Has dirt track become THE in vogue discipline ? Whether it be in completely crazy mode, like here at the now famous Dirt Quake which takes place each summer in England, in a more competitive spirit with the inclusion of the discipline this year among the X Games challenges, or even in the design of the bikes where the Ducati Scramblers and other Yamaha XSR 700 openly take their inspiration from the design of the Harley Davidson XR 750 the uncontested queen of American circuits. Dirt track is on the rise. But how much so? To investigate we went to Barcelona for the third edition of Superprestigio. Be ready for an event where anything will go sideways ! As we arrived we had a big doubt. Had we got the wrong place, date, space-time dimension ? The crowd clinging to the railings of the Sant Jordi stadium weren’t at all what we were expecting! ‘So, we’ve got tickets for the Justin Bieber concert! No, actually it’s just the Superprestigio.’ The riders at the Superprestigio come from many different backgrounds There are some who are familiar with dirt track, and others who are new to it. The Saturday morning is for making some final adjustments, honing trajectories and sharing impressions. We caught up with Sylvain Bidart and Thomas Chareyre as they were leaving a debriefing session. Specialists in Supermoto, they are also the only French representatives in this very international race. Time to ask them their first impressions? Wanting to cry… No, it’s always very enjoyable because you’re discovering a new discipline you try to understand how it works. Of course it’s very enjoyable. It’s fun to put the bike sideways and everything, it’s impressive. I feel like my handlebars are almost on the ground but when I see the videos I’m upright, it’s quite complicated. It’s great. I come with Thomas, we’re both French. We come and have a laugh together, we really enjoy it. And it’s always good to be with riders like Marquez, like Elias, all those you normally see in Moto GP, Moto 2 and Moto 3. This is really something good, it’s very enjoyable. Do you think this is a discipline that can be developed in France? We’re a bit behind when it comes to Dirt Track in France, compared to other countries. There are already championships in Spain and England. In France, we don’t have tracks to train on. It’s true that there is a lack of them I think it’s good because we’ve done a bit of salvaging We’ve salvaged frames that we’ve used for motocross which we’re damaged We cut off some parts and added others. The bike isn’t expensive in the end and then the fun begins.’ The fun can come at a price however. With a broken fibula and tibia for Mika Kalio, just a finger for Lorenzo Baldassarri, these two Grand Prix riders, injured during the test runs, won’t even be able to watch the opening ceremony a show even the Americans would be proud of. One by one the announcer calls out the names of the gladiators who in a few moments will be participating in race after race. While the majority are Spanish we also find riders from England, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Japan… And of course the Americans who remain the masters of the discipline! Here however the spectators have come to see one man! The local boy, Marc Marquez! The Honda rider, last year’s Superprestigio champion, is a real aficionado of this sport which he regularly practises in training. Just like Valentino Rossi with his ranch the highly talented Spaniard also directly uses his popularity to benefit this discipline. Jared Mees, official US champion, won’t disagree! What will it take to win the Superprestigio 2015? Although overtaking will be difficult over the whole evening, the spectacle lives up to expectations Each time the grid drops another intense race of barely 90 seconds begins. The riders are split here into two groups. There’s the Superprestigio consisting of all the men from Moto GP And the Open category for all the others. The competitors are narrowed down through a series of heats. The best qualify for the finals. Over 25 starts in under 3 hours keeps the 7,500 spectators transfixed. When it’s time for a break the organisers have everything planned. They either have an impressive sliding contest won by the exhilarating Japanese rider Masatoshi Omori Or they send the kids out Judging from the kids’ skills we can see that Spain isn’t ready to give up its status as a producer of champions! Despite the fun atmosphere, the competition has become more serious on the track in this third edition. As explains Xavier Siméon who, despite several solid rounds, did not make it to the Superfinal. ‘All the other riders were there too, everyone takes it seriously and wants to do well. Even for a race where we ‘come to have fun’ the competitive spirit is still there. ‘Do you think this discipline can grow a bit in Europe? Yes of course, we see in this third edition that there are far more riders taking part I think this will set an example for quite a few other countries to build tracks. This discipline really doesn’t cost a lot and is really very good for training I really hope it will grow in Europe in any case Finally the much anticipated moment has arrived Time for the Super Final which pits the best riders from the Open and Superprestigio categories against each other. The favourites very quickly take the lead. Brad Baker is pursued by Marc Marquez, Jared Mees and a relentless pack including Alex Rins, runner-up in the Moto 2 World Championship, and Fredrik Lindgren, the Swedish Speedway specialist. The battle between Marquez and Mees allows Baker to take a bit of a lead. But the Spaniard won’t give up. He gains on him metre by metre and attempts an attack on the last bend but falls short of the American by 0.13 seconds. For the second time in three attempts, Brad ‘The Bullet’ Baker wins a contest which is gaining in popularity. With all the excitement around Dirt Track Dirt Track maybe one day we’ll have an event like the Superprestigio in France. Maybe even in the not so distant future Ok, I hope you’ve liked this video You can find our two last videos clicking here and here And Subscribe to our channel clicking if you don’t, we’ll come to your house and kick your ass Bye bye It’s been seconds and your didn’t subscribe !