British Grand Prix site Matterley Basin could entertain the Motocross of Nations once again and perhaps in time for the 2018 edition which would mark ten years since the annual festival of the sport last entered the UK.
Last weekend’s Grand Prix was the fifth meeting in a row at the vast English circuit that is only used for the MXGP event each season (except for Leukemia Busters) and saw a boost in crowd figures over 2014. The official figure was 35,000 but pre-event sales had doubled compared to the previous edition. Behind the scenes the Grand Prix was a slick and well-run fixture.
“A lot of people have been asking so we’ve mentioned it to Youthstream and there was some possibility for 2018 or 2019,” said Matterley co-creator and event organiser Steve Dixon. “I think we are ready for it now. The pre-event tickets sales have been fantastic and more than any other GP here.”
Matterley famously hosted the 2006 Nations in spite of poor weather in the build-up and the last time the competition was held in Britain took place in 2008 at Donington Park. Both incarnations were won by Team USA. The Matterley inauguration saw an 80,000 attendance.
“It will have been 10 years since the last time the Nations was in the UK and that’s a long enough time for a country to wait,” opines Dixon.
“The site continues to improve and the feedback from the local authorities has been really positive. In the latest Safety Advisory Group meetings – which is when the Police, Ambulance, Fire and Environmental Health people come together – there has been talk of being able to build up to the Nations again and they know the crew and the event is getting very reliable.”
There was some criticism of traffic queues leaving the British Grand Prix last weekend but Dixon claims this was part of a traffic plan co-organised with the police for manageable exit for the roads around the circuit. “There can actually be up to seven exits from Matterley but there was a system in place,” he commented.