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Motocross group gets home back

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Riders take on the course at the Kan Pacific grounds during the Marianas Racing Association’s weekend race in Marpi last Oct. 19.. (Joseph Chin)

The Marianas Racing Association is getting a permanent home for the staging of its races.

The Marianas Motocross Park will be finally signed over to MRA today after months of working with the Department of Public Lands, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Office of the Governor to have a place for the sport and their activities. The Marianas Motocross Park will be built exactly at the same location where the CowTown Raceway Park was used to be, allowing the motocross community to return home after more than a decade.

“It’s indeed a big day for motocross and off-road enthusiasts of the CNMI. This is a private and government sector collaborative effort. We are excited to regain our former location where we can host our practice sessions and sanction races. The work now begins to rebuild a new track and facilities at the old location. This is a revival of the sport so to speak, as we took a rest period for 10 plus years,” MRA president Steve P. Sablan said.

Young riders pose for a group photo after their practice session. (Marianas Racing Association)

CowTown was home to MRA for a decade before races were called off in 2007 due to economic challenges and the property was returned to DPL.

After more than 10 years, the same people who were active during the races in CowTown regrouped and revived MRA. They started organizing practice races in make-shift courses at the Kan Pacific Pool grounds in Marpi every Sunday, while working on getting a permanent racetrack. With the weekly races on, MRA membership continues to grow and the interest in the sport that was once one of the crowd drawers in the CNMI has been brought back.

A Marianas Racing Association member, left, fixes the bike of a young rider before letting him return to the course at the Kan Pacific grounds during a practice session early this month. (Joseph Chin)

MRA vice president Cuki Alvarez, who was among the riders who raced in CowTown, thanked all the people who helped them secure a temporary track to provide members a venue for practices. He also expressed excitement over racing again in their old stomping ground.

“We are just so happy that we are finally getting our motocross home back after so many years. Cowtown is the perfect place for us and is a great place for our race park. We, the members of MRA just want to thank all the powers that be for making this project come into fruition; DPL, DCCA, the Attorney General and of course the governor. Thank you, secretary Marianne Teregeyo (DPL) for allowing us to use the Kan Pacific grounds the past several months and allowing all our members—kids and adults—to practice and hone their skills. Thank you also to the Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Works, and all the volunteers for keeping the place beautiful and attractive,” Alvarez said.

Spectators watch riders navigate their way through the course. (Joseph Chin)

Meanwhile, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios, and Robert Hunter, senior policy adviser for the Office of the Governor and former DCCA secretary, will join Alvarez, Sablan, and other MRA members and officials in the signing ceremony this morning at the Kan Pacific grounds.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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