ASMK is now 31 years young and is still one of the Islands major active Motorsport events organisations on the Island especially with regards to Off-Road Circuit motor racing. ASMK is very well known for Autocross car racing and Motocross, Trials and Enduro races. These are all run on a National Championship platform. All Autocross and Motocross races are held at the ASMK Motorsport Complex at Ta Qali. A One Day event is held in Gozo for all Maltese and Gozo Autocross drivers to raise funds for ‘Dar ARKA’ who is doing great work in Gozo for its disabled residents in its premises. The Ministry for Gozo, the site owners including the Gozo Horse Racing Federation and other sponsors made this event possible and fruitful for this year too.
All the ASMK championships are backed by ASMK and Pasta Poiatti who sponsor these championships year after year. All Motocross, Autocross and an Annual ‘Car Demolition Derby’ are run at the Ta’ Qali Sport Complex. The Trials and Enduro championship events are taking place in different locations outside Ta Qali around the Island. One Enduro Race is held in Gozo with resident competitors too.
Through the years the ASMK Management have made the best use of the location area at Ta’ Qali and though this place has become limited in footprint ASMK Officers constructed and maintain Autocross and Motocross tracks and a location for Trials and Enduro races too. Car Demolition is held here too.
The Spectator areas are quite safe as they are elevated from the tracks surface level, are constructed at a reasonable safe distance from the tracks and are protected by a protective steel net of reasonable height. One of the main seating areas also protects the spectators from the natural elements such as sun, wind and rain. Toilets are available in each of the three (3) main paddocks and a mobile kiosk serves snacks and drinks.
The year 2015 experience of organizing the European FIM Annual Conference in Malta has registered a golden page in the ASMK books. Now ASMK has much stronger ties than before with the World’s International Motorcycling Federation F.I.M. Lately, three ASMK delegates attended the FIM World Champions Ceremony held in Berlin. FIM showed great interest to hold the World Champions ceremony in Malta in the near coming years. Hopefully, ASMK bid will be confirmed in favour of such a great assignment. This FIM ceremony will host 1100 persons between FIM Officers, delegates and World FIM Championships winners from all over the globe.
Besides the World Champions ceremony FIM together with the other five world regions members meet, discuss and decide next year’s sporting calendar together with Road Safety measures for bikers and new technology to be built in motorcycles to eliminate bikers injury and accidents. ASMK is guided through the FIM regulations as far as Motorcycling is concerned to achieve good results in Motorcycle competitions locally and in Europe. ASMK delegates made their interventions too.
ASMK has been instrumental in providing racing licences for Maltese bikers challenging the European Championships. Maltese bikers have participated in European championships for Motocross, Enduro, Mini-Moto, Formula Bike racing including Drag Racing at FIM and FIM-Europe events. Very good results have been achieved by some while better results are expected by the Maltese competitors if more financial assistance is provided for foreign participation.
In 2015-16 the ASMK Pasta-Poiatti National Autocross Championship consisted of twelve (12) race competitions. The very last two events in June and an Annual ‘1 Hour Endurance Autocross Race’ are held late in the evening under artificial lighting. These events are awaited by many and attract quite a large number of spectators.
Driving a vehicle on soft terrain demands high driver’s skills together with different car suspension set-ups due to the continuously changing track surfaces conditions from wet to dry surfaces including variable race directions from one race to another. Yet, Autocross and Motocross driving demonstrates high level skills and exciting driving tactics by most drivers on site. The race for the lead is highly competitive as the pressure on the drivers is increased yet it is very rewarding to the winning competitor and his team too.
This last year the newly introduced Standard Class was very competitive and well populated with drivers from all over the Island. Though vehicle and engine modifications are very limited in this class yet it is a very competitive class. Race Heats are held to distinguish the Race Finalists who win valuable championship points in the Modified Class A or Class B or in the Finalists of the Standard Class.
The motocross Championship was based on 8 events where the most experienced Class A riders ride 250cc 4 stroke bikes in Class A while Class B beginners often start with a lighter bike yet powerful 125cc racers. In 2017 Motocross riders will be crossing over to Sicily to compete in the FMI Motocross Regional Championship starting next May. Competition there is high with Sicily’s best riders on track as they practice Motocross on daily basis and some even coach a Motocross nursery too. Besides all this competition the results of our riders are very promising. Participation is made possible through negotiations between ASMK and FMI.
ASMK also held a Six (6) Race Enduro Championship. 5 events were held mainly in the rock-cutting quarries by kind permission of the owners while MEPA permits were issued accordingly. The Trials Championship of 8 events is a non-speed event but is riding over obstacles of different kinds. Penalty points are gained accordingly. Though this section is one of the smallest within the ASMK family, yet its members are consistently present in the events and are also top markers in most Enduro championship events too. The championship for 2017 is also based on 6 events for the Enduro and 8 Events for the Trials bikers. In fact they have already done 2 events.
Other important events organized by ASMK throughout the year 2016 are the Car Demolition Derby, an Autocross race in Gozo for Dar ARKA, a Dinner-Presentation for the ASMK Championship Winners and the Annual General Meeting which is held in August. Unfortunately, ASMK President Frans Deguara was not able to attend this AGM due to health reasons but Secretary General Johann Pace made it possible for Frans to deliver an AGM tele-message to the members present at Hal-Kirkop Sport Complex. During the AGM voting session, each eligible member privately voted for new Statute emends, Referendum issues and his Section Officers for the coming year. Last September the ASMK Technical Commission revised and up-dated all the Autocross and Motocross competition rules. Copies were sent to the respective members and are also published in the ASMK Website.
In September 2016 the ASMK Executive launched a very ambitious project. This included resurfacing the Autocross tracks while that of the Motocross was completely demolished and re-constructed again by the famous MX tracks builder Angelo Cinquemani. It took him 10 days to develop and build the new Motocross Track which is also more user friendly for novice riders and is competitive for the more experienced riders. ASMK is expecting a larger number of competitors in this field while six (6) competitors will be competing in the FMI-Sicilia Regional Motocross Championship as from next March 2017. The new track is built with rider safety and rider skill along the now 1.2 Kilometer long track.
Thanks to some contractors who provided heavy plant machinery and much work and some ASMK officers both the Autocross and the Motocross tracks were finished as scheduled but presently the ASMK tracks are suffering damages caused by bad weather and heavy rainfall on the newly built soft terrain tracks. Hopefully, we will be having some good weather to allow us to effect the tracks repairs and finish them to the highest standards for the drivers during the new Championships. A much greater vision is now to be enjoyed by the spectators of Autocross and Motocross fans.
September was also the time scheduled for the 11th Ragusa Malta Ragusa Moto Raduno for European Touring Bikers who are members of the FIM-Europe and FMI Federations. This tour in Malta is organized and led by ASMK President Frans Deguara with much great help and support by the MotoGuzzi Malta Club members. These touring bikers are interested mainly in Maltese history, traditional dishes and visits mainly of Valletta, Mdina and Cittadella in Gozo.
ASMK has strong membership credentials with SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic Committee together with its FIM and FIM-Europe membership representing all motorcycle sport, biking and motorcycle touring in Malta.
Obviously, ASMK will continue running the three National Autocross Championships, the two Championships for the Motocross Classes, that for the Trials and that for the Enduro riders too. There are also new plans to welcome youths in motorsport and more.
Info is available at the ASMK Official Website www.asmk.org.mt and on Facebook A.S.M.K Malta.
Photos by Mario Micallef
Frans Deguara Johann Pace
President ASMK General Secretary