The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship reached the halfway point of its schedule at the RedBud round of the series last weekend and by most accounts this season has been a great successful. Most of the riders seem to like the Saturday/one-day format and the TV coverage is bringing new converts into the fold every week.
To get a little more insight, we spoke with MX Sport’s Davey Coombs at RedBud to get an insider’s view of the series.
What are your thoughts on the series to this point?
We’ve had some hiccups here and there, and we’ve got a lot of chainsaws we’re juggling in the air right now but we haven’t broken anything important yet. I think we’re six for six right now on Saturdays and the crowds have been bigger on Saturday than they were on Sunday last year. One of the biggest skeptics, as far as the Saturday races, was the Ritchie family [owners and promoters of the RedBud round] and now they’re very pleased. Their amateur day was up and today’s pro day is looking fantastic. And given the weather and the economy I’d say it’s a big success. As for the rank and file of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross pits, they love it. They love the idea of coming for one day; they love the idea of getting home and getting to work on Monday. And at the end of the day, those are the most important people and if you have a happy starting gate you can grow the sport organically. And fortunately, we’re halfway through it - but for me it’s been a year-and-a-half of going through it - and I’m looking forward to fine-tuning things over the next six races.
Do you have any indication about how the television deal is going?
Well, I’m not a numbers guy, and I don’t know what the ratings would be for this. But I do know that people like Coy Gibbs and Mitch Payton and Mike Fisher, they know what we are doing. And what we need to do, if anything, is buck up our game as far as the 250 class goes. We’re showing SPEED and NBC what our package is like now, hoping they will give us two hours next year so we can include the 250s in the [live] broadcast.
What kind of feedback are you getting on the Women’s class?
I know there are a lot of old-schoolers out there who might feel that the women don’t belong out on the track or might enjoy the more traditional Sunday’s and two-day format, but again, the rank and file are for it. Ashley Fiolek just got a four-page spread in ESPN the Magazine and I don’t know if a Motocross or Supercross rider has gotten that in a while. I think that speaks volumes about the up side of Women’s motocross and I think there’s room for everyone. We just have to find a way so it’s not so hard for the old-school traditional people because we don’t want to cut the grass-roots off. But we do want to add some new things and a little razzle-dazzle.