At this precise moment in time it is a little hard to focus on motocross with MotoGP so succulently inviting opinion and the off-road world entering a period of hibernation, however there is no escaping the fact that the last major news to emerge from the world of MXGP made for quite a sobering read.

Like most of the reactions I have seen or heard of the new rule stipulating that the 2016 Qualification Heat will now carry points I am also confused by the change. The motivation to install the system is obvious. It emboldens Youthstream’s desire to maintain the two day format for Grand Prix and justify further the centrepiece of Saturday’s scheduling. The promoters are safeguarding some tradition here and also offering circuits and clubs the best chance to generate revenue across forty-eight hours as opposed to a rushed twenty-four for the largest spectator attendance. It also disperses an intense and frankly exhausting programme of European Championship sessions – both a money spinner for Youthstream (Honda and Yamaha series anyone?) and what is also a very fine pyramid racing structure (in their defence).

However there has been dismay from the riders I have spoken with. One confided that in a meeting with Youthstream at the Grand Prix of Latvia a request to remove the Qualification race from the timetable was submitted, and Tony Cairoli was unusually outspoken against the regulation switch in an interview with Brazilian website last week.

In the eyes of the riders and many others there are two large crosses in the ‘against’ column for this idea. The first is over safety – and is an area in which the FIM could have made a strong showing to try and reverse some of the crashes, accidents and injuries that littered the drawn-out 2015 campaign. With nineteen Grands Prix on the 2016 calendar the longest season on record just stretched a little further and MXGP is now able to top MotoGP in one aspect. With thirty eight motos and another nineteen qualification heats then this means riders in just one class will be looking at a mammoth fifty-seven starts next year…and every gatedrop carries an element of risk. Understandably there is concern. And a feeling of effrontery with the riders’ thoughts and feeling being passed over.

The second inexplicable aspect of qualification points is the convolution of the results…

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