The Filipino’s hospitable nature combined with his innate flair for color and fanfare are expected to spruce up anew this year’s rendition of the 2005 Motocross Masters of Asia (Puerto Princesa International Motocross Grand Prix). The motorsport spectacle will be held in the FIM-compliant Puerto Princesa City permanent motocross racetrack situated near the City Hall on March 19-20.
The 2005 Motocross Masters of Asia is sponsored by the City of Puerto Princesa, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Tourism, Cebu Pacific, Negros Navigation, Dickies, 2Go Aboitiz, Polisport, HJC Helmets, Oakley, Highland Products, yehey.com, motorcyclephilippines.com, Inside Racing, Broadband Philippines, Dusit Hotel, Hotel Asturias, Sports Unlimited, GCG Pipes, Solar Entertainment and ABC5’s Speed.
Last year’s version which came with all the trappings and pageantry of a fiesta provided the international delegates with a different perception of the Philippines and its people in stark contrast to what they have heard of, seen on TV or read about back home. The event served as a medium for the City of Puerto Princesa to showcase the bright side of a country and its people. The foreign guests were able to experience Filipino hospitality at its very best. They were entertained with cultural shows from the city’s homegrown artists, excursions to the city’s top tourist destinations and on many occasions treated to feasts which served native food and delicacies.
Close to 100,000 spectators trooped to the racetrack on raceday to set the all-time best-attendance record in Philippine motorsports history. Despite the numbers, the spectators were never a problem with the comprehensive crowd-controlled measures implemented. The races provided the spectators with what they came for— two days of excitement and drama from motocross. As a bonus, the multitudes got what they wanted when local motocross hero Glenn Aguilar claimed the round pennant by winning the two motos of the centerpiece 125cc division. The races and the sights-and-sounds feature on Puerto Princesa City were shown to over 400 million viewers worldwide on the ESPN-STAR Cable TV Networks. This year’s event will be covered by the same cable TV outfit and shown to an even bigger audience estimated at 500 million viewers.
The Motocross Masters of Asia is a joint handiwork of the National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association (NAMSSA) and the City of Puerto Princesa. Mayor Edward Hagedorn is once again giving his full support to the endeavor to ensure that last year’s success is replicated.
The 2005 FIM Asian Motocross Championship is a 6-leg series that features the top riders from 12 nations in Asia and Oceania namely Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Saipan, Guam, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The series’ opening round was held in Guam last February 6. The riders to watch out for in the Philippine round are Tadakazu Ohtsuka, the defending champion, Australia’s Christian Horwood, the overall winner of this year’s Guam leg, our very own Glenn Aguilar who came in 2nd and New Zealand’s James Robinson the 3rd placer.
NAMSSA, the only Philippine organization recognized by the FIM has been playing a major role in promoting motorcycle sports not only in the country but throughout Asia as well. Ken Falco and Arthur Valdez, President and Vice President respectively of NAMSSA, have both been appointed as jury members to various FIM events in the region in recent years. Falco was a jury member was in the Guam round held early this month. Valdez’s latest appointment as official in an international event took place in the final round of the 2004 FIM Asian Motocross series held in Macau, China last October
NAMSSA has set March 8, 2005 as the deadline for the loading of bikes/racing equipment to be used in Puerto Princesa at the South Harbor. For more details on the shipping schedules and the Motocross Masters of Asia, please email [email protected] or call 0917-8992363.