Victorian Junior Championships Cancelled and the keyboard warrior war begins

591
Race conditions at Ballarat on the weekend were not ideal for the event to continue and being cancelled. PHOTO: IHD Photography.

*Ch-ing* *Ch-ing* Yes, that is right folks KJ is going to put her 2 cents worth on the debate of cancelling the Victorian Junior Motocross Championship on 29/30 June 2019. Please be prepared for some sarcasm.

Now, Kenny Watts messages upstairs to Heuy made it to Huey’s answering machine as Victoria had some RAIN, yay. Maybe Zeus took Aussie Heuy’s bucket and that pissed Anemoi, Kerang also was in the path of a building tornado that destroyed a house later in the day, think it was near Bendigo (don’t quote me on that). Anyway, Huey or Zeus let it pour rain and Anemoi controlled the wind.

Now to whether you like to have the onion on your sausage on top or the bottom. KJ loves riding in the rain, basically, it would bring all the field back to my pace as I can’t jump for money. And watching mud racing, yeah you can’t pick the bikes or numbers, but if you are watching for rider skill, they will shine in a wet race, it isn’t about horsepower, it is about rider ability, another reason why KJ likes mud racing. As a photographer, well the rain, it is shit! All your camera gear is soaked, and water and electrics don’t get on well, plus the camera lens will never be the same again. However, I would like water over dust, that is just as bad for the camera equipment. Now to the question of motorbikes, there is a view that riding in the mud causes damage, valid, but it is a race meeting, as a competitor you have the choice to race or not race. What annoys me is when someone doesn’t want to race in the wet they try to get the event cancelled or convince others not to ride. I for one am not a fan or cancelling an event when competitors are at a venue. My opinion is based on financial not safety, the money for people to get there (fuel, food), the club with food stocks and if you don’t camp the motel room etc. Safety wise, well, Motorcycling is dangerous, right? Damage to equipment? Rain, Hail or Shine equipment can be damaged. The issue would be preparing the bike in-between races, it isn’t an FIM event so a club wouldn’t have 40 pressure washers. Plus with Volunteers working in horrendous conditions, we want them to come back and help, don’t we? And First Aid Access, I am on the fence with this. When I started following the races we didn’t have the brilliant First Aiders as we do now and events still ran. In wet events, the speed is not as great one can think the injuries would be less, not sure on the guidelines for the Event Medical presence.

The issue on the weekend was caused by a storm. Now if I was racing on the weekend I’d be watching the Breau of Meteorology website like a hawk, is it going to be hot or cold, wet or dry (same methodology for photography and broadcasting), so why wasn’t the weather issue picked up sooner? According to the Ballarat Courier (Newspaper), “BALLARAT’S SES volunteers spent the weekend out in the elements responding to calls for assistance as damaging winds and heavy rainfall hit the region. The volunteers had responded to 56 calls for assistance by Sunday morning, ranging from leaking roofs to trees brought down by the wind and lying across roads.” (https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/6246165/ses-volunteers-work-through-the-weekend-responding-to-calls-as-wild-and-windy-weather-hit-ballarat/)

The question I am trying to make is, when is it too late to call off an event and why did the event go ahead as scheduled? There needs to be a change in how things are done and some protocols made for the event cancellation. This will be the second time that I know of where Ballarat will have a State Title rerun because of weather. And the rerunning of 1 day of the Senior Motocross Championships didn’t work. There has to be something to either prevent the issue from happening again or making sure an event goes ahead. And the keyboard warriors are asking for both days to be rerun, however not sure how that will happen or who has to approve that idea for it to go ahead, it certainly would be better for the club financially.

Bearing in mind that Motocross Management is a voluntary group of people, this is not about assigning blame, it is looking at things to make the sport better, cause lets face it, the sport is going backwards, the financial burden is too much for some people, and fuel to get to an event is a silent killer.

Questions that need to be considered for running a State Championship and some guidelines made.

  • When is it too late to cancel a meeting?
  • When is the track approved for racing?
  • Why is racing concluded before the end of the financial year?
  • Why is there no qualifying for State Championships?
  • Why is there more than 3 rounds? This is based on 1 region having 1 round of the state titles. If there is 4 why isn’t the State Motorcycling Complexed not used?
  • Why is there a reserve date? If it can’t be run on the date don’t run it at all. You don’t see MXGP going back to Indonesia to run a round that was cancelled due to weather.

Obviously, there will be more questions that will arise with an open table discussion which was what MV Management Committees and AGMs were all about. I don’t want to sit on the fence and throw stones, but I strongly feel there needs to be some discussion, and not just on social media.

A topic of concern is how social media is used for event coverage, studies show that 50% of Facebook users are under the age of 30 years, and slight favour towards female users, yeah I know, I couldn’t believe that either or I must have more male friends on my friends list that the average Facebook user (ha ha). I won’t start a Facebook negativity rant, especially with their marketing, KJ will be good whereas Facebook is very bad.

On June 29, MV Motocross Management stated on Social Media:

“As previously posted RACING WILL BE GOING AHEAD TOMORROW.
If you are new to the Ballarat track and following Google directions it will take you into the Pine Plantation which is not the access area.
You need to becoming through Hiscock Gully and onto Bergs Lane.”

