Thunderbird Entertainment, the promoter of “Moto X Maddness” being held today, July 2, and tomorrow at the Payson Event Center, has added Amateur Arenacross racing to the holiday entertainment schedule.
“We originally did not have an amateur race as part of this event, but due to the overwhelming number of requests for amateur arenacross entry information, we added it to the schedule,” said Kelly Hess Goldman of Thunderbird.
The addition of an amateur event will give local riders the opportunity to showcase their abilities against other riders of similar skills and experience.
Motocross is the most popular form of amateur racing, drawing competitors from 4 to 50-plus years of age.
The race will be run over a natural-terrain course with hills, jumps and tight turns.
The sport is recognized as one of the most strenuous, but fun, in the world.
The tighter tracks, some of which are indoors, put a premium on a rider’s technique, finesse and fitness.
The best amateurs around the country compete each year for a berth in the Air Nautiques Youth and Amateur National Championships held at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee.
For the amateur race at PEC, riders may use 125 and 250 cc motorcycles and must be at least 16 years of age. A parent or legal guardian must accompany those under 18. A maximum of 50 riders will be accepted.
The entry fee is $20.
Amateur riders may register from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Friday, July 2 and noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, July 3 at PEC.
In addition to the amateur race, there will be a pro invitational highlighted by a weekend purse of $1,500.
The race is a combined class for 125 and 250 cc motorcycles.
Registration for pro riders is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at PEC.
Spectators attending Moto X Maddness might notice a familiar face in those helping stage the events.
It is 30-year-old freestyle motocross rider Tyler Polk who has deep Rim Country roots, having been born in Payson.
He continues to call Payson his home and has many family members, including his mother and grandparents, who live here.
While Polk is a nationally known freestyle rider, he will not personally perform due to a broken collarbone that he suffered weeks ago doing a 75-foot back flip.
“I’m still about four weeks away (from returning),” he said.
Polk now lives in Surprise where he runs a motocross school and is a starring member of several riding groups including the Aerial Assault Freestyle Motocross Team.
The extreme motorcycle show group travels the United States drawing throngs of fans to their shows.
The group has also appeared on national television and has competed in several events including X-Games, Dew Action Sports Tour and the Moto-X World Championships.
Among the tricks Payson spectators can expect to see today and tomorrow from the motocross exhibition team is the backflip — which was at one time considered impossible — front flips as well as “Can-Cans,” “No Footers,” “Heel Clickers,” “One Handed Backflips,” “Dead Body” and “Kiss of Death.”
For the motocross at PEC, a track party during which fans can meet, greet and ask questions of Polk and other riders begins each night at 5 p.m.
The gates open at 6 p.m. and the actual motocross an hour later.
Admission at the gate is $15.
The Tonto Apache Mazatzal Hotel & Casino is presenting the Moto X Maddness Tour, along with Big O Tires.