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Motocross in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is usually associated with outdoor sports like hiking and diving, but for those who prefer the adrenalin and thrill of motor sports, Bulgaria offers some fantastic facilities for those who love the popular sport of motocross and with a host of top circuits it is attracting leading bikers from around the world and is now firmly established on the international motocross championships calendar.

About the Sport

Motocross is now a popular motorcycle sport watched by millions of spectators around the world. It is a form of motor bike racing held on a variety of off road circuits.  Whilst its origins lie in British motorbike scrambling, its name is of French origin derived from the words "motorcycle" and "cross country." Over the years the sport has developed to include sub-disciplines like Supercross, which focuses on racing high performance off-road motorbikes on an artificially made dirt tracks specializing in steep jumps and obstacles. Arenacross is an offshoot of Supercross held in large indoor arenas.  Freestyle or FMX is another motocross sport where riders endeavour to impress judges and astonish the crowds with jumps and stunts. In Supermoto, bikers race both off road and on tarmac circuits using vintage bikes pre-dating 1975.

Bulgarian Circuits

Bulgaria has a number of top quality motocross circuits with the Dolna Mitropolia near Pleven in the north of the country recently named the Number 1 Racetrack for the second year running, at a prestigious ceremony held in Monaco. In 2010, Dolna Mitropolia will host a round of the World Rally Championship. It has also applied to stage a round of the prominent MotoGP in 2011. Specialists in the field claim that the Dolna Mitropolia complex is the best permanent SuperMoto facility worldwide because it brings together a testing tarmac slide zone and a permanent sky section, which has an extraordinary asphalt ground covering. Pleven’s local government and the Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation are responsible for raising the standards at Pleven enabling it to win the Best SuperMoto Organizer Award in 2008 at the FIM Off Road Awards.

Whilst Pleven is Bulgaria’s most prestigious track, there are several other top class circuits dotted around the country. The Gorna Rositza complex at Sevlievo, in the Gabrovo district near in north central Bulgaria hosted the Bulgarian round of the GP series for the fourth time since 2000 and for the second year running. It also hosted the first round of the opening Women’s Motocross World Championship last year. The Gorna Rositza course is peppered with jumps, extended uphill straights and downhill drops. The tracks open corners provide several lines of choice.  Leading motocross rider, Julien Vanni from HDI Honda, said that the hard and dry tracks at Sevlievo are perfect.

The Rido course at Samokov lies 60 km from Sofia has hosted a round of the World Motorcycling Championships in the largest MX3 class for three years running. The track in Samokov has been equipped with a state of the art irrigation system superior to all other tracks in the world championships.
Other tracks at Devnya, Kustendil, Pravets and Sliven are also popular for international competitions.  

The Organisations behind the Events

There are two organisations in Bulgaria who play key roles in the sport. The Bulgarian Motorcycle Federation (BMF) is the most prestigious and was established in 1991. Over the years it has increased its membership and organised competitions within Bulgaria and the Balkans as well as participating on an international level.
The Bulgarian Motorbike Union (BMU) was established in Sofia in 2000. The BMU is made up of founding members from a variety of National Motorcycle Federations from not only Bulgaria, but also Turkey, Greece, Serbia and Macedonia.
Both groups ensure that the motorcycling circuits are equipped to a high standard and that the safety of both riders and spectators is taken care of.

The Bulgarian Team

The Bulgarian motocross team is sponsored by Prista Oil and is dubbed the Prista Oil Racing Team Bulgaria. Prista established the team in 2000 and believe that it is represented by the best motorcycle road racing riders in the country. Since its formation, the team has achieved five titles from the Balkan Road Racing Championship. Top team riders are Krum Donchev, Stoiko Valchev, Volkan Isik, Kaan Ozsenler, Michal Solowow, Maciek Baran, Corrado Fontana, Renzo Casazza, Ignat Isaev, Milen Iliev, Dimitar Iliev, Yanaki Yanakiev, Jasen Popov, Nikola Popov, Ilia Tzarski and Stefan Cholakov. In 2005, top team rider Martin Choy participated in the World Road Racing Championship World Superstock 1000cc cup and Aleksandar Todorov represented the team in the European 250cc Road Racing Championship.