Motocross racing returns to Stetson Bowl in Cloverdale

Race series gets going at Cloverdale venue on Tuesday, June 7

Arenacross action staged by Future West Moto at the Cloverdale Agriplex in 2013.

Arenacross action staged by Future West Moto at the Cloverdale Agriplex in 2013.

CLOVERDALE — Motocross racing is set to return to the Stetson Bowl at Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

Stetson Bowl Summer Night Motocross Racing gets going on Tuesday, June 7 and will run until the end of July.

Tuesday-evening races will be augmented by Saturday daytime practices at the outdoor bowl, which last saw motocross action in the 1990s.

Weeknight racing has not been happening in the Lower Mainland for some time, so the series in Cloverdale is big news in the local motocross community, according to Ryan Lockhart, a pro rider and director of the race series.

“We’re spreading the word, and the response we’ve gotten back from the motocross community is awesome,” Lockhart told the Now.

The company backing the series is Future West Moto, which also stages arenacross racing at the Agriplex during winter months.

“We used to have a Tuesday-night series that took place in Mission, at the raceway, but as of two years ago the car club there did away with us, didn’t want us to come back there anymore, so there’s been a big void in the whole Tuesday-night motocross series,” Lockhart said.

“We were getting anywhere from 100 to 150 riders to those Tuesday nights in Mission, so I don’t see why we couldn’t do those numbers (at the Stetson Bowl), if not greater, because this is kind of unique and kind of a different atmosphere.”

Originally from Nova Scotia and now living in Langley, Lockhart wasn’t involved in racing at the Stetson Bowl two decades ago.

“That was before my time here, but it’s been talked about over the past 10 years or so how cool that was, and the nice thing about Cloverdale is it’s very central for everyone to get to,” he said. “It always seemed like a success, so we’re taking a bit of a risk here, putting ourselves out there, and we’ll try to get it fired back up and make it the best possible.”

(Story continues below video of recent races in Popkum)

A pair of race weekends are planned for June 18-19 and June 25-26, with close to 200 riders in action. The races are part of a Future West Moto series that includes dates in Victoria, Kamloops, Popkum, Nanaimo and Kelowna.

In Cloverdale, the session on Tuesday, June 7 will involve a practice from 5 to 9 p.m.; races will officially start there on June 14, Lockhart explained. Admission on Tuesday nights will be $5, he added.

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This coming Monday (May 30), following a motorcycle-themed Ride to Live charity event on Sunday (May 29), crews are scheduled to begin building the motocross track in the bowl.

“We couldn’t go in there during the rodeo, of course,” Lockhart said. “It doesn’t give us as much time as we’d like to build it, but it’s enough time to make it happen. There’s a whole team of guys doing it.… For our races at the Agriplex in the wintertime, we already have a stockpile of dirt there, so we just basically truck it from that pile – about 300 to 400 truckloads of dirt, probably. We have the pile kind of hidden to make sure it’s not an eyesore.”

It’ll take riders about a minute to do a lap on the Stetson Bowl track, he added.

“A standard outdoor motocross track is closer to two minutes per lap,” Lockhart said. “This track will be kind of a hybrid of motocross and arenacross, where a lap time is around 30 seconds, indoors. It’s in between those.”