On June 30, MV Motocross Management stated on Social Media:

“Unfortunately due to further rain late last night it has meant that the track is unable to be further maintained, so it is with disappointment on both Management and the club that we have called days racing off.
Today’s day of racing will be run on Saturday 20th July at Ballarat.
That is 50cc, 65cc, 85bw and 250 classes
If you are withdrawing from that event and wishing it refunded it is required in writing to mxjunior@motorcyclingvic.com.au. This is required by 8/7/19.

The event will be opened for further entries on cloud.”

Secretly all the people either sharpened their nail files, warmed their fingers up or both. An open invitation to sledge, belittle and whatever takes your fancy is about to start, let the games begin (yes that is sarcasm, or isn’t it). KJ grabbed the popcorn and Pepsi so sit down an read the comments, without actually putting a post of “only following this feed to read the comments.”

There is something Glenn Macdonald wrote which I do find interesting. KJ surely does miss the old 2 Day Opens, and back in the day if a club had a state title, there was a kick-arse 2 Day Open that was held before the State Title. With all the State Titles being run at the start of the year, to be finished by June (the end of Finacial year) the only way for a club to run an event before the State Title is either don’t run one at all or have a Regional Motocross Meeting or Practice Day, I am sorry folks but I don’t think that is good enough. Something needs to change, and I think Glenn Macdonald wrote it how something that could be considered.

Glenn Macdonald I’m probably going to get pulled over the coals for my comment due to the social media clause of MA, I am aware of the rules but I am also genuinely concerned with the future of the sport we are involved in.

Firstly I feel the Ballarat club did an incredible job with track prep and for the small committee you all did a fantastic job with prevention and preparing the track the best possible way for the weather you had to deal with and the mess you are left with from Saturday.

July 20 in my opinion is not the right choice and the feed back I have received since 8:30 Sunday morning has not been in support of the above date. I don’t understand the logic because the states should be working together I know there may be 20-30 riders going over to Ceduna but why not use August 10th so riders can do both.

Furthermore consideration should be taken into account the venue used during winter. I would be interested in knowing where the responsibilities of duty of care takes priority and risks in conditions rider and paramedics where faced with on Saturday that wasn’t racing it was survival.

Practice and one round taking four hours to complete there was never going to be enough hours in the day and as the track conditions deteriorated more bikes where going to be physically removed from the circuit. People were almost forced to put their children on the start because otherwise losing points in a championship. I know families have a choice but not really.
I really think that MA need to step in on a reschedule of dates that don’t clash with another state that was previously booked in.

Also the racing calendar needs to be reviewed. State championship should be conducted during July, August & September and be of three rounds perfect lead up for families wanting to compete at the junior nats. Months of January, February and March could be for Arena and Supercross events and actually have a state championship and have the premier event conducted at Easter using Mildura SX/Arena x circuit as the decider.

Also almost everything is either a series or championship where people feel obligated to complete. The top end riders race all rounds for the overall series results and the middle classes compete so they can be up graded.

There needs to be stand alone events like 2 day opens juniors have practice and 3 races Saturday and 2 races Sunday and seniors have practice and 3 races Sunday.

The sport needs to be turned around and everyone whinges about the public tracks well make it interesting and bring the money back into the association.

I would like to make it very clear my comments are not of a defamatory intention towards any individual, management, state controlling body or governing body.

I have a genuine passion for the sport and want to see it strong again.

Regards
Glenn Macdonald”

Glenn has made some points, I don’t agree with a couple, I am open to being convinced to change, but at the moment, maybe because I watch a lot of MXGP, I love 2 rounds of racing it is awesome, how 1 rider can 1 good and 1 not so good moto. There is a break in racing for teams to get their stuff sorted and fans can mingle. I feel we need to align the sport into the Entertainment category, no just a Sporting category, get everyone interested in motorcycles not just racing, that methodology will filter to the motorcycle and apparel dealerships, sell more units and clothing. I feel that if people think more about bikes it will help road users as well, and maybe, just maybe this could save a motorcyclist from serious injury or fatal injury because of another road user.

Also, we need more people to volunteer for Motocross Management, more hands make lighter work.

Previous articlePrado to stay with Red Bull KTM till 2023
Next articleNorton in disappointment forced to withdraw from Hattah
Kendall Jennings, KAJX Communications photojournalist since 2002. KAJX: Kendall A. Jennings (Photojournalist), who is a big The X-Files fan (what the X stands for in KAJX) and motorcycling fan. “I am extremely passionate about motorcycles and have been riding a motorcycle since I was 4 years old. I was introduced to the world of motocross racing in 1998 and haven’t looked back. Everyone should experience motorcycling whether it be a rider, passenger, racer, official or spectator. KAJX is all about sharing the motorcycling love. I am honest, opinioned and if I don't know something I will say so and then educate myself to provide an answer. Living is learning. I worked as a Motorcycle Spare Parts Manager for 15 years, have an Outdoor Power Equipment qualification, been a photojournalist since 2002, have dabbled with computer code most of my life, have many skills now working on the qualifications. KAJX anything, photography, photojournalism, podcasting is a one girl show a genuine privateer with no sponsorship, I do what I can when I can.” Kendall Jennings.