1993: A true prize-giving ceremony for world champions
* The council met on 16 and 17 January. The president reminded those present that in accordance with the new statutes which had come into force on 1 January, commission and committee presidents did not have the right to vote in the management council.
* The situation in Czechoslovakia had changed with the country now divided into two – Czech Republic and Slovak Republic – since 1 January. The two countries had sporting activities and a written agreement was submitted by vice president Krivka. Representatives from the Slovak federation would be present at the conference meetings.
* The president informed the meeting that the European motorcyclists union had been formed to support the FIM in the area of public affairs and the defense of motorcyclists’ interests. He would meet with their representatives in London and would discuss the possibilities of joining the FIM as an associate member.
* The president emphasised that the FIM and the FIA had decided, at least at first, not to attribute a GP to France because of the anti-tobacco legislation (Loi Elvin). This legislation would have serious repercussions on motor sport in France, and then gradually throughout the rest of Europe. In the meantime, the French government had made funds available (“tobacco fund”) for motor sport to “compensate for the losses incurred”.
* The 1993 calendar was fixed but there remained two dates to be confirmed – the contract stipulated that the calendar had to be submitted by the latest on 31 October of the preceding year. A copy of the new draft contract with the Flammini group was accepted by the council.
* On the issue of FIM strategy in European public affairs, Mr Stefan Schepers, director of the EPPA (European Public Policy Advisers) was introduced. He explained that the subject had become so important that the CIAP (international committee for FIM public affairs) was no longer in a position to handle all the questions concerning the federation. Following the presentation by Mr Schepers, the council decided to apply the following points: to create an FIM-Europe working group, chaired by Mr Zerbi and made up of Messrs Goss, Mougin, Noll, Witkowski and Pasini. The first task was the question of free circulation and the follow-up and the development of political networks relating to this subject. The image of the sport of motorcycling would be indirectly improved. A legal analysis (“euro-comptabilité”) of the current contracts signed by the FIM as well as the regulations and procedures would be conducted subsequently. The FIM press officer would also be trained on these issues and would visit Mr Schepers in Brussels.
* The prize-giving ceremony would take place on 17 December in Paris and then in 1994 in Rome.
* The conference meetings were held from 26 February until 1 March at the Holiday Inn in Geneva. Concerning the FIM headquarters, a plot of land had been found in the canton de Vaud, 10 minutes from Chambésy, and discussions were underway with the architect relating to planning permission, plans and financial terms.
* The FGM/Vermeulen contract was signed. In addition to the transport, the company would also take care of the air tickets for FIM.
* With the concept of free circulation applied in the European Union, European riders were thus free to take part in national events taking place within the Union using their national licence. Among other issues being discussed in Brussels were the limitation to 100 CV and the anti-tampering legislation.
* In GP racing, both the technical commission and the Japanese International Board were insisting that the GP regulations should be identical to those of other road racing events. Meetings would be held throughout the season to find a solution for 1994. In endurance only superbike machines would be used from 1 January 1994. A Spanish “open” championship (Ducados) had been introduced. The council gave its approval on condition that the races were registered in the international calendar.
* In trial and enduro, the CTE decided that the world trial championship would take place over 10 rounds and that the two day enduro championship would have 6 rounds.
* A meeting of the executive board took place in Reggio de Calabria on 18 and 19 April. According to the new structure foreseen in the statutes, the board was now made up of the president, the first vice president and the treasurer (with voting rights) as well as the secretary general (without voting rights). The board was hoping that following discussions Mr Bulto was to have in Japan, it would be possible to clarify the existing divergence of opinion between the FIM/CT, the international board of the MFJ, the GPMA and the IRTA technical committee on the subject of GP technical regulations. The president reported on the meeting of the permanent board in London on 16 March. The GP calendar would be communicated to the FIM on 15 October (instead of 31). The calendar also depended on the homologation or the re-homologation of the tracks, which should be completed earlier in order for TWP/Dorna to negotiate with the organisers.
* Then the president referred to a press release from the AICP president, announcing that measures were being taken against Mr Ecclestone at the European court for breaking community law. The creation of the “European Motorsport Association” founded by representatives from three circuits (Brands Hatch, Nürburgring and Le Mans) was announced. The president deplored the fact that the FIM members had not judged it necessary to inform the federation of their activities. Some circuits were reacting against the growing financial pressure being exerted by promoters. Discussion was necessary since other tracks might join this new association.
* The 1993 supercross world championship included seven events, with three still to be confirmed. The Deputy president expressed his surprise and disapproval of the fact that the 1993 calendar could only be confirmed three months before it was due to begin. The president insisted that the calendar should be ready within a week and that the 1994 version should be presented to the congress with a round in the USA. The problem was to avoid huge sums being paid to some riders like some European organisers were accustomed to do. Mr Youngblood believed the situation to be totally out of control. American riders could not take part in this championship as long as such high sums were paid by European organisers “because that would simply destroy the American series”. Collaboration with the AMA was vital to this issue.
