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Sep 20, 2011

Belize Motocross is madness; mud mayhem and motorbikes

There is a new sport that is catching like wild fire; it took place this past Sunday in Belmopan. It is called Motocross and drew participants from the north, south and west of the country as well as from across the border. As the name suggests, motor bike riders compete on off-road tracks and on the Sunday, the rain provided an element of danger and fun for the race. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was on hand in Belmopan.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Belize Motocross Association hosted the second dirt bike event at the Agricultural show grounds in Belmopan on Sunday. Before the singing of the anthem, the first riders were already caked from wheel to helmet in mud. The fans seemed unsure of what to expect since rain normally means a cancelled event. But according to the motocross association president, there is a very good reason why they are called dirt bikes.

Tim Bonman, President, Belize Motocross Association

Tim Bonman

“Today we’re having event two of a six event series motocross. We are having international riders: we have a rider from Colombia, about nine riders from Guatemala, some from the city, some from the Peten Area and we are going to do a race here today. It’s a little unfortunate with the weather; but it will make it exciting with the mud. We’re still going to race—we have to go rain or shine.”

Jose Sanchez

“Tim for some of us who’s never attended this before, how many categories? How many laps?

Tim Bonman

“We have three different categories: MX1 which stands for professionals, MX2 for intermediaries, and the beginners; MX3. MX1 and 2 does minutes total race per race. And the beginners do fifteen minutes.”

As the beginners revved up for the start, the rain accelerated. The riders tested each water-drenched hill to gain confidence. But some bikes begin to become stuckas others skipped across the hills.

Jose Sanchez

“Do you expect injuries? How do you normally do it? Do you have EMTs on hand?”

Tim Bonman

“Yes, we have EMTs at all our races; we don’t race without EMTs here. We have accidents, incidents where they have to be taken out.  it is a dangerous sport but these guys are up for it.”

Juan Jose Velasquez

Brian Dyck wipes out but he kicks and kicks down and remerges back into the competition. Others share the same fate of downed bikes. At times the mounts are insurmountable. Butbefore the end of the first MX3, Juan Velasquez of Guatemala became the first casualty with a shoulder injury.

Juan Jose Velasquez, Guatemala

“I was in second place but I made a wrong turn and I fell. The cycle fell on me and I dislocated my shoulder.”

The first youth to hit the ground, Brian Dyck, proves his mettle as the first rider across the finish line in the MX3 or beginners category.

Brian Dyck

Brian Dyck, MX1 Participant

“It was tough, it’s slippery out there. The strategy is to try to keep the traction out there.”

Jose Sanchez

“How was it different riding on this muddy field?”

Brian Dyck

“It’s way different than on dry field. You can’t really take the jumps—well you can sometimes but the corners are way different than when the dry.”

Jose Sanchez

“I noticed several of the riders fell and had a difficult time getting the bikes up. Did you at any point faced that same difficulty?”

Brian Dyck

“I did fall one time but it wasn’t that hard getting up.”

Jose Sanchez

“At this point, what is it like winning this event?”

Brian Dyck

“It’s exciting, I like it, hopefully I can win the next one.”

Jose Sanchez

“Whose gonna wash your clothes, your mother?”

Brian Dyck

“No, my aunt. No, she’s not gonna like this.”

Chris W. Reimer

The MX2 or intermediary class was eager, but the wet track quickly showed eager riders like number 747 Donald Braun that that he too can be bogged by nature. When the checkered flag was being raised, rider number 198, thirteen-year-old Chris Reimer came in second at the end of the first round, and at the end of the day he would place third overall.

Chris W. Reimer, 3rd Place MX2, Spanish Lookout

“I’ve been riding about a year.”

Jose Sanchez

“And how does it feel to come in second against all these adults, these people from Colombia?”

Chris W. Reimer

“I don’t know.”

Jose Sanchez

“Did you have any spills out there on the track? Did you fall? Any trouble?”

Chris W. Reimer

“I dropped twice. Nothing is hurting; everything is in shape.”

Jose Sanchez

“I guess you plan to continue with this sport?”

Chris W. Reimer

“Yeah.”

Jose Sanchez

“Chris, quick question; who’s gonna wash your clothes for you when you go home?”

Chris W. Reimer

“I don’t know.”

Jose Sanchez

“But it’s not gonna be you?”

Chris W. Reimer

“I don’t think so.”

