This one is going to be pretty concise as the subject matter is not difficult to grasp.
Lead Photo by: James Lissimore
I never really write with the thought that anyone of any importance or influential position would ever read one of my columns. It’s silly I know, because I have certainly been made aware of a racer or industry big shot wanting to pimp-slap me a time or five in the past. It’s something I learned very early on when I became PulpMX employee #001: harden the eff up and as long as you know you truly believe what you’re writing, bring on the criticism; don’t hide from it.
That being said, I’m hoping someone in a high position with Feld or Dirtwurx gets their eyeballs on this to help me and the vocal majority of fans figure out just what the hell is going on with track design? I can’t wrap my head around why in 2017, with the sport being over 30 years old, it is still seemingly impossible to figure out the formula for what makes a great Supercross track FOR RACING. This is, after all, a racing series. There have been many great tracks constructed in the past, are these bygone years of tracks erased from the memory of the track builders? Were these designs patented by some anonymous soul and they can never again be resurrected or constructed? I immediately think of the St. Louis track designed by Travis Pastrana in 2009. It had some of the most unique features ever implemented in Supercross and the racing was incredible. That 2009 season, Feld implemented 6 former series elite racers as track designers, why can't they do that regularly?
I realize that track design has had to evolve a bit over the years for many reasons, most recently has been the switch to racing four strokes but in all honesty, the tracks haven’t evolved nearly as much as they should have (or needed to have) for the stump pulling power that the modern four-stroke makes. There are so many failings of track design week to week over the course of the Supercross series and we see them repeated every year! It’s so infuriating because any there is an abundance of current and past Champions and elite-level racers who know exactly what does and does not work when it comes to a highly RACEABLE track to do battle on. It just falls right inline with the standard confusion that surrounds the sanctioning body and rule enforcement in the sport. Of course track design, GROUND ZERO for what this whole dog and pony show exists for, is completely taken for granted and essentially an after thought in the scheme of executing this sport.
PLEASE, I beg of you Dirtwurx, Feld, AMA, FIM, WHOEVER is in charge of this (probably no one), can we get a position created in this cluster-eff of personnel and have it filled by someone who CARES about the racing and more importantly the RACEABILITY of the track designs?!
Contrary to apparent belief, this sport can not be run like a 10 year old playing Excitebike in 1984, just plopping down standard cookie-cutter track obstacles in different orders with a few FLAT 90º corners to boot! There is a real knack to doing this and it takes intelligent, experienced elite racers input to assure this issue is not only addressed but RECTIFIED.
I feel like a hybrid of Jody from MXA and our kook of a new President with all these CAPS I’m throwing in! So please do me, every fan and especially every racer, team and the industry as a whole a BIG favor and #MAKETRACKSGREATAGAIN!!