* A project for an intercontinental championship drawn up by Mr Edmonson, was distributed with the aim of creating a high level international series for all riders including from overseas who did not have the possibility to take part in GP and/or international events. The management council did not want to be the financial backer for this series, even though it approved of the idea.
* The executive board met again on 6 August, this time in Oslo (Norway). In the meantime, the KNMV, the Dutch federation, had decided to withdraw the mandate from the CCR president Mr Joseph Zegwaard.
* Negotiations had begun for ice racing and speedway GPs. The budget was USD 1 million for ten events a year. Finally, only Dorna was interested, but it could not take care of the speedway and ice racing marketing, owing to potential conflict with its commitments in road racing GPs. An association with a sports marketing company “Top Sports Marketing”, well established in Northern Europe, was suggested. The subject had to be discussed: a solution would be that each of the three parties invest a share of the necessary amount. * Concerning the organisation of the 1994 congress in Capetown, the executive board believed that as the situation was slightly unstable, a possible replacement should be found. The secretary general would send a letter to the AASA explaining the FIM’s position and would obtain an agreement to postpone their congress until 1996 when the political situation would be more stable.
* The “Motorcycling and the Environment” working group presented its report which contained an analysis of the problems and recommendations for the FMNs. The group proposed to define an environmental code with a series of obligations for sporting and touring events, a practical guide of measures already undertaken by some FMNs as well as environmental training for officials. A questionnaire had been sent to the FMNs, but only a third had responded.
* The congress took place from 24 to 30 October at the Hotel Burlington in Dublin (Republic of Ireland). The president presented a detailed report on 1993, with approval requested by secret ballot (still the same delegate). On the Monday, 58 federations were present or represented at the general assembly, 59 on Tuesday and 60 on Friday, the day of the elections (new record).
* Concerning the member federations and requests for membership, the Ivory Coast was rejected as a member, since it had never paid the registration fees and the membership fees since the congress of 1991. Following the division of Czechoslovakia, two federations had arisen, the CMF (Czech) and the SMF (Slovak). As a consequence of the situation in ex-Yugoslavia, the federation of Macedonia had also been accepted as well as the Dominican federation. The European Motorcyclists Union was accepted as an associate member.
* The president informed the management council that IRTA had suggested creating a fund from the fines imposed during the GPs in order to provide financial compensation for participants (but not riders) who might have suffered a loss during their work at a GP. The council accepted the proposal.
* The management council welcomed Mr Maurizio Flammini who had come to present the 1994 superbike calendar. It contained 14 races as foreseen in the contract. Mr Flammini wanted to increase it to 16 or 18, but the teams and the riders wanted to reduce it to 12!
* It was then the turn of Messrs Golding and Ezpeleta to present the 1994 GP calendar. Mr Golding confirmed that Dorna had purchased a majority shareholding in TWP and that this would reinforce future co-operation. The president confirmed that the first weekend in June was reserved for the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man, but he agreed that this privilege could be discussed at a later date.
* The president announced that a meeting had been held with the new FIA president, Max Mosley and Dr Schepers in Brussels. An official meeting to discuss the future FIM/FIA collaboration would be held in Rome on 23 November upon the invitation of the Deputy president.
* Dr Koch, the German CIAP member, presented the Association of European Motorcycle Constructors (ACEM) to the council, upon the initiative of Mr Youngblood who believed it was important to co-ordinate information coming from various bodies associated with the industry. The IMMA problem (international association) was that it was not recognised by the EEC. ACEM and COLIMO, the two existing European associations, had therefore decided to merge in order to have one voice dealing with the European Commission.
* The general assembly accepted the secretary general’s report on the new FIM premises, as well as that of the Deputy president on the FIM Europe working group. The president announced that the plenary session of the European parliament had just rejected the common position adopted in June by the council of ministers pertaining to the limitation of motorcycles to 100 hp. The “Motorcycling and the Environment” working group report was also accepted.
* Concerning the commission decisions in road racing a deposit of CHF 1200 would be requested from 1994 onwards to check the fuel following a protest. The regulations relating to the supersport 600cc category within the framework of the superbike world championship would remain identical to those of 1993. In the European championship, the 125cc, 250cc, superbike (back for just one race) and side-cars were on the agenda with a minimum of three classes per event. In the endurance world championship, three European cups were created: TTF-1, supersport and stocksport.
* In motocross, the formula of three races had produced a wave of protests with the riders particularly against it. The CMS retreated and reintroduced two races of 30 minutes plus 2 laps for individual and side-car world championships from 1994 onwards and 25 minutes plus 2 laps in the European 125 and 250cc championship. Prize money would be divided into two.
* In enduro, the European championship would be organised in two classes: under 125 and above 175 cc. The average speed had to be maintained during a time control and the following rider could not exceed 50 km/h.
