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Horsham primed for world spotlight during FIM motocross championships

CHALLENGE: Junior motocross riders from across Australia receive instructions during national trials at Dooen Recreation Reserve at the weekend. Picture: LYNTON BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

CHALLENGE: Junior motocross riders from across Australia receive instructions during national trials at Dooen Recreation Reserve at the weekend. Picture: LYNTON BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

By DEAN LAWSON
Momentum continues to build for FIM World Junior Motocross Championships in Horsham next month with organisers preparing for an influx of international visitors.
Event spokesman Kenny Watts said correspondence between Horsham Motorcycle Club and riders, teams and fans from around the world was overflowing.
He reminded Horsham and Wimmera people in general that they would soon be playing host to a significant throng of visitors, some of who were likely to be visiting Australia for the first time.
“We’re getting feedback from all around the world,” he said.
“We have teams from countries including Italy, France, Holland and Denmark to name a few and for the first time in five years, the United States is sending a team.
“We suspect that from about August 15, a week to eight days beforehand, Horsham will start developing a broad international flavor as riders and their support crews and families arrive.
“We’re going to have people here from all over the world, so don’t be surprised if when you are shopping you suddenly start hearing all sorts of foreign languages and accents.”
Mr Watts said a countdown to the titles, at Dooen Recreation Reserve on August 24, 25 and 26, was reaching a crescendo and the region needed to prepare to sell itself to the world.
“We remind the region that the Wimmera will be in the international spotlight and everyone will suddenly become casual Australian ambassadors,” he said.
“There is no doubt about it – we’re on show, not just to the international motocross fraternity – but to the world.”
One of the major conditions of Horsham hosting the event, the first of its kind in Australia, was to provide an extensive media centre for visiting international journalists.
Accommodation
Mr Watts said he had been fielding a variety of international calls and inquiries that were coming ‘hard and fast’ through various mediums.
“I’ve even been getting phone calls from a taxi driver in Sydney who has been in touch on behalf of his nephew who lives in India and is keen to attend,” he said.
“It’s amazing, but few people planning to come to Horsham for the event have seriously considered accommodation, which will be at a peak.
“We’re trying to encourage as many spectators as possible to take the pressure off motels and take up our offer to camp out at Wimmera Events Centre at Longerenong.
“The reality is we’re planning for a transformation of Horsham for a week or so into a super multicultural centre of sport.
“We’re not sure exactly what that means and what it will look like, but it will be impressive.
“Things are proceeding and everything is starting to come together.”
Mr Watts said Horsham Motorcycle Club remained on the hunt for people to volunteer their services during the weekend.
“We’re offering a chance for people to get up close and personal with the world’s best junior motocross riders,” he said.
“We’re particularly looking for flag marshals over the age of 18 who can stand on the edge of the track with flags.”
Junior motocross stars from across Australia were at the Dooen track at the weekend for national team selection trials.
Forty-five riders were vying for 21 positions across three classes.
The world junior titles have three classes – 65cc for age groups 10 to under-12, 85cc for 12 to under-14, and the pinnacle class for junior motocross, 125cc 14 to under-17.
Team, as well as individual titles, are up for grabs.
Riders who experience success at the titles often establish major international careers in the sport.

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Posted on Jul 18 2018

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