Steve Dixon has offered his take on the switch from a date in the Summertime to late March for the 2019 MXGP round at Matterley Basin.
Yesterday Youthstream and the FIM announced the MXGP dates for 2019, they’re provisional at this stage of course so there are a few holes in the schedule that will need filling in over the next few months.
But one of the confirmed rounds is the MXGP of Great Britain which will be held on March 24 at Matterley Basin.
The news wasn’t given an especially warm reception by British motocross fans. But Dixon, who is the promoter for the British GP, was quick to defend the controversial move, making several important points via a statement released on social media.
“It makes me very proud to bring the British GP back to Matterley for 2019, especially as the European opener,” he said.
“I remember the great events I attended at the Winchester club, as a rider, on New Year’s day, Hawkstone Park on New Year’s day (with the team), then the Shell Series in February at Foxhill. That was followed by the GP at Foxhill in July getting cancelled as the pits were completely flooded.”
“Earlier this year I was already thinking about having the British GP as the season opener for 2019, so I filmed Darian Sanayei at Matterley in February. The conditions were perfect, and I’ve put a video up on our Facebook page to show what it was like!
“I’m confident this will be a great British GP, we have a really solid team and are all excited for the new date. As always we will prepare to the best of our ability. The rest is down to you, the fans to spread the word and bring the biggest crowd in 2019 to set the standard for the rest of the season!”
The statement emphasised that the British weather is unpredictable and that in the UK “nothing is guaranteed”. It points out that the famous Glastonbury Festival has been a mud bath during the height of the British Summer.
Dixon does admit the British Grand Prix at Matterley has seen its fair share of terrible weather across the many dates it has hosted the Motocross World Championship but proudly points out that it has never been cancelled.
He says he wants to focus on the things that can be controlled to help deliver the best event possible.
One of the benefits is access to cheaper accommodation, he says and is also hopeful of missing any conflicting dates with club races.
It’s likely that Dixon was expecting some controversy with this early date but is keen to engage with fans and has encouraged them to get in touch if they have any ideas for the event or if they want to get involved.
Will you back the British boys and say to hell with the weather like we do every year at the Hawkstone International?