GOZO VS SICILY : PART I
In May 2018, twelve Gozitan motocross riders and members of the Gozo Motocross Association, were in Sicily to compete in friendly races with Sicilian riders at MX Francavilla Park, a perfect opportunity to combine sports tourism and culture.
Francavilla Motocross track is located in the municipality of Francavilla di Sicilia. The 1500 metre route features several challenging turns, demanding jumps and drops, against the picturesque backdrop of the Alcantara hills.
The Gozitan riders had a tough day’s training on Saturday, followed by the races on Sunday. The GMA said that race day turned out to be very successful for the GMA riders, “who raced their hearts out on a track that is very different from the one that they are used to, both in size and layout.”
In Class B, eight Gozitan riders stood at the starting gate together with twenty Sicilians in two heats of 10 minutes each.
The riders competing in Class B were, Robert Spiteri, Jorn Stellini, Keith Bugeja, Glenn Vella, Matthew Buttigieg, Matthew Zammit, Nataniel Camilleri, and Mark Camilleri. Nataniel Camilleri and Keith Bugeja did very well and managed to achieve first place in one heat each. Nevertheless, Sicilian Antonino Wild won this class, followed by Robert Spiteri in second place and Jorn Stellini in third place.
In Class A, there were twelve riders in all, including two Gozitans: reigning GMA Champion Steve Xuereb, as well as Joseph Bigeni. These two riders were fortunate enough to race with 16-year-old Michael Faso, classified as 5th best rider in Sicily at the time being.
Faso, on a 2018 Honda CRF 450cc, sponsored and equipped by Alby MX Racing Team, came in first, followed by Salvo Currenti also on Honda CRF 450cc. GMA’s own 2018 champion Steve Xuereb followed in third place, on a Honda CRF 250cc.
The GMA said that afterward, winners with the highest amount of points competed in the SUPERCAMPIONE race which included the best of the best!
“The SUPERCAMPIONE heat was an exciting and challenging race in which our riders also did very well.
Salvo Currenti dominated this class followed by Xuereb and Bigeni respectively.
Meanwhile Gozitan female rider Emma Xuereb was also recognised and awarded for her participation during this sensational adventure.
The Association said that all in all, “this has been an amazing experience for Gozitan riders who are very thankful that their dream came true.”
GMA said that it would like to thank, “first and foremost,” its President Frank Xuereb, Executive Secretary Vickyann Xuereb, Mark Camilleri, Peppe Cernuto, Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, Gozo Sports Board, O’Neal Malta, Salvatore Catalano Director of MX Francavilla Park, Ivan Impellizzeri and Raimondo Patthey from Sicily Adventures.
GOZO VS SICILY : PART II
On Sunday the 2nd of November, the second part of the twinning experience took place at the Ta' Xhajma motocross racetrack in Gozo.
Organised by the Gozo Motocross Association, the afternoon proved to be a huge success, with a large crowd turning out to watch the races between Gozitan, Maltese and Sicilian riders. The GMA said that it was truly a fun day as veterans and young athletes participated in this unique event.
The youngest riders, 13-year-old Antoine Muscat and 14-year-old Mark Camilleri, put on a great show, while the veteran class was just as exciting with the participation of Antonino Muscolino, who is the second eldest active motocross rider in Sicily at the age of 71.
Peppe Cernuto, coordinator of the Sicilian riders said that he had enjoyed his time here in Gozo. Saying he had received the warmest of welcomes and praised the Gozitan organisation.
Cernuto added that he loved riding Ta Xhajma track and together with the GMA president Frank Xuereb, promised to continue this collaboration between the two islands next year. Female riders Nicole Cutajar and Emma Xuereb also participated in Class D.
Results of the day: Class A: 1- Kyle Camilleri, 2- Steve Xuereb, 3- Garry Debono; Class B: 1- Daniel Portelli, 2: Robert Spiteri, 3: Jorn Stellini; Class C: 1- Sylvan Caruana, 2- Peppe Cernuto, 3- Anthony Fenech; Class D: 1- Michael Sant, 2- Steve Cassar, 3- Mark Attard; Veteran Class: 1- Frank Xuereb, 2- Antonino Muscolino, 3- Mark Camilleri
This event was fuelled by Enemed and also supported by Ravenol. The Ministry for Gozo and the Gozo Sports Board also supported this fantastic event.
President Frank Xuereb presented trophies to the winners and distributed Ravenol merchandise to the riders.
Photographs by Alain Salvary & Liliana Xuereb