Infront Moto Racing (IMR) delivers the most popular off road two-wheel motorsport series in the world - the FIM Motocross World Championships (MXGP). It must comply with various regulations targeting the technological improvement of engines as well as the environmental impact and noise of its competitions. With regulations continuously getting stricter, MXGP, together with its partners is also evaluating more sustainable solutions for the future, says IMR CEO David Luongo.
What environmental regulations does MXGP have to comply with?
MXGP is evolving year after year with the regulations, and it is mostly a pioneer with other motorsports as it is used by the industry to develop the bikes and the technology of tomorrow. The manufacturers are always in contact with the regulators in Japan, Europe and USA and they are part of the homologation program. Motocross bikes are not homologated for the roads, which is why there is a bit more regulatory freedom. We are directly involved in the FIM Motocross World Championships and the FIM Europe Motocross Championship. In collaboration with the International Motorcycle Association (FIM) and the Manufacturers Association, we put championship regulations in place that aim to improve the attractivity of the event for the fans. Our regulations concerning the environmental footprint and the noise level have become stricter and stricter in the past years. We are working together to reduce these impacts while at the same time keeping the soul of the sport. As in every technology-oriented sport, our regulations are evolving year after year. For example, in the beginning of 2000, we changed the regulations to adapt the engines of the bikes from two to four strokes which drastically reduced the environmental impact from fuel consumption.
Apart from what you need to comply with, do you take further measures to address social and environmental concerns associated with motocross sport?
Together with KTM Group, one of the manufacturers that participate in the MXGP World Championship, we launched an electric motocross championship for kids between six- and eight-year-olds two years ago. I believe, this is a great product, and it targets the perfect age group to educate on what might be one of the future options of motorsport. The kids are racing in front of 40,000 spectators on the Grand Prix weekend, which is a fantastic experience for them. For decades, we’ve planted trees in the paddock where we have the possibility and we have applied a very strong and strict management of wasted and used oils and water for the professionals in the paddock. But I would say that this is linked to motorsports for years now. Compared to many other sports, motorsports organisers and promotors are very advanced regarding the management of waste material.
Where do you see the biggest opportunity to make motocross and motocross events more sustainable?
We would like to replace our generators to battery or more efficient systems once the technology allows. The problem is that we organize Grand Prix in remote places most of the time, where we are far away from big infrastructures. We cannot easily plug our electricity system on green energy. Once the battery systems and related technologies are smaller, easier to transport and more efficient, this will have a big impact on our footprint. We are working also with fuel manufacturers to develop the e-fuel to be ready in the upcoming years. This will have a big impact on our lives as it will decarbonate the fuel, currently the greatest target of the mobility world. Again, all the progress here comes from motorsports and its stakeholders.