Pinpoint: Crowd Figures

Trawling through the MXGP figures

· 3 minutes read

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Attendance figures garner attention in most sports, yet most overlook the numbers that are released by Youthstream that concern each round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. These are actually quite interesting and offer some insight into the decisions that are made regarding the calendar each year.

After diving into the information that was released after each event this term, there is one round that was superior to the rest: A whopping 50,000 fans attended the Grand Prix of Asia that was run at the Indonesian track of Semarang. There is no doubt that some will question the legitimacy of the figure and presume that it was inflated to justify the decision to travel so far from the European roots of the series, but consider the fact that the Grand Prix of Indonesia that was held at Palembang only hosted 30,000 fans and was therefore the ninth most visited event on the calendar.

(Ray Archer)

The new Grand Prix schedule has not yet been released, but there is a chance that neither of those facilities will be visited when the new season begins. The promoter of the Semarang round seems to be taking that race to Jakarta – the Indonesian capital with a population of nearly ten million – and the other spot that is reserved for an Asian event has not yet been finalised. The ground that the artificial Palembang circuit was built on is supposedly going to be used as a housing estate, so it may not be available. The point is that there is room to improve on the successful base in that country.

Moving on from Indonesia, it is not shocking at all to see that both the Grand Prix of France and Grand Prix of Russia are extremely popular. France has been a staple on the schedule for years now and will always be a fan favourite, no matter if the event is held at St. Jean d'Angely or Ernee. The Russian stop is also held in an ideal location – those staying at the school next door are welcomed to line the fences and get involved in the opening ceremonies. There are rumours circulating that tracks in Moscow or Saint Petersburg (the two largest cities in Russia) could replace Orlyonok at some point in the next three years though.

(Ray Archer)

It is a surprise to see that the Grand Prix of Great Britain hosted so many fans, although that explains why there are so many strong rumours that indicate that Matterley Basin will indeed host a race again next year. The Grand Prix of Latvia is seventh on the list below and welcomed just two thousand fans less than the British, German and Argentine stops on the calendar. Kegums was undoubtedly at its busiest this year. Pauls Jonass and Arminas Jasikonis were presumably the reason for that though. The number of fans from Lithuania – a country that borders Latvia – was astounding.

There is actually an interesting stat to pull from this information: The last four rounds of the term make up four of the five events at the bottom of this list. It would be most interesting to see if those numbers would be much higher if the rounds were run earlier in the year. The fact that Imola hosted the final round last year and played host to a lot more fans – 35,240 was the attendance across the weekend a year ago – makes that point moot though. The Grand Prix of Turkey also faced a significant change year-on-year. There were just 15,000 fans present last year.

(Ray Archer)

The Grand Prix of Lombardia is at the bottom of the list. There are a handful of contributing factors though: The weather would have scared a lot of people off and the previous stop on the schedule, the Grand Prix of Trentino, was run just an hour away. There are some fans who would have had to choose between the two and in most cases Pietramurata would have won that fight. The figures below support that sentiment. Mantova will not return next year but there will still be three stops in Italy – Pietramurata, Maggiora and Imola are expected to make up three of the twenty events.

Round 1 (ARG)

35,000

Round 2 (GBR)

35,000

Round 3 (NED)

26,000

Round 4 (ITA)

29,000

Round 5 (ITA)

18,500

Round 6 (POR)

23,000

Round 7 (FRA)

38,000

Round 8 (RUS)

37,000

Round 9 (LAT)

33,000

Round 10 (GER)

35,000

Round 11 (IND)

30,000

Round 12 (IND)

50,000

Round 13 (CZE)

25,000

Round 14 (BEL)

33,000

Round 15 (ITA)

24,896

Round 16 (SWE)

22,000

Round 17 (TUR)

25,000

Round 18 (CHN)

25,000

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Ray Archer

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