“Rock Solid” trick performed by ace Motocross rider Maikel Melero (X-fighters ) at Las Ventas.
By Mary Foran
I just happened to catch it on TV: They were holding a motocross spectacular event in the Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid! The crowd was mostly young people who were oohing and ahhing over the head-over-heels jumps and stunts the riders were exhibiting.
The turnarounds and ramps were tightly-placed, but the riders were experts and dazzled the spectators. The venue has been used for concerts, of course, but motocross? Who would have thought that banderilleros would give way to motorcycles!
In the States, dirt biking is the rage. In fact, anything to do with mechanical mayhem is very, very popular. That includes Monster Trucks, which wow the crowd by deliberately destroying themselves by leaps and bounds and rollovers galore. The giant trucks do their best to smash themselves to pieces and the spectators roar.
If anyone had told me when I was living in Madrid that someday I would be watching NASCAR and drag races every weekend, I would have said they were crazy! Those races go on for hours when I should be cleaning up or writing!
NASCAR races tend to be very patriotic events with military flyovers and the National Anthem sung and a prayer for the drivers. Fans crowd the stands to watch speedsters driving two and three abreast around in circles for miles. Sponsorships are many and varied and the excitement of speed plus danger makes for multimillion-dollar TV time.
European car racing is just as dangerous and exciting and popular, what with the narrow streets and curves they have to negotiate. Grand Prix and Formula One racing are entirely different.
There are brave women in the field, but racing is mostly a “boys and their toys” type of activity.
When I was last in Madrid, I noticed that motorcycles had become a very popular form of transportation, probably due to parking considerations!
In April 2018 Motocross Red Bull X-fighters announced ( https://xfighters.redbull.com/en_ES/news ): “We are taking a break to come back stronger!”
Well, maybe Las Ventas will have another motocross exhibition in the future for you all to check out!
Featured image/Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA3.0
Road America/Royalbroil, CC BY-SA4.0