Time to Head Over
Every year, we see a select few riders take the intiative to take time away from their testing to go over the pond and race in Europe. While GP's are over, it's this time of the year that heralds indoor supercross. Bercy SX, probably one of the most popular arenacross/supercross mix during the offseason, tends to feature a mix of top 250 riders and mid-pack 450 riders, all smashed together in a cramped maze of a track.
Last year, everyone heard about Bercy, even if you didn't watch it. Justin Barcia's debocle was the "shot heard round the world" for the 2011 international moto scene. This year, it doesn't sound like he will be returning to Bercy for another go, but prominent riders like Kyle Chisholm and Eli Tomac - the pair that battled for the 2011 crown - will be going back again.
Why is it that the top guys don't race these overseas races, though? They can't say that there's another race going on. In Racer X's 450 Words this week, Steve Matthes answered that question very simply. They have enough money. Why would they travel overseas when they didn't need to?
What many of the top riders don't realize (at least, I don't think they do) is that the riders that go to Bercy and tour Italy gain something that those who stay home can't. International recognition.
Is that enough, though? Is expanding your international fanbase enough of an incentive to get the big names to go abroad?