* At the CCP, Dorna was ready to sign a contract for three years for ice racing for the sum of USD 1.2 million. No contract would be signed for speedway because the BSPA and a few FMNs were opposed to the introduction of a GP system. The system would therefore not be introduced in 1994 and a long-term calendar was discussed. The speedway final would take place in Vojens.
* Finally, Mr Goss announced that a campaign aimed at making people aware of the problems linked to motorcycling would begin in May 1995 in Europe, with two pilot projects in Sweden and Portugal in 1994.
* The AASA president, Ms Beaulah Verolini, explained that the AASA would have been delighted to host the first FIM congress on the African continent, but she was not interested in a poor attendance due to the fears concerning the political situation with elections scheduled for April 1994. The AASA therefore withdrew its candidacy and Prince Tunku Mudzaffar proposed Malaysia which the general assembly accepted with acclaim. Concerning the 1995 congress, it was confirmed by two federations, Norway and Sweden for Karlstad.
* The prize-giving ceremony for the world champions would take place in the Paris-La Défense congress centre on 17 December.
* Then on the Saturday, the last day of the congress, Mr Zegwaard took the floor and confirmed that he had not worked for the FIM for 13 years with the purpose of destroying it. He therefore asked if the general assembly was guided by article 131 of the statutes and if article 326 was valid for everyone. He then left the room without waiting for a reply. Mr Vaessen nonetheless replied: “The FIM regulations are valid for everyone”.
1994: European problems emerge
* The executive board met on 15 and 16 January in Geneva. Fuel controls would be conducted from the 1994 season
* In motocross, the “consortium” had paid neither the first nor the second instalment and so the FIM had cashed the bank guarantee. In the meantime, the guarantee had not been reinstated. So the contract had been cancelled by the federation lawyers on 31 December. A decision had to be taken by the end of January – to sign a new contract or not – in order to warn the organisers if they could use the rights or not.
* The president announced that Dorna had assured him that they were totally financially independent and therefore free from the problems of its shareholder, the Banesto bank, which had been placed in administration by the Spanish central bank.
* Another problem was looming on the horizon – the European licence. The secretaries general of the FMNs within the EU had met in Frankfurt in November to discuss problems relating to the application of community law in the area of motorcycle sport. Then another meeting, just as confidential, had taken place in Paris with the presidents of these FMNs in order to sign a document which would create the European motorcyclist union. These activities had led the president to write a letter to remind recipients that the FIM had formed an FIM-Europe committee to resolve these issues and had already spent substantial amounts of money to hire a consultant in Brussels. The first vice president indicated that he intended to present a report to the management council in his capacity as president of the said committee. The intention was not to create a European union of motorcycle federations but to find practical solutions to the principle of free circulation of people within the EU. These discussions had begun in November as a result of the coming into force of the Maastricht Treaty on 1 November 1993. According to the Deputy president, there was no particular divulgation, because nothing special had been discussed apart from subjects of common interest to the 12 FMNs who did not alone constitute the FIM.
* The conference meetings were held from 4 to 7 March. The honorary president Nicolas Schmit attended the management council sessions which were planning the FIM’s 90th anniversary celebrations. There were gifts for all members and delegates and the Saturday night dinner took place on a cruise ship on the Léman Lake with 300 people present. The president announced that unfortunately the season had begun with a fatal accident which had occurred in Berlin with the Italian ice racing rider Remo dal Bosco. He added that although motorcycling was a high risk sport, the FIM should increase its efforts in terms of safety.
* The president explained to the council, the problems with the “consortium” which had not paid the first two instalments. The FIM had therefore cancelled the contract by registered letter on 31 December 1993 (no news had been received since then). So there was no contract for the 1994 season. Some members believed that it would be preferable to negotiate two separate contracts, one for motocross and the other for supercross.
* It was now the turn of Mr Nick Rodgers, the secretary general of IMMA (International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association) to present a report on road safety, prepared by the constructors’ association.
* As for the construction of the new offices, work had begun on 17 January. The laying of the first stone had taken place in the presence of the council on Friday 4 March. Mr Witkowski indicated that the French authorities no longer considered the FIA as a non-profit making organisation. As a consequence, the Automobile Association was studying the possibility of transferring its base to Switzerland.
* On the subject of the FIA, the president gave an account of the “very positive” meeting which had taken place on 23 November. Several subjects had been considered aiming to ensure regular collaboration between the two federations in the future particularly concerning the circuits and safety.
* The president thanked the FFM and the FIM for the good organisation of the prize-giving ceremony in Paris which had received strong coverage from the media and TV. The 1994 ceremony would take place on 16 December at the Grand Hotel in Rome.
* For road racing, an article was added to the superbike regulations, stating that the first three riders in each race had to present themselves at the podium as soon as possible or would be penalised. The inclusion of the 1100cc 4 stroke, 4 cylinder side-car class was accepted for the European championship. On a technical level, provisional regulations were drawn up for the new stocksport class.
