Well the FIM World Supercross Championship certainly is the centre of attention in the industry since Saturday evening, so we thought we would grab five minutes with Adam Bailey (CEO) of SX Global, the promoters of the FIM World Supercross Championship.
So, round two is done and dusted for the FIM World Supercross Championship in Abu Dhabi, how was it from a promoter’s perspective?
“Above all, the fans really enjoyed themselves, which was fantastic to see. Operationally there are always challenges with a new venue and location, but ultimately it was a great success. We had a mostly filled venue and a huge amount of positive feedback from those that attended, which is fantastic.”
Did you achieve what you planned for taking the World Championship to Abu Dhabi for the first time?
“Yes, for sure. We planned to fill the venue and showcase a fantastic night of racing and entertainment. Above all, we believe we converted thousands of new supercross fans in an incredibly diverse region, which was the number one ambition.”
It seemed the crowds enjoyed the Supercross, do you think we will see Abu Dhabi return in the future on the calendar?
“Yes! We have a multi-year deal and can’t wait to return in 2024.”
There are a lot of social media comments about what went down in Abu Dhabi around Vince Friese, is there any comments from yourself on this?
“We issued a statement earlier today. I’m very keen to see hard, aggressive racing and even some contact at times. I think it’s great for the fans, but in saying that I think Vince went too far and the penalties received for deserved.”
We have seen a lot of people say Abu Dhabi was more of an Arenacross track than a Supercross, what is your comment on this?
“It was definitely smaller than usual and more like a US Open, Bercy or AUS-X Open style of track, but given we were in a new region, the plan was to test the market first and a venue like Etihad Arena is one of the best and most comfortable in the world for fans to come along and see WSX for the first time.”
Looking at what SX Global has achieved so far, can you name one positive that sticks out for you but also address one thing that you know you need to improve on and can make better?
“I think the biggest positive that is easily overlooked, is that we have proven we are able to attract new, diverse audiences around the world and that people who may never have been exposed to supercross before, really enjoy WSX. There are a tonne of areas we need to improve, across the board operationally. I think it’s easy to assume running an event in Abu Dhabi is the same as it would be for us in the US or even Australia, for us. It just isn’t, there are a whole host of complexities that we’re only facing for the first time. We expect to continue to improve at every event.”
Obviously, there is one more round to go in Australia in a few weeks’ time, but have you got an idea of how 2024 will look, will there be more rounds? Can you give us a bit of insight into the next season?
“First of all we’re focussed on delivering an incredible 2-nights of racing in Melbourne on November 24 and 25, then we’ll shift our focus towards 2024 and what that looks like. We’re aiming to grow into another 2-3 regions, but time will tell exactly where we will end up. We hope to have this locked down by the end of the year.”
Is there anything else you wanted to address or comment on?
“Just that we’re extremely grateful to all the fans that stick with us and send messages of support as we continue down this incredibly challenging journey. It means a lot to myself and my team, who are all working tirelessly to take supercross to new markets around the world – thank you!”