The idea of the track in Winchester came from the local promoter Steve Dixon, Steve wanted to produce a track that had great veiwing and would be gaurenteed to run no matter the weather. The only tracks that can run in all weather are sand tracks and chalk based tracks because of the excellent drainage. As there are no sand track nearby and only chalk based ground in this area it had to be the chalk option in his hometown of Winchester.
The only drawback for the track at Matterley was the huge flints (sharp stone used as weapons and tools in the stone age), so undeterred Steve organised to have all the soil screened and the stone from the track used to repair surrounding farm tracks. This left a flint free, high draining, beautiful track. Many years ago the valley was home to a farm and a huge orchard where the spectator bank are.
The track was designed to have minimal visual impact and after every race the track will be seeded and returned to rest for the following years Grand Prix.
The famed track designer Johnny Douglas Hamilton of www.terraforma.com returns to tweak the already legendary Matterley Basin Track. The track has since been returned to grass and home to a group of sheep. The track is loved by fans for it's 360 viewing angles and loved by riders for its intense jumps and amazing race style. The valley allows an unparralled view of the track, with most of the circuit being visable where ever you are. The track will undergo some fine tuning to make it one of the best racing tracks out there. When Johnny first visited the track back in 2006 he was inspired by the venue and the fantastic natural features he had to work with, such as the rolling valley and the iconic two trees.
Johnny is a lover of old school motocross tracks and the track at Matterley is designed to use the valley's natural cambers and hills, although there are some spectacular jumps for the crowd Johnny has worked hard to ensure that on the day, the soil will have the correct amount of moisture to produce many racing lines and ruts for some very close racing for the fans.
More widely known for its historical associations, Winchester takes on a very different character in August as it proudly hosts round 17 of the World Motocross Championship. We are sure you will enjoy the skill, thrills and spectacle at Matterley Basin, and we welcome you warmly to England's ancient capital city.
Do take time during your stay to explore the surrounding area, where you'll find plenty of attractions to keep the whole family amused. Close by is INTECH, Winchester's hands-on centre for science and discovery, where you can create your own tornado or play with a giant Newton's Cradle. Just a few miles down the A31 in Alresford is the much loved Mid Hants Railway, where traditional steam trains run to Alton and back through the scenic Hampshire countryside. A visit to Winchester is not complete without a veiwing of the Famous Winchester Cathederal and it's grounds. A walk along the water medows and up the high street to one on Winchesters old Ale houses.
A few miles away is one of the south's most popular zoological parks at Marwell, where there is plenty of animal action every day of the week, and then there is the exciting Fort Nelson in nearby Gosport with its collection of guns, historical re-enactments and daily firings (with free admission, too).
Both Portsmouth and Southampton offer fantastic days out with both ports having great nautical history, be sure to visit the old Mary Rose and the wooden warship "The Victory" plus there is plenty to do in Southampton.
A day out in the New Forest and and afternoon on the beach at Bournemouth? there is just so much to do within 40 minutes of the track.
You shouldn't head home before you've enjoyed a relaxed wander through Winchester's shopping streets. Escape from the heat with a walk round the large, shady cathedral where many kings of England are buried. Try on some armour in the Westgate Museum or spot the names of Arthur's knights on the famous round table in the Great Hall.
If you would like more information about things to do and see in this area, either for the weekend (20th and 21st of August) or for a future visit, call the tourist information centre on 01962 840 500, drop into the office in the centre of town by King Alfred's statue, or on Visit Winchester.
History of the Event
In 2006, Matterley was built for two of the biggest events in motocross for the British people. Not only did it host the British round of the World Championship, but in the same year Matterley Basin represented Britain as one of the best venues for the Motocross Of Nations, pulling in the biggest crowd ever to the event, and still holding the title. With over 80,000 people over the weekend it was seen as a motocross phenomenon. The track has become an icon and since 2006 riders worldwide have been itching to get back on it. World class riders like Stefan Everts, James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael once roamed this track as thousands of fans cheered and united in favour of the great sport that is motocross.
After hosting consecutively successful GP's in 2011 and 2012, the British GP has now evolved into something much bigger, the MX GP Festival, spanning four days and 11 classes mid-August for 2013. The event is growing in both size and popularity, being both a favourite for riders and fans alike. 2013 sees Matterley as the penultimate round, round 15 of the world championship and the last round for many of the other championships. As the winners were decided during the penultimate round last year we're sure you're in for a fantastic weekend watching top riders race their way to stardom.
Every year the small Brit MX GP Team works hard to keep costs down whilst making Matterley both safe and enjoyable for the duration of the event, this year will be no different. We aim to pass the savings down to you, the customer so you get the best value for money.