After the resounding success of the Superprestigio indoor dirt track event back in January this year, the race is to return. On 13th December, the Sant Jordi stadium on Montjuic, the hill south of Barcelona, will host the second running of the Superprestigio, featuring the cream of motorcycle road racing taking on some of superstars of American flat track racing.
Reigning Superprestigio champion Brad Baker will be back in Barcelona once again, to defend the honor gained back in January. He will be joined by reigning AMA flat track Grand National champion Jared Mees, the two Americans defending the reputation of the home of dirt track, and the country the sport originated in its current form. They will have their work cut out for them: they will face some the best circuit racers in the world, with reigning and former champions taking to the short indoor oval. All three Grand Prix champions - Marc Marquez, Tito Rabat, and Alex Marquez - will be lining up in Barcelona, the three avid practitioners of the art.
They will be joined by legendary former World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss, now spending his retirement racing dirt track and running his own invitational dirt track event, the Troy Bayliss Classic, which will run on 17th January next year. Another world champion will also be taking to the dirt, with Supermoto S1 world champ Thomas Chareyre also joining the fray.
Many more of motorcycling's superstars will also be racing in Barcelona: TT star, TV personality and truck mechanic Guy Martin will be taking part. From the world of MotoGP, the three world champions will be joined by Bradley Smith, Scott Redding, Mika Kallio, Julian Simon, Alvaro Bautista, Johann Zarco, Jonas Folger, Marcel Schrotter, Xavier Simeon, Lorenzo Baldassari, Ricky Cardus, Alex Rins, Enea Bastianini and Niklas Ajo. Newly crowned CEV Superbike champion Kenny Noyes will also be there, along with indoor Enduro champion Taddy Blazusiak, Long Track world champion Joonas Kylmäkorpi, former Enduro world champion Ivan Cervantes, and the stars of regional dirt track championships from the UK, Spain and Italy.
There will be racing in three different classes: the Superprestigio class, for riders from an asphalt and road racing background; the Open class, for riders with flat track and other offroad backgrounds; and a junior class, for riders up to 18 years of age. The juniors will race against themselves, while the best riders from the Open and Superprestigio classes will qualify through a series of heats, the best riders from both classes meeting in the Grand Final at the end of the evening.
One rider who will not be there, unfortunately, is Nicky Hayden. Hayden is himself a former flat track winner and champion, having grown up on the dirt before making the switch to the road circuits. The American had watched the Superprestigio in January from his home, and had made arrangements to race at the event in December. His participation was dependent on getting the green light from his doctor, however, as Hayden is still recovering from surgery to remove three bones in his right wrist. Hayden was told it would be better for him not to take part in the Superprestigio, and instead to focus on gaining more movement in his wrist, the American told Cycle World. That has been his main concern since the surgery, Hayden aiming to be able to bend his wrist to 45°, rather than the 25° to 35° which he has been limited to since the surgery. Even that was an improvement, however, as Hayden had a lot of pain and virtually no movement prior to have the bones removed.
Tickets for the event range in price between €25 and €130, depending on seat location, and are available online through the RPM Ticket website. The event runs from 4pm until 9:30pm and is to be held in the Sant Jordi stadium, on Montjuic in the former Olympic complex. It is easily accessible by bus and metro, a set of escalators rising from the Plaza de España to the Olympic park. Its timing and location makes it an ideal as a pre Christmas excursion, with Barcelona's nightlife and shopping during the day, and the Superprestigio in the evening.