Etihad Arena transforms into dirt track ahead of World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

ABU DHABI: As the world’s best riders descend on Yas Island for the FIM World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Saturday, Nov. 4, Etihad Arena is getting a dirt-track makeover for the first time.

Almost 7,000 tons of dirt, which has been sourced in the UAE, will be trucked into the Middle East’s largest indoor entertainment venue via 400 truckloads for a night of adrenaline and thrills.

The WSX’s tracks are designed to deliver high-quality racing, which includes heavy bikes, high speeds, big jumps, and tight turns.

Salem Al-Sulaimani, event operations director at organizers Ethara, said: “The transformation of Etihad Arena into a supercross track for the first time ever will not only showcase the versatility of the world-class venue, but also provide an unforgettable experience for fans and riders alike.

“The success of an event like this, where we are completely transforming a venue, relies on flawless event operations, with every detail from track construction to logistics being carefully orchestrated in collaboration between our local team at Ethara and the track design team at World Supercross from start to finish. Etihad Arena is about to witness the convergence of speed, skill, and some extremely exhilarating stunts, and we can’t wait to see it all come to life on race day.”

The FIM World Supercross Championship is led by SX Global in Australia. It was primarily based in the US until the world governing body for motorcycle sport, Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, or FIM, awarded SX Global the exclusive commercial rights to stage and promote the series from 2022 onwards.

Last year, the WSX pilot season was launched at Principality Stadium, Cardiff, to over 35,000 fans before it headed Down Under, where 50,000 fans witnessed the finale across two nights at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The 2022 championship saw Ken Roczen from Germany win the WSX class, and Shane McElrath from the US win the SX2 class.

The WSX offers the biggest prize money in World Supercross Championship history, with $250,000 to be won at each round across the two racing classes — WSX (450cc) and SX2 (250cc). Under its independent team franchise model, the championship also features financial support for teams and riders.

The 2023 World Supercross Championship calendar:

British GP, Villa Park, Birmingham, July 1.

Abu Dhabi GP, Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, Nov. 4.

Australian GP, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, Nov. 24-25.

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