Motocross

2006 MXoN moves to a new British venue

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A new circuit will be created for the two biggest off-road motorcycle racing events in the United Kingdom next year. Matterley Basin in Winchester will host the 2006 British Grand Prix and the prestigious Motocross of Nations event in its 60th anniversary. Farleigh Castle had originally been confirmed to entertain the Nations on 24th September but due to the anticipated attendance of more than 40,000 people (after the success of this year‰Ûªs spectacle in France) and the difficult logistical organisation involved with the track just outside Bath, the organisers have regrettably been forced to consider alternative arrangements. Matterley Basin is situated only 5 minutes from the M3 motorway and Winchester City centre, and has excellent road, rail, air and ferry links to the continent. The beautiful country setting of the Matterley Estate, best known as the venue for the large annual Homelands music festival, has a superb infrastructure to host motorsports event of World Championship magnitude. Selection of the location for the venue has been largely due to the support and enthusiasm shown by the Winchester Council and estate owner Pevril Bruce. Whilst no race track currently exists at the site acclaimed designer Johnny Douglas Hamilton ‰ÛÒ who has already won praise for his work on the Isle of Wight, Matchams Park, South Africa and Desertmartin ‰ÛÒ will have a clean slate from which to build a demanding and spectacular layout befitting the world‰Ûªs best motocross racers. The natural valley will allow creation of one of the most scenic and spectator-friendly circuits in the country. With suitable gradients and a good mix of soil Hamilton will be able to build a mixture of modern and traditional style features to keep all fans happy and on their feet! The seventh stop of the World Championship and the only round to visit UK shores in 2006, the British Grand Prix on 11th June will see the inauguration of Matterley and in essence will provide a rehearsal for the Motocross of Nations three months later which will see riders, teams and fans turning up from around the world to witness the contest for the Chamberlain trophy. Matterley Basin will be exclusively used for the Grand Prix for the next four years. "It would have been great to have held the event at Farleigh as originally announced but after witnessing over 40,000 spectators at the Nations in France last month it is clear to see that the event has moved to a much higher level and Britain must continue to raise the bar," said co-organiser Steve Dixon. "We want to try and give the fans what they want, so it has been after lengthy consultation with World Championship promoters Youthstream, the ACU and the general public - and in the interest of health and safety - that we must comply and adjust with the sport‰Ûªs continuing growth and look towards this great new venue." "The issue of noise remains an important consideration and this purpose-built track will aim to set fresh standards in the way noise is distributed by very careful planning of the layout," he continued. "With the promise of the American team and Ricky Carmichael coming over to defend their 2005 victory and already large demand for trade and camping areas it‰Ûªs going to be a big year for British motocross and Matterley in 2006. There will be one or two surprises concerning the admission and ticketing; deals that will be announced in due course," he added. Further information will be released soon and a new website will be launched promptly with event and travel details.

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