* The president of the touring and concentrations commission, Mr Wilson, requested the management council to approve the publication of a tourism calendar and guide as well as a book commemorating 50 years of FIM rallies. The president asked the CTC to submit a detailed budget to enable the council to discuss it.
* The executive board met again on 16 and 17 April, this time at the invitation of the CMF in Prague and in Paçov with a reception and “ceremony for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the FIM in Paçov”, in the presence of representatives from the local and regional authorities as well as the Czech Republic vice minister for sport. Legends are strong survivors.
* The executive board accepted Mr Youngblood’s idea to conduct an inquiry with FMNs to establish their interest in vintage bikes and their opinion on the creation of a possible FIM committee to take care of them.
* The executive board asked the secretary general to request explanations from the OMK concerning the “Pro Superbike” championship which did not conform to the sporting code (series events) and “damages our own superbike world championship”.
* The president announced that he had presented the FIM gold medal to Wayne Rainey during the Australian GP.
* The supercross world championship promoters had submitted a first financial proposal which was judged insufficient by the executive board.
* The executive board realised that with the exception of the North American continent, no continent was represented on each of the FIM commissions. Moves were taken to ensure that all the continents should be represented on the management council and it was decided to investigate how this system would be applied to the commissions.
* A meeting had been held in Amsterdam between the FIM (Mr Vaessen), the FIA (Mr Mosley) and the AICP (Messrs Mertel and Ernst). The aim was to discuss the drawing up of a common policy in particular creating FIM/FIA norms for inspecting circuits, medical and technical regulations.
* The management council met on 4 and 5 June at the Hotel Warwick. The bank guarantee promised by the Flammini group had not been paid. As for the supercross world championship, discussions were ongoing. The event in Geneva had been cancelled and no solution had been found for the event in the United States.
* Concerning the founding of the FIM “contradicting documents existed, some indicating Paçov and others Paris”. The president wanted this issue to be clarified before the next congress which would be the 90th anniversary edition (up until now there is no document from the time indicating that Paçov was the location in 1904).
* A discussion began on the 200% surcharge imposed on the Mexican federation for cancelling the superbike round in November 1993. The president recalled that it was the last round in the championship and that it could have decided the title and spoilt the end of the season. The jury had done all it could but the safety conditions had not been respected.
* Changes were afoot at Dorna. President Vaessen had met the Dorna president, Mr Carlos Garcia Pardo in Jerez during the Spanish GP. Following Banesto’s financial problems, Dorna’s shares had been sold to the “Banco de Santander”. Dorna had decided to concentrate on motorcycling and the road racing GPs and ice racing. Mr Richard Golding had left the company and Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta was henceforth executive director.
* The problem of the maximum amount of time allowed per section in trial required an immediate solution since bottlenecks were forming at the entry to each zone which meant the public lost interest and the riders became angry. Via the CTE board, it was therefore decided to apply the rule of maximum three minutes per section starting at the French round of the world championship (12 June) as a matter of urgency.
* The suggestion to create a panel for vintage motorcycling had met with a positive response. This issue also had to be discussed with the FIA. A meeting between Mr Youngblood and the interested FMNs would be organised during the congress.
* The management council met on 17 and 18 September. Discussions were continuing for a speedway GP world championship with the help of Ole Olsen and a contract was in negotiation with TV3. The contract would be valid for three years for a sum of USD 1.3 million. The FIM would be responsible for paying the riders and its only income would be the registration fees for the calendar.
* Mr Pasini, president of the working group on motorcycling and the environment, presented the project for the environment code which would be officially presented to the general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.
* Concerning the founding of the FICM the general secretary presented a document indicating that there was “an original invoice from the restaurant where the FICM had probably been founded” (sic) and a letter from the Austrian club requesting a meeting in Paçov on 8 July 1906 to discuss the disbanding of the FICM! So the scales tipped in favour of Paris, especially since there were some minutes for this meeting at the Ledoyen restaurant (21 and 22 December 1904) on which the first lines of this history are based.
* The congress took place from 17 to 24 October at the conference centre of the hotel Pan Pacific in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). As the congress opened there were 54 federations represented in the room and there would be 63 on the Friday, the day of the elections. The treasurer announced that for the first time ever, the FIM’s books had been audited by an external company (ATAG, Ernst & Young). Then each commission and panel president gave a verbal account to the general assembly. Concerning the CIAP, the president announced during the last session of the general assembly, that limiting power had just been discussed during a conciliation committee. The European parliament and the council of ministers had decided to drop the proposal of limiting power from the directive and a study would be conducted over two years on the link between engine power and accidents – the study would of course show the absence of any connection.
* Amendments to the statutes were ratified in particular the division of the CTE into a trial commission and a commission for enduro and cross country rallies.
* Among the amendments was also the election of commission members to give priority to the representation of the various continents. If there was no representative from a certain continent as a candidate, the post would be opened for the election of other candidates.
