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2019 Motocross Review

By Charles Mutebi, Johnson Were

Added 5th January 2020 03:03 PM

There was an increase in the number of riders in the national championship, especially in the Pee Wee class, and sponsors, with companies such as Vision Group, Coca Cola, Ntende Finance, Axcel Lubricants, Exim Bank among some who invested in the sport for the first time.

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American Ryan Surrat hits the skies at Busiika. Photos by Johnson Were

There was an increase in the number of riders in the national championship, especially in the Pee Wee class, and sponsors, with companies such as Vision Group, Coca Cola, Ntende Finance, Axcel Lubricants, Exim Bank among some who invested in the sport for the first time.

MOTOCROSS

It was a please-don’t-end kind of year for Motocross.

The sport enjoyed several achievements both locally and internationally. For starters Alon Orland won the FIM Africa Nations Motocross Championship title in the 65cc class, emulating his elder brothers Stav and Aviv’s marks of the previous two years, as Uganda finished third overall – an improvement on 2018 by two slots.

Stav Orland lost his 85cc crown while Aviv could only watch from the side-lines, due to injury, costing Uganda points that would have had them finish second. Still, Aviv has now attained the points needed to race on the pro circuit, a major milestone for Ugandan motocross.

 


Uganda found more joy in the FIM Central Africa Motocross Championship, winning it off for the seventh time in a row, with Miguel Katende, Gift Ssebuguzi, Waleed Omar, Fortune Ssentamu and Maxime van pee emerging champions in the 50cc, 65cc, 85cc, MX125cc and MX1 classes respectively.

 iders at a jump durimng the rmed forces motocross Riders at a jump during the Armed forces motocross.

 



Glorious Armed Forces Appreciation championship

Arguably, though, the moment of the season was the inaugural Armed Forces Appreciation motocross championship, held on October 6 for the self-titled purpose, which attracted riders from the world over and as many as 20,000 fans in addition to handing the army proceeds of sh100m. That event opened up the door to plenty of possibilities that Barak Orland and his sport governing team are tasked with maximising from here on. 

 

Competitive National championship

The past year will go down as the most competitive in national championship history. All classes were open until deep into the campaign. In the end, someone had to win and Wazir Omar, Waleed and Ssebuguzi emerged champions in the MX125, 85cc and MX65cc classes respectively while Ashraf Mbabazi Jr claimed the PeeWee title, William Blick Jr the 50cc championship and Isma Mukiibi the MX2 class.

Kylan Wekesa was the most improved rider of the season, winning two rounds on the Kenya circuit in the 85cc before upgrading to the MX125, in which he managed a podium during the FIM Central Africa Motocross Championship in Nairobi.

 

Tracks beautified

The country’s two tracks, Victoria Raceway Track Garuga and Uganda Motorsport Arena Busiika, underwent massive upgrades that elevated them to international standards. The quality of Busiika, for instance, was endorsed by the international riders who graced the armed forces championship and the authorities are rightly confident that it will more than meet the expectations during next year’s FIM MxOAN.

 


 

More gains

There was an increase in the number of riders in the national championship, especially in the Pee Wee class, and sponsors, with companies such as Vision Group, Coca Cola, Ntende Finance, Axcel Lubricants, Exim Bank among some who invested in the sport for the first time.

 

Challenges and way forward

The MX Cranes remain underfunded, which often deprives the nation of many good riders during engagements abroad. The lack of funds also means the team cannot employ the much-needed team manager to help the currently overloaded captain.

Locally- based riders are in dire need of technical support and the federation as well the UMX and SMOC clubs must devise means of bringing down instructors to mentor the country’s gifted but under-coached riders.

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