“Our desire was to save as many events as possible”
The Coronavirus disease pandemic has significantly influenced the activities of all the FIM Commissions. In the “Commissions Update” series Commission Directors will explain how they have modified their working methods during the extraordinary times and how they foresee the future.
The dreadful Covid-19 virus has had a devastating effect on all motorcycle sport regardless of discipline and Enduro was severely hit from the start.
Just as the initial implications and possible travel restrictions were being considered in regard the 2020 FIM Enduro World Championship, the FIM Enduro Commisison (CEN) and the promoter ABC faced the challenge of assessing the viability of the final FIM SuperEnduro World Championship round scheduled in early March for Lodz in Poland. The organiser and the Polish Federation wrestled with the problem but unfortunately almost day after day the situation was getting worse and the event was cancelled.
“At this point, I suppose like so many others, that the CEN members were hoping for the best, and the heart was battling with the head. Salvaging the 2020 EnduroGP was still our main aim, but as is now more or less history, things got much worse”, says the FIM Enduro Commission director John Collins.
The CEN, in conjunction with the promoter, teams and organisers, had enjoyed a resurgence of EnduroGP in 2019, very much as a co-ordinated effort.
“Everyone had high hopes for 2020 and all indications were that after a lot of pre-season work, an exciting EWC calendar had been formulated with excellent organisers and traditional Enduro was anticipated. All indications were that the entry would increase and particularly the new Open class successfully introduced in 2019 was set to attract more and more riders.”
Unfortunately, all organisers, despite efforts and hopes, were forced to cancel or postpone their events. However, the CEN still believed that the season could be saved later in the year.
“The next huge problem was the ISDE scheduled in the north of Italy for end of August. Italy was the first to suffer the terrible consequences of Covid-19 and despite every effort and certainly keeping options open for as long as possible, ISDE had to be cancelled. That was a devastating blow for all.”
“The CEN took a very easy decision to confirm the event will return to Italy in 2021 and God willing things will have improved enough for us to witness a fantastic event. Plans for this are underway.”
At the start of May after much deliberation, contact with the enduro promoter, organisers and the now familiar virtual meetings, the CEN realised it was time to evaluate what could be accomplished if travel and other restrictions continued to improve. An updated calendar was announced at the end of May with a view to resurrecting the 2020 FIM Enduro World Championship in the autumn.
Five events were announced in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal starting in September and running through until November. The CEN felt it was important to announce the dates in particular as many federations were starting to organise their national championships and wished to avoid date clashes.
“Unfortunately, in the ever-changing situation, the round scheduled in Zschopau Germany for October which always typifies the best in traditional Enduro hit problems with local restrictions and had to be withdrawn. Hopefully the remaining rounds will be unaffected, but we are all aware that the situation can change.”
After many months of hard work the CEN was finally able to publish a rescheduled calendar for 2020.
“Everyone in our FIM family and in the wider motorcycle spectrum hopes and prays for a return to normality. As far as FIM World Championship is concerned, calendars were formulated with a very strong desire to return to the events which were scheduled for 2020. In the end we will have four rounds in total, in France and in Italy in September and two rounds in Portugal in November.”
Collins is looking forward to the 2021 season after all the challenges this year.
“For the future there will be big changes in the promotion of the series, with the FIM taking over this task in a similar way to what has been successfully achieved in trial. The FIM will also make new efforts on the marketing aspects and announcements will follow.”
For the remainder of this year, it is intended that the CEN take the opportunity to examine their existing regulations.
“It seems opportune to use this time to take stock, to evaluate our seminars and of course start to dream about the ISDE in Italy and a successful and welcome return to both Super Enduro and EnduroGP.”