* Next was a proposal from the French federation to create continental unions. A long debate ensued with opponents mentioning the change of structure and cost increases for the FIM. Since the council had decided to reject the proposal, the FFM withdrew it. The FMS had more luck with its proposals for more information such as the programme of sessions and meetings at the beginning of the year and a summary of the management council sessions (up until then confidential and distributed only to its members).
* The code on the environment was approved and the working group maintained for 1995 in collaboration with the sporting and technical commissions.
* The president announced that he had proposed and the council had accepted Mr Ed Youngblood as Deputy president. He also announced that the FIM-Europe committee would be headed by Mr Cabezas. The treasurer’s report, the 1995 budget and the three-year financial plan (which included reimbursing the FIM’s new offices) were all approved.
* In road racing the European championship for 250cc and superbike would from now on be incorporated into the superbike world championship events. The idea of a specific oil company distributing fuel to all the riders was raised. In endurance, helmets had to be equipped with reflective auto adhesive surfaces on the back and sides.
* In motocross, following a meeting with all the partners involved, the CMS modified the race format for 1995: for individual world championships, 2 races of 40 minutes plus two laps; for European championships, 2 races of 30 minutes plus 2 laps.
* The CIAP president, Mr Neville Goss, outlined the awareness campaign for problems linked to motorcycle riding, of which the aim was to inform the general public that motorcyclists accepted responsibility for their own safety and was communicating this message via participating European countries in the form of a poster campaign beginning on 1 May 1995. The central theme would be a motorcyclist in the pupil of an eye and the slogan “See Us” would feature in each of the languages of participating FMNs.
* The gold medal for motorcycling merit was given to Mr Jan Krivka who had worked for the FIM since 1954. The silver medal went to the “Clinica Mobile” and the fair-play trophy to the Norwegian ice racer, Stig-Inge Bergersen who had laid down his bike at top speed and injured himself to avoid other riders.
* Mr Zerbi as president of the FMI, thanked the general assembly for awarding the silver medal for motorcycling merit to the “Clinica Mobile”. He noted that this institution was not only equipped with technical means, but also people. He also added that he had been offered an honorary title by the management council, but he had refused it because he was not retiring. He confirmed that he would remain “passionately involved in FIM activities”.
* The 1995 congress would therefore take place in Karlstad, the 1996 one in Bangkok and the 1997 edition in Athens. Ms Verolini, the AASA president, recalled that the general assembly should have been at the Cape at this time and confirmed that the violence feared in South Africa before the general elections had not materialised (for the same reasons, the 1993 South African GP planned for September had been cancelled and replaced by the FIM GP in Jarama). She invited the federation a second time to come to the Cape for the 1998 congress and this was accepted by the general assembly with acclaim. Mr Maggiani also took the opportunity to invite the FIM congress to Buenos Aires for the year 2000 – a proposal that was also accepted but in this case, things would not go as planned and the FIM would not go to Argentina.
* An extraordinary meeting of the management council was held at the Grand Hotel in Rome, the day after the prize-giving ceremony. The council declared that it was in general satisfied with the event. The arrangements for these first two ceremonies were different. In Rome, it had been a dinner and show, while in Paris the prize-giving ceremony had taken place in a room followed by dinner.
* A briefing was held with the speedway rider representatives, Hans Nielsen and Sam Ermolenko, which had resolved various problems on hold (there would be others…) A modification of the enduro classes (in particular the four strokes) had met with opposition from Husqvarna, preventing a gentleman’s agreement in spite of a written protest from KTM. From now on, agreements with industry on technical modifications had to be confirmed in writing.
* The system of mutual recognition of licences from all European Union countries was now in place following a meeting of 5 December thanks to amendments to the sporting code.
* On Saturday 23 October, the FMI had lodged a protest concerning the procedure used during the second round of the vice presidential election which had cost Mr Zerbi his re-election. The president had refused the FMI’s protest. The management council had supported the procedure used by the president on this occasion and noted that the FMI had now decided to take the matter to the courts in Geneva.
* The contract with Dorna had been extended until 2006 and the clause authorising Dorna to break it in 1995 had been removed. Dorna had also accepted to retain the side-car class for another two years until the end of 1996. From 1997 onwards, Dorna wanted to create a new GP class, of which the specifications had yet to be defined with the FIM, but in no way would the same technical specifications as those of the superbike world championship be adopted.
* The FIM would contribute to fuel controls and the start control system and would receive an annual amount of USD 6 million from 1995 (as opposed to 5 in 1995 and 1996).
* The president congratulated and thanked the FIM staff who had moved from Chambésy to Mies during the weekend of 9 and 10 December to be operational for 9h00 on Monday 11 December.
