There has been recently, many comments on the subject of denying riders an entry at the Eastern Motocross Championship rounds. Obviously, this situation has to change, as we all want to see riders competing at our great sport. However, many comments made by riders who simply do not understand the reasons why rider number restrictions of 160 have been taking place. 

I think in general, we have created over the past couple of years, a very popular, efficient series, which is the envy of most ACU regional series, but now realise that although traditionally as the season progresses the entries tend to tail off, there are indications that this is not the case anymore.

I think that surely everyone agrees that when setting out the rules for championship events, every round must be uniform. This is mainly where the problems arise. At three of the five venues, there are time restraints by landowners. These three clubs officially cannot start until 10am, and should finish at 5.30 pm. We must also consider the fact that marshals, medical staff etc have a lengthy day as well, and of course without these very valuable people, you riders would not be able to race. 

It is necessary to have timed practise in the junior grade entry to establish those who proceed to compete in the Eastern Junior grade championship races, and we try to let everyone have a decent amount of riding time when it comes to the actual races. With reference to adding an extra group, this effectively adds an hour and a half to the race programme, allowing for three extra races, another timed practise session, and in addition of course, for the times it takes to organise riders off and on to the start line. 

Therefore, at the three venues with time issues, there is simply no time to add three more races to the programme. To add another group would entail drastically reducing the race duration's in all groups. The Motocross Committee are all in agreement that competitors should get value for money, and to run championship races of just twelve minutes for example, is not acceptable. 

The committee will be meeting soon to discuss proposals of how to accept 200 riders in five groups without having to add extra races to the programme. There are at least three possible options of how to overcome this, and after discussion within the committee, a further meeting with the addition of some riders and race organisers will take place. Once an agreement has been made for the 2019 championship rules, we will then submit our proposals to the Eastern Centre Competitions Committee for approval. 

For the benefit of people who are unaware, the motocross committee consists of two members from each of the five clubs who organise Eastern Championship meetings, plus a rider’s representative. Eight of the eleven are, or have been, actual motocross riders, so various comments regarding the committee are completely unfounded. I will add that recently race organisers have taken a great deal of abuse, which is totally unacceptable. After all, we are all doing these jobs voluntarily, to ensure that you riders can enjoy your sport. 

I also must point out that the restriction of rider entries has been purely for championship meetings, as each club at their other meetings, can obviously set their own limits regarding the number of riders and the race programme. 

Hopefully this open letter has helped to explain several issues, and a continuation to see the growth of our sport is paramount. The old adage, " that we will never please everyone" is true, but be assured, we are doing our best to disprove this. 

Yours sincerely, Charlie Ralph, Chairman Eastern ACU Motocross Committee.