Yerson Ortiz

Yerson Ortiz, MX2 First Place, Colombia

“Even though I am Colombian, I reside in Guatemala and so I participate in all the events in Central America and that is how I found out about this one in Belize. I’ve been riding for over a year now. This is not my first time here in Belize. I participated in the event that was held in Benque. I placed first in the expert group.  I would like to encourage more Belizeans to get involved in this sport because it is a fun sport and I thank Belize for having me.”

At the end of the first round of the MX1 for professionals, Rider number 465 Guatemalan National Augusto De La Riva was victorious.

Augusto De La Riva

Augusto De La Riva

“There is a lot more mud than the one in Benque. There wasn’t much mud and secondly the track here was bigger—the last time the track was half the size—and also we noticed that there were more guys participating this time than the last time.”

And though the weather put the event at a disadvantage, on any given Sunday, the fans would come out to see another Motocross event.

Gilbert Neal, Motocross Fan

“That woulda good but I noh sure if everybody woulda want because maybe dehn friad fi di drop after dehn drop.”

Gilbert Neal

Jose Sanchez

“I know dehn say Belizean run to fire, but away from water and mud, but they woulda come to this?”

Gilbert Neal

“They coulda come. Dah wah good game, dah wah good sport. I woulda want get in dehn myself, but I don’t know if I can handle it.”

Ronald Dyck, Motocross Fan

Ronald Dyck

“I think it’s awesome—this rain is awesome—I like it. I thinkt he rain and the mud added more fun to it. We should have more events like this.”

Lena Wiebe

“It was really good. They should have more events like this.”

Lena Wiebe

Jose Sanchez

“You had any particular favorite in the event?”

Lena Wiebe

“Just watching them slip and stuff like that. This is not my first time coming out. I usually come to these shows—it’s amazing, funny.”

During the halftime, fans were treated to a quad display for the audience.  But four wheels can operate just like two wheels in mud, as one vehicle had to be taken off its rider. Then the spills continued on every curve, hill and depression.  Riders and bikes were blessed in the showground mud.  The track became too thick and at times three bikes stalled. And despite being muddied from head toe, Edwin Cruz would still place in the top 3. As the day progressed, the sun shone and hardened the mud long enough for fan favorites Jimmy Braun and Abe Letkeman to challenge the Guatemalan on cycle 465.  They were elevated by the competition.

In expert or MX1 third place went to Abe Letkeman of Spanish Lookout. Second Place went to Jimmy Brawn from Spanish Lookout and first place went once again to Agusto De La Riva of Guatemala. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

In the MX3, Brian Dyck of Blue Creek placed first. Second place was Marlon Dueck of Spanish Lookout; third was Luis Masa, of Guatemala. In the MX2, Yershon Ortiz of Columbia placed first. Second Place was Gordon Dueck of Spanish Lookout, and third was Edwin Cruz of Guatemala. Prizes were handed out by Minister Elvin Penner. The third Motocross will be later this year at the Agricultural showground in Belmopan.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Belize Motocross is madness; mud mayhem and motorbikes”

  1. Motocross Fan says:

    Great job to all the riders in the race! I was at the race and saw that it was a huge challenge for everybody.
    I personally believe that some of the foreigners had more experience with the mud, but for it being a new sport in Belize, you Belizean boys did a fantastic job out there, so just keep it up! I’ll be there for the next race.

  2. Motocross Fan says:

    Excellent Show! I personally think the Guatemalans had more experience in the mud, but for it being a new sport in this country, our Belizean riders gave us Great performance. Keep it up and looking forward to the next race!

  3. Cycle Heat says:

    That was a good show indeed.

  4. MACAL RIVERA says:

    CRAZY DANGEROUS SPORTS!!!! ITS DISGUSTING

  5. ME says:

    Macal Rivera, you are disgusting. This is a positive and professional sport. Guess you prefer the shooting sport that is happening in Belize City.

    God job Tim Banman, the organizers and all the particants and fans!

  6. jt says:

    wickedess new sport yet… seen this on tv so many times, but way better live. bikes are real loud and sound cool

  7. Charles says:

    Im from the USA, one of the biggest motocross focal points. Its good to see that the sport is spreading through the world and getting other peoples attention. I ride MX every day and i love every minute of it. I ride in the 450 B class, and when you get up in the big boy class, it balls out and you gotta be on your A game.

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