1995: The thunderbolt
* The first meeting at the new headquarters was with the executive board (14 and 15 January) comprising president Jos Vaessen, Deputy president Ed Youngblood, treasurer Tore Kittilsen and secretary general Guy Maitre. Dr Stefan Schepers was also invited for the programme of 1995 activities within the European Union. He confirmed that the FIM’s position had improved. He believed that the federation and the IMMA should work closely together and that there should be a more consistent presence in Brussels. The programme included an evaluation of the FIM’s position (markedly better following the success of the campaign against the limitation to 100 hp), the objectives for 1995 (noise nuisance, emissions, anti-tampering, protective clothing, etc), the drawing up of working methods, a list of lobbying activities, the debate on mobility, tourism, media and a long term strategy.
* Following a long discussion, the executive board realised that a secretary could no longer take on the work of the CT and a technical co-ordinator would have to be found.
* The president announced that a meeting would have to be held with the Supercross organisers to find an agreement, otherwise the FIM would have to withdraw the title of world championship.
* Then a thorny subject arose – that of the famous “Thunderbike” trophy, unilaterally announced by Dorna without consulting the FIM. A meeting was to take place on 17 January to discuss this issue. The addition of a class was certainly included in the contract between the two parties but for 1997, and the technical aspects had to be different from the ones in the existing championships.
* The management council met on 3 and 6 March during the conference meetings at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Geneva. To officially open the new building, honorary presidents Nicolas Rodil del Valle and Nicolas Schmit were present. Mr Ignacio Verneda, current FIM Chief Executive Officer and president of the trial commission at that time, was taking part in his first management council. The council accepted the invitation issued by vice president Cabezas on behalf of the RFME, to hold the June session in Bilbao (16 and 17) and to attend the Spanish round of the trial world championship on the Sunday 18.
* Since the announcement of the “Thunderbike” trophy, the atmosphere between promoters was rather strained. Nobody had expected such a swift reaction to the Rome meeting. After long discussions and several restrictions, the new class was accepted. It was clear that, as the president pointed out, there was no exclusivity for the Flammini group concerning four stroke machines. On the other hand, starting in 1997, Dorna had the right to introduce a new four stroke class into GPs and this “Thunderbike” trophy had been accepted as a supplementary class from 1995 onwards. The president thought that at this stage, the FIM should not interfere in the commercial debate.
* In motocross, the industry consultative group expressed its concerns about the fuel problem and the necessary checks. The problem was that most of the budget was allocated to road racing. So the number of controls had to be increased. Concerning supercross, the CMS would wait for further developments before preparing a calendar for 1996, if there were no contract, the world title would be dropped.
* The contract between the FIM and TV3 for speedway had been sent in its final version and since all the discussions had been successful, the riders had returned the signed contract and the race director, Ole Olsen, had checked the tracks concerned.
* A co-ordinator had been appointed at the technical commission from 1 March: Mr Charles Hennekam.
* The company ESEDOS, including former trial rider Gabino Renalès, was proposing to produce footage of the trial world championship. The council agreed that a letter of intention could be signed for 1995, but that the exclusivity could not be given for that year, since the TV rights still belonged to the organisers.
* The question of raising the indoor trial to the status of world championship was the subject of lively debate. The CTE president was asked by the council to submit a detailed financial proposal with the provisional 1996 calendar.
* Mr Youngblood confirmed that the 1995 prize-giving ceremony would take place at Bally’s Casino Resort in Las Vegas on 15 December. The AMA wanted to open up the ceremony to fans and would propose a package to visitors including excursions. The 1996 ceremony would be held in Seville, following Mr Cabezas’ (RFME) invitation.
* President Rodil del Valle took the floor during the session of Monday 6 March, to thank the president and all the council members for inviting him to the inauguration ceremony. He emphasised that it was an historic moment. Deputy president Youngblood also thought it was an historic moment and that the new building was not an end in itself, but a new beginning for the FIM, which had for several years now undergone a faster and more important development than any other time in its history.
* For the first time in its history, the extraordinary meeting in the month of June took place in a location other than Geneva. Bilbao in the Spanish Basque country, was hosting the Spanish round of the trial world championship on 18 June, which had inspired the Spanish federation to invite the management council to hold its meeting on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 in rooms at the hotel Indautxu. An executive board meeting was scheduled for Thursday 15. The FIM financial structure also needed to evolve and new items were included in the 1996 budget. The issue of the EPPA questionnaire which after a few small amendments, had been dispatched to all FMNs in four languages, was also discussed. Responses had to be returned before the end of August and a summary would be presented to the executive board on 8 September and then to the general assembly in October. There was also talk of hiring a public affairs and environment specialist. A conference on EU subjects and tourism could be organised for the European press, entrusted to the Deputy president and the press officer.
* The next day, the president opened the council session. It was confirmed that the costs for instructors in FIM seminars would be paid for by the organising FMNR in the case of a seminar requested by them and by the FIM if the seminar had been arranged at the request of the respective commission.
* The situation in the superbike world championship had led the board of the technical commission to modify the minimum weight of the machines with immediate effect. A meeting had taken place on Saturday 17 June in Monza with all the parties concerned to explain the decision taken the preceding week (machines of 2 and 3 cylinders – 155 kg, 4 cylinders – 160 kg). The president still deplored this procedure since a change in the regulations had just been refused for the GPs making the decision-making process not really coherent.
