By Raquel Hendrickson
Motocross is back – almost.
Mike Fay will open Maricopa Motorsports Park on 46 acres near the junction of state routes 347 and 84.
He purchased the Hidden Valley property last July and put in some light construction to shape up a track. His family and friends have given it a good tryout as Fay works through the Pinal County to open it to the public as a business.
He plans to open during the cooler days of autumn.
“We’ll have three tracks at different levels,” Fay says. “What’s unique is we’ll be offering a track for side-by-sides too.”
He expects to charge $25 per day. Competitions are not part of the plan yet.
“It will just be open practice,” Fay says.
He would like to host clinics with a retired professional racer.
Fay says motocross is “something for the thrill-seekers,” but is also a family-friendly activity.
Though its origins are in 1920s England, motocross has had a resurgent popularity in the 21st century. It is still classified as a dangerous, extreme sport.
In a monitored park setting, “it’s safe and controlled,” Fay says. “It’s much safer to have a controlled environment instead of going out in the desert on your own.”
Pinal County also sees it as a welcome addition to entertainment businesses.
“For those that like that kind of entertainment, there’s going to be a great opportunity,” Pinal County Supervisor Tony Smith says. “It’s a course that is professionally designed with a lot of good options for those who like to participate or be a spectator in those types of sports.”
Riding since he was 4 and racing since he was 10, Fay has worked in motorcycle shops most of his adult life. “So I guess you could say I’ve got over 35 years of riding experience because I’m just over 40 now,” he says.
He raced all over the country but mostly where he grew up in New England, where motocross is not quite as wildcat as it is in Arizona, “more structured and more professional, so I have a little different background than a lot of track owners.”
He says he brings a little different “flavor” to the style of racing than others in the area.
“We moved to Arizona for the year-round weather,” Fay says. It was a perfect fit until the former Firebird motocross facility shut down as the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park changed names and upgraded.
Maricopa Motorsports Park, he says, will again fill the void for passionate local riders. “And there are a lot of them around here.”
MaricopaMotorsports.com coming soon
Bar Hop: Both feet over the handlebars above the bike
Can-Can: On foot over the opposite side of the bike
Coffin: Lying backward with both feet over the handlebars
Freestyle: Performing tricks over jumps
High Side: Tipping toward the outside of a turn
Mini: 80cc dirt bike
Modified: Bike with after-market parts
Nose: Landing front-wheel first
Peewee: 50cc dirt bike
Pinned: Bike at its max rpm
Stork: Both legs straight back above the seat