Pac West Motocross Series ™
“THE PREMIERE MOTOCROSS SERIES IN THE NORTHWEST”
Working with a growing number of motorcycle dealers and the state’s leading motocross track operators, Ryan Villopoto has brought back what is the premier northwest motocross tradition, the Pac West Motocross Series®. RV and a group of motocross enthusiasts have formed a new company, the Pac West Motocross® Promoters Group, LLC, to help breathe new life into the entire region.
“Pac West® was around when I was a kid,” says Ryan Villopoto. “It used to be a very big series in the Northwest. My dad would register me in every class possible to get seat time, so I raced a lot in the series. Now we are offering a series weekend with plenty of practice and race seat time.”
The popular series that dates back to the ‘80s would capture as many as 800 racers from across Washington, California, Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia, including the participation of many of the state’s motorcycle dealers and racetracks.
The recession of 2008 changed the buying habits of households. Families shifted their money to simpler things like giving kids electronic devices. After a decade of kids not going outside or participating in family orientated activities, there has been a shift in this generation of parents wanting to experience more with their kids. Motocross is one of those avenues that keeps the family unit together.
“We saw the decline participation,” says Villopoto’s friend and partner, Brian Nilsen, who runs Bremerton’s Brothers Powersports with his uncle and also operates Moto West, Kitsap County’s premier motocross track. “Affordability and the significant time commitment are definitely contributing factors.”
“To complete a typical series, a family can spend one out of every four weekends a year at motocross tracks across the region,” Nilsen said. “Many families start a series but a significant number of them simply can’t dedicate the time and resources needed to support 12 to 14 rounds of racing or can’t complete a series due to conflicting race events.”
The Pac West Motocross Series® are offering a simpler, more cost-effective and shorter format, designed to make motocross a more accessible sport. The event is designed to give riders more track time and a more realistic chance of completing the series. “We want to produce a better series and a better weekend for the racer,” says Villopoto.
Like the Pac West Series® of the past, the group is also bringing back strong dealer and manufacturer participation, increasing the number of dealer-sponsored motocross teams, racer discounts and giveaways, and manufacturer contingencies. Having races on Sundays means the dealers can actually participate in the event without worrying about staffing their dealerships.
“In the old days, we would stand by the track and root for the racers. You could see your riders coming down the track,” remembers Bill Cameron, owner of Skagit Powersports in Burlington, Wash. “There would be giant trailers with a shop in it in the pits, with a dad and two kids with two bikes each. But then, dad lost his job.”
Cameron is optimistic and energized by the organizers behind the new Pac West Series® and recognizes a strengthening economy and stronger employment – factors that help fuel motorsports participation. For Cameron, the Pac West Series® is an opportunity to breathe new life into his dealership’s motocross team and encourage some friendly competition with other dealers across the state.
“We’re going to get involved with incentives and the spirit,” Cameron says. “Given the size and design of the series, a lot of new riders and non-professional riders can do the whole series. Once the word gets out on this, I’m going to send out email blasts that we’re looking for riders.”
A portion of the event registration fees goes directly into prizes for completing the series. “The larger the participation in the series, the larger the prizes waiting for top riders at the end of the seven-race series,” said Brent Davis, the third partner of the Pac West Motocross Promoters Group®.
“We want to create a series where there is more in it for the racers,” says Nilsen. “We also want to provide an activity for a family with affordable and standardized fees across the series.”
“Not all kids play traditional stick and ball sports,” says Ryan Villopoto, who grew up in Poulsbo and started riding motorcycles when he was 3. Villopoto rode for the Brothers Powersports motocross team in his early teens, before joining Kawasaki’s manufacturer team. “We want to create a series where riders can actually see it through to the end – where they can earn industry prizes and recognition for increasing their skills.”
In addition to founding the series with Nilsen, Villopoto and Davis run Grays Harbor ORV, the premier motocross facility in the Puget Sound region. The track located 15 miles west of Olympia will host the final round of the series. Nilsen’s Moto West track in Bremerton will host a round of the series.
“It’s like bringing back original Coke,” Nilsen said of bring back the Pac West Motorcross Series®. “Everyone remembers it. The ‘moto-dads’ will definitely remember it.”
Riders can join the series by going to the MEMBERSHIP page under FEES.
About PWPG, LLC
Formed by Ryan Villopoto (9-time AMA SX/MX Champion & GHORV Owner, Brent Davis (GHORV Owner) and Brian Nilsen (Moto West & Brothers Powersports Owner). Seeing the need for change in the northwest motocross scene. They banded together and developed a series that will benefit the tracks, dealerships and riders.
“Getting the dealership back involved in racing and back to the track is what is needed.” -BN
“Giving the power back to the tracks so that they can be profitable so they can continue to operate and grow.” -BD
“Having a series everyone can finish. Sunday race days so shops can also complete.” -RV