* The management council accepted that from 1996 onwards, doping tests should be conducted systematically by a professional body. The budget and the legal implications were discussed. A Swedish company which was very active in this sector had submitted an offer.
* The Deputy president presented an action plan for coordinating European affairs: more professional representation in Brussels, brochure presenting the FIM and motorcycling, European and environment questions to be considered, proactive steps towards “competition” from action groups (work together), co-ordination between the different FIM groups in conference calls, organisation of an annual conference to discuss public government policy with all the parties concerned.
* Following a restructuring of the AASA, the South African federation had become the MSA (Motorsport South Africa). As for the history of the FIM, the definitive text featured in the statutes was adopted and would be submitted to the general assembly in Karlstad.
* A road racing circuit had been inaugurated in Norway, near the Arctic Circle called Mo-I-Rana. Upon the initiative of the treasurer Tore Kittilsen who was himself Norwegian, a session of the executive board had taken place on 11 and 12 August on the island of Lovund which was close by.
* On the issue of membership requests, the board came up with the idea of the secretary general and an FIM vice president visiting the federation in question to make a precise evaluation. Two candidates had submitted applications: Israel and the Philippines.
* The management council met on 9 and 10 September at the office in Mies. This was the first council meeting in the building – but it would also be the only one for practical reasons (services, interpreters, etc).
* Dr Schepers gave his report on the subject of questionnaires which had been returned in high numbers with exhaustive replies demanding faster decisions and responses. In general more attention to tourism and young riders was requested, as well as better co-operation with public authorities and industry.
* In road racing, the president revealed the possibility of signing a contract between RPM, Dorna and Flammini to establish a “remodelled” European championship from 1996 onwards, where the major aspects would be the following: registration fee of around CHF 100 for riders, FIM registration fees for the organisers, only production machines, riders ranked from first to fifth could take part in the world championship, registration of up to 88 riders, practice in two groups, racing office and prizes.
* The president indicated that the Swedish company IDTM (International Doping Tests and Management) had been selected to carry out drugs testing in 1995 on a trial basis.
* The executive board proposed an amendment to the famous article 316 of the statues “...if candidates had not obtained the necessary simple majority but had obtained 25% or more of the votes, the vacant posts would be allocated for one year only, depending on the results of the second round”.
* Next came the contentious issues. The president announced that a meeting had been held in Munich during which the European Union of motorcycling federations had been created. This meeting had been organised by the ADAC who had invited a limited number of persons including the former president of the CCR. Countries represented were Italy, France, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal and Slovakia. The president did not understand how people belonging to the management council could deal with members excluded from the FIM by the general assembly. He considered this to be an insult to the management council and the general assembly. Mr Noll, on behalf of all German members, noted that the OMK had not been implicated in the organisation of this meeting and that it was opposed to this manner of proceeding.
* A joint congress was organised in Karlstad half way between Stockholm and Oslo by the Swedish federation (SVEMO) and its Norwegian counterpart (NMF). The meetings were held at the Karlstad Conference Centre. There were two candidates for the presidency of the FIM: Jos Vaessen and Francesco Zerbi. In the whole history of the federation it was only the second time that this situation had arisen (the first was in 1965 between Don Rodil del Valle and Count Giovanni Lurani Cernuschi). In any event, when it came to the vote there was only one candidate.
* President Vaessen presented the annual report, which was distributed to all delegates and then Deputy president Youngblood, who had not been able to take part in the congress in Kuala Lumpur, also addressed the general assembly.
* On Monday 16 October, 64 federations were present or represented including 62 with voting rights. There would be 65 on Friday 20 October. The new structure of the South African federation was accepted, as well as that of Nicaragua. The MIAG received the status of associate member.
* Dr Stefan Schepers (EPPA) gave a report on the responses received to the questionnaire on a long term strategy for the FIM. He also presented a report on the conclusions and action proposals, some of which were short term.
* The amendment to the statutes on the history of the FIM was accepted as well as that on the presidency and the vote (for ratification in 1996 and application on 1 January 1997). A study group would be formed to assess the impact of the possible introduction of Spanish and German as additional official languages. Some amendments to the internal regulations (commission authority, structure and functions of the panels) were accepted.
* On Friday 20 October, the first election was for the president of the FIM. Mr Vaessen handed over to first vice president Ed Youngblood who would chair the session. One by one, each delegate voting for each federation came to post his vote in the urn, then the returning officers took the urn for the count. The tension was at its height when the results were handed to the first vice president. Mr Youngblood took the microphone and announced “Mr Francesco Zerbi: 66 votes; Mr Jos Vaessen: 63 votes”.
* In road racing, the regulations and conditions of the new “open” European championship had to be negotiated with the promoter (RPM) and the partners Dorna and the Flammini group. The European supersport championship was also made open together with the Latin-American championship. The minimum age for the riders was the following: 125cc – 15, 250cc, supersport and side-car passengers – 16, 500cc, superbike, endurance and side-car riders – 18.
