, beneficial and practical issues that the FIM presently consider like the FIM Academy, building positive images of motorcycling, more female riders, more professionalism to the FIM and also a ‘Protocol Code’ among the promoters among other points. He also wants to enhance the role of the national federations. “I think the work the federations do to promote the young riders has to be much more valued than it is now,” he says. “Without that you have no more Cairolis; everybody passes through the federation.”