Welcome Dirt Digglers to our latest mid-week update.
Now I’m no weatherman – I’m the Dirt Doctor, duh – but you don’t need to be Michael Fish or even Lucy Verasamy (well worth a Google) to see there’s a shitstorm raging over the opening round of the (deep breath) Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship powered by Skye Energy (now breathe).
Check out the latest meteorology maps and you’ll see that this turdnado hasn’t moved very far since Sunday and what we’re going to call Hurricane Hilton just for badass badness has moved all of 45 miles south east to hover over the Auto Cycle Union HQ in Rugby.
Social media is going mad on the subject and the country’s flagship MX series currently appears to be drifting rudderless as wave after wave of punishing, pounding criticism crashes over its decks. That’s not to say that all the Facebook/Twitter posts are justified – in fact, some are downright libellous – but the general consensus is that Hilton Park was a titanic shipwreck of an event and that something needs to change before the sport in this country back-scuttles itself.
I’m going to abandon the nautical analogy now and be serious.
Sure, the track was crap and an inability to throw a bunk-up in a brothel springs to mind when it comes to event organisation but to a certain extent that’s subjective. The most serious short-coming was that Mel Pocock – one of Britain’s brightest talents – got seriously hurt and then had to wait too long for medical attention. That’s not subjective, that’s fact.
Mel Snr told me that his son has been “traumatised” by what went down at the track and Mel Jnr’s tougher than Tesco own brand stewing steak which gives you an idea of what he had to endure.
In a statement released on Tuesday, series promoter ACU Events Ltd claimed that medical standing regulations were exceeded for the event. So why didn’t Mel, with half his thumb missing and the rest of his right hand mangled, receive proper pain relief for 90 minutes? If the medical standing regulations were exceeded – and, to be honest, I believe they probably were – all that tells me is that the regulations aren’t worth the paper in the ACU Handbook they’re printed on.
Motocross is a professional sport contested by professional athletes who ride for professional teams. The infrastructure has to be professional too and if that means events must be attended by trauma doctors who can stabilise serious injuries and save digits, limbs and lives then it’s a price that needs to be paid. It’s like car insurance – we all need it, even if none of us want to use it.
As slow moving as Hurricane Hilton is, I can’t see it blowing out any time soon. When major teams and sponsors start talking about withdrawing from the series then everyone – and that includes all the manufacturers and even Maxxis itself – needs to take notice.
While I’m still on the subject of Milton Park I’m going to give an example of what I meant I few paragraphs earlier about things like track conditions being subjective.
While most of the racers I spoke to had nothing good to say about the circuit, local boy Steven Clarke offered a different perspective. I’m paraphrasing now but he pointed at the track and basically said “that bit’s good, that bit’s crap, that bit’s all right – but we’re all racers and it’s the same for everyone”. Clarkey – if you don’t know him think pit bull in Answer race kit – has never been one to mince words and the Midlander can always be relied on to call a spade a sped!
In other news, lycra-clad lovely Toni Bou clinched his ninth X-Trial world championship on the bounce in France at the weekend. The sultry senor is so good he makes everyone else look like they suck. Maybe that’s where the expression awesome Bou job (is there any other kind?) comes from?
And there was great news for the Brits on the SuperEnduro front with Jonny Walker, the Dirt Doctor’s favourite flaxen-haired Cumbrian, winning the world round down Mexico way. Jonny’s been cleaning up this year outdoors but it’s his first career win at this level in a stadium. Okay, so Taddy Blazusiak won the title – again – but this could be just the beginning for the Keswick kid. Fingers crossed, eh?
Anyway, seeing as I missed St Paddy’s Day I’m off to the medicine cabinet now for a few shots of Silkolene before typing ‘Lucy Verasamy naked’ into Google images – tune in again on Friday when I’ll be bringing you all up to speed on what the weekend has in store.
* Breaking News *
Brian Higgins, ACU Chairman and the main mover and shaker behind the Maxxis championship, has just stepped down as championship manager in the wake of the barrage of criticism. By falling on his own sword he’s done the honourable thing..
Words: TDD Images: Red Bull Content Pool?KTM Images and Kawasaki Racing