The European Union Motorcycle (FIM -Europe ) has introduced a formal ban that prevents riders in the Grand Prix taking part in SEC. This decision has been rumoured for weeks, but Sunday it became official news. This means that all riders taking part in the World Championship cannot be regular participants of the SEC. Amongst the riders who received permanent wild cards from the organisors are Emil Sayfutdinov, and Andreas Jonsson.
“Previously any information relating to banning GP riders taking part, could be treated as a rumour”, says Janek Konikiewicz of One Sport, and continues, “I can confirm that we have received an official letter from FIM Europe, which effectively prohibits riders involved in the World Title race, to also take part in SEC. Interestingly the riders who have received a wild card to the SGP Series (such as Gollob, and Jonsson), have not received any information that their choice to accept SGP entry, automatically eliminates them from competing in the SEC”.
“The SEC series competition attracted viewing figures of 29 million. At every step we were met with kindness and positive reactions from both riders and fans. Now we are waiting for the reaction from the bodies that govern Polish Speedway. I think now is the time to fight for our position in the shale sport of Europe”, added Konikiewicz.
As pointed out by Karol Lejman, One Sport and it’s legal council will examine all contracts that have been signed with FIM Europe: “In connection with official information coming to light regarding the ineligibility of GP riders in the SEC, One Sport and our legal team are currently examining the paperwork and contracts and are taking the appropriate steps to clarify the situation. It is not good for the shale sport, when a strange addition is entered into the rules. The mission of FIM is supposed to be promoting the sport and taking care of its image. A move such as this does nothing but harm our beautiful sport”.
FIM Europe has “permitted” a single wildcard for a GP rider to compete in the SEC series, but only when he starts as a one off wildcard. Additionally it was suggested that the top 3 finishers in the European Championship would be given direct entry to the Grand Prix Challenge Final. In order for this to happen, the SEC Series would have to be completed by the end of August, which is unrealistic.
“It seems to us that at this stage, fans are seeing the true colours and intentions of FIM and FIM Europe. Maybe Polish Speedway is worth nothing? Nobody wants to elevate Polish speedway. If someone wants to promote the sport, they don’t introduce bans. In this case it is clear what it really matters for FIM and BSI. We do not forbid anyone to compete in the Grand Prix. We are proud of the fact that we can bring joy to millions of fans around the world via Eurosport. Undoubtedly we will not leave this matter and we will seek an explanation as soon as possible. Everywhere we hear words of encouragement, and we are grateful for that. We do not want arguments and unrest, we want to deal with enhancing a cool product but there is a group of people who are seem to be very detached from that. In our opinion it is a very bad decision for the speedway environment, as you can’t just prohibit riders from riding where they want to”, concludes Lejman.