By Fran Lyons
Motocross is back on track in Maricopa.
After months of delays caused by Pinal County stipulations, Maricopa Motorsports Park opened Feb. 3. The venue is 46 acres of land near the junction of state routes 347 and 84 in Hidden Valley.
Owner Mike Fay said one of the reasons he created Maricopa Motorsports Park is for people to participate together. “What I love to see is entire families enjoying recreational sports that promote satisfaction and enjoyment whenever they’re here at the park.”
The facility is south of SR 84 off Liebre Road, a dirt road maintained by the county.
Fay, who seems to have been born to race, has worked in motorcycle shops all his adult life. He has been a rider since age 4 and a racer since 10.
“Riding and racing have been my passion since I was a little kid,” he said. “It’s what I love to do.”
There are three tracks accommodating different levels of intensity. Fay, in tandem with other experts, created the concept for the park. He designed and built the tracks and oversees the day-to-day events and activities.
“What’s exclusive and unique is that we offer a track for side-by-sides, too,” Fay said.
Rules are important to MMP, however, and one’s vehicle has to meet required standards to participate. The first and foremost objective is safety and security for all participants and attendees.
Riders must sign a release and waiver of liability, and minors’ forms must be signed by parents or guardians and notarized.
“Our prepared and groomed tracks provide a controlled environment of structure and safety and a place for all who enjoy motorsports,” Fay said.
He estimates he lays down at least 10,000 gallons of water a day on the tracks and on Liebre Road. Pinal County had requested Fay pave Liebre Road to cut down on dust, but he worked county staff to a compromise. That requires him to spray down the road regularly.
Another point of contention has not found a final resolution. Pinal County stipulates Fay put in permanent toilets rather than portable toilets. MMP has no power, plumbing or other utilities. Fay was allowed to open and given an extension of time to solve the problem, which may mean building a latrine or outhouse structure.
Fay had planned to open the park in late 2015 while working through the permitting process. The waiting part of that process was frustrating, he said.
“There would be a three-month wait, and then they’d tell us to have our engineer tweak something,” he said. “And she would do that, and it would be another three months.”
Since quietly opening in February, the park has seen participant numbers grow, with many returning customers. As Maricopa Motorsports Park expands, offerings will include professional clinics and riding classes and food vendors.
According to Fay, what he has built is “great recreation and physical exercise for all ages, and definitely fun to watch.”
Francesca Lyons if a freelance writer living in Maricopa.
This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.