WSC planning to return stronger in 2021
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which decimated the global sporting world throughout 2020, the WSC team and the FIM have been working hard to plan for a return in 2021.
The world is still in turmoil as it emerges from the shadow of Coronavirus with differing levels of infection rates still prevalent, and varying degrees of vaccination programmes taking place to improve the situation. All the countries where our sport takes place are affected one way or another, and all have their own take on measures of protection and treatment solutions. These include travel restrictions across borders currently in place pan-Europe with obvious implications for our sport.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a slow and uncertain path towards a situation when cast-iron guarantees can be given as to a firm timetable.
We have successfully negotiated and published an exciting and meaningful calendar for 2021 with both the FIM and the WSC organisers committed to delivering that schedule provided the COVID situation allows it.
To that end, all dates must be considered as provisional, with every intention on the part of WSC and circuit organisers to ensure they happen.
In effect, we will work towards the opener in Bucha mid-May and all subsequent dates, until and unless the COVID situation dictates otherwise.
Our sport is a spectacular sport, and one which by its very nature is not fully commercial.
It cannot exist without crowds, so we need spectators through the gates. The teams also need to feel the atmosphere of spectators, so we must all hope and pray we are able to enjoy that luxury when the gate drops in Bucha.
Team structures have also undergone many changes since the glorious 2019 season, and despite a full year away from world competition, many of those new pairings should still be in place when racing resumes this year. Having said that, lockdown will have affected many plans, so expect further changes as the new season draws closer.
Etienne Bax is re-united with former title winner Nicolas Musset, with Marvin Vanluchene down to team up with Robbie Bax, whilst Koen Hermans has the services of Glenn Janssens.
Arne Dierckens has yet to announce his detail, Kert Varik gets Lari Kunnas (no surprise there) and there is the sad announcement that popular Italian Zeno Compalati is retiring.
If he maintains that stance, he will be sorely missed.
Big jovial Dutchman Gert Van Werven will enjoy the company of Ben Van Den Bogart, with Julian Veldman sharing his Mega Power with Czech Ondre Cermak.
There is good news from the Daniel Willemsen camp as he is now teamed with Dion Rietman for the new season, so let us all hope they find harmony on and off-track. When Willemsen is a happy bunny, he’s still hard to beat.
From the British side, Jake Brown and Joe Millard continue their successful partnership as beleaguered Brett Wilkinson prays for an injury-free year with Maxime Cuche. Veteran Stuart Brown has yet to publish his plans, but you can bet that if he goes again, it will be with Josh Chamberlain alongside.
There is much to watch for ahead of the new season, with some new names coming up from the youth ranks, and still more team changes to come for sure.
We can only hope against hope that circumstances allow us to fulfil our plans to bring you the best season ever.
One thing is certain, the appetite has never been stronger or passion higher.
So – bring it on and let’s all go racing.
From Barry Nutley