* Sanctions for illegal fuel were exclusion from the whole event in question (irrespective of when the sample was taken), a fine of CHF 1000 and payment of all costs related to the fuel control in question.
* When a protest was lodged, and could only be clarified by dismantling the engine or the gearbox, a guarantee of CHF 300 would be paid in addition to the usual guarantee to cover the costs if the protest was rejected. A track’s lap record had to be set during a race (this was already a custom but not in writing). The participation in the podium ceremony was from now on obligatory.
* In motocross, the minimum age for the riders was lowered from 16 to 15 for the 125cc world championship and from 15 to 14 in the European 125 and 250 championship (the upper limit of 23 for the European 250 championship was dropped). The European championships for motocross and snowmobiles became “open”. A new points system was adopted for the motocross of Nations. Riders using illegal fuel would be excluded from the whole event. Any request for a fuel control following a protest had to be accompanied by a guarantee of CHF 1200.
* In trial, the trial indoor world cup was introduced for the close season 1996-97 while the FIM Prize became the trial indoor European cup. For the European championship and the trial of Nations, the maximum time to complete a section was reduced from 3 to 2 minutes.
* The technical commission decided to fix the minimum weight of supersport machines at 172 kg and that of superbikes at 162 kg. The regulations relating to carburetion instruments would come into force in 1996. The use of new speedway tyres (without treads) would come into force on 1 January 1996.
* The international public affairs panel indicated that the awareness campaign for problems relating to motorcycling had been a success. A two–day symposium devoted to exchanging information on the existing recognised methods for advanced motorcycling courses would be held in Luxembourg in 1996.
* Mr Youngblood gave his report on the co-ordination of the various interest groups aimed at unifying positions in Brussels on the EU legislation affecting motorcyclists and the sport.
* In the name of the FIM, president Vaessen awarded the bronze motorcycle merit medal to John Kenton Britten, the inventor and constructor of the Britten V1000 superbike and the silver medal to Kevin Schwantz. He then took his leave from the general assembly.
* At the FIM all the elected delegates took up their functions immediately after the elections with the exception of the federation president who would begin his duties after the congress. The new president, Francesco Zerbi, called an extraordinary meeting of the management council on 19 November in Geneva at the Hotel Warwick. He spoke personally to each member of the council in the days preceding the meeting. Those present were: Ed Youngblood (Deputy president), Tore Kittilsen (treasurer), Guy Maitre (secretary general), vice presidents William Bates-Brownsword, Jorge Cabezas San Simon, Dieter Junge, Jan Krivka, Colin Moram and Andzej Witkowski, commission presidents Claude Danis (CCR), Wolfgang Srb (CMS), Ignacio Verneda (CTR), Erich Schmidt (CER), Günter Sorber (CCP), Oriol Puig Bulto (CT), Geoff Wilson (CTC) and Inge Blank (BFP). Three vice presidents were missing: Vito Ippolito, Tage Magnusson and Jean-Pierre Mougin.
* Deputy president Ed Youngblood officially presented the new president. At the same time he announced that he was standing down as Deputy president (since it was the president’s prerogative to choose who should fill the post). President Zerbi thanked his colleagues for the frank conversations of the previous day and requested Mr Youngblood to continue in his role as Deputy president.
* President Zerbi thanked the secretary general and the Deputy president for having managed the transition period so well. He indicated that he intended to work calmly but with determination and that he would be a full-time president. As he had done during the FMI presidency, he would assume all the responsibilities that accompanied the position and would renounce all other activities. In conformity with the FIM statutes, he would renounce the presidency of the FMI within the given timeframe.
* The legal proceedings launched by the FMI against the FIM would not be withdrawn. In fact, he believed it was necessary to know what was the correct procedure for the elections. However he renounced any other claims that had been introduced, since he no longer had any interest in recuperating his post of vice president.
* Concerning relations with contractual partners, the president had studied the various contracts in force and he would respect them. However he wished to improve certain conditions in the FIM’s favour. Discussions concerning the “open” European championship for road racing would continue, as would the planned contract for the TV broadcast of the trial world championship, the trial des Nations, and the trial indoor world cup. However, the president emphasised that this contract would only be for one year and that in no event, would the commercial rights be yielded. A possible contract for motocross should be established on the same basis. He also confirmed his agreement to sign a contract with the company IDTM as well as the reimbursement plan for the bank loan on the new building.
* In technical terms, the president emphasised the importance of co-operation between the FIM and industry. The management council gave its agreement to the appointment of a professional technical delegate for the superbike world championship.
Photos FIM Archives - Caption from top to bottom:
-1 Greg Albertyn, 1993
-2 Kevin Schwantz, 1994
-3 Roche - Sheene - Fogarty, 1994
-4 Hans Nielsen, 1995
-5 Stefan Everts, 1995