Assen - a special stop

There is no doubt, last year’s Grand Prix of the Netherlands, held at the Assen TT circuit was more than just a little special. Perfect weather, a huge crowd, great racing and an exciting circuit gave us just what we wanted.

In a sport that has created so much history, around so many beautiful old school, hard pack circuits, a little extra was added last year as one of the best MotoGP facilities in the world enjoyed a little off-road action.

I’ve been lucky enough in my 55 years to visit some pretty impressive motocross events, from Carlsbad and the USGP in the 1980’s, to AMA Supercross events in the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Facilities like Daytona, Indianapolis, Road America, Spa, Namur, Monza, and Le Man. Watched GP riders perform at Unadilla, Budds Creek, Hollister Hills, and Glen Helen, and visited 100’s of GP circuits in Europe and around the rest of the world.

Last year in Assen had something a little different, sure as Romain Febvre said old school is always better and I agree 100%. Maggiora, Trento, Kegums, Matterley Basin, Valkenswaard, or Lommel have something special for the real motocross fan, but what Assen brought to the table was another level.

It was well noticed that wealthy company CEO’s were at Assen. From bankers to boardroom executives, people who had money to spend and were looking for their next hobby. The whole place was just what you would want to show to a future sponsor or event organizer. Unlike some of the rough and tumble of our beloved old school circuits, this was something to be really proud of, if showing another side of the sport, to a non-motocross fan.

The sport took a turn for the better in Assen last year, and to Youthstream and the Assen promotional team, to Greg Atkins who put this circuit together in just a few days, it was time to celebrate. I seriously think we have found a special place for the sport for many years to come.

Money was made by the local promoters who needed to have around 10,000 spectators to break event, but probably had more than 20,000. The whole village of Assen was excited about the MXGP event and welcomed the series with open arms. The local council was excited and involved and the hotels, restaurants and bars also picked up some extra business.

Assen, we look forward to returning in two weeks’ time, and once again celebrate a new era in Grand Prix motocross.

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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