Sorby and Hughes - European Culture

Posted on July 31, 2020

Something that is really cool about the sport of motocross is the fact many older riders continue to be involved and give back to the sport that gave them so much. American Ryan Hughes raced the Grand Prix scene in the 1990s and had some success with Grand Prix wins and also as Team USA rider winning the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations in 2000.

Hughes who often works with another Motocross of Nations winner, Glenn Coldenhoff and is trying to help the Dutchman to a World MXGP championship in 2020. Any rider who hasn’t grown up in Europe but comes to Europe to race feels straight away the amazing cultures of the different countries, and Hughes isn’t any different. A romantic at heart and somebody who can enjoy the difference from back home in USA.

“Well,” Hughes said. “It is always good to be back to see old friends and people who have been in this sport for such a long time. I like uniqueness, because uniqueness is beauty and in Europe, you get a lot of that because every country you go to has that, with its different food, different language, different architecture. I see at the track the professionalism has risen, with the sport, the riders and the organization. The riders have become more technical in Europe, learnt a lot and their ability to race motocross all the time has taken them to another level. When I came the first time as a racer everyone showed me respect and now, I come here as a coach, I get that same respect. I am happy to be in Europe.”

Another former racer is Eric Sorby, a veteran Frenchman who raced all around the World, and finally settled back into his homeland and like Hughes started enjoying the relax feeling of not only the sport, but also the whole Euro vibe. Sorby had lived in America for a number of years, first as a racer, and then as a trainer to former Team USA rider James Stewart.

“The riders in Europe are more friendly,” Sorby said. “You don’t see anyone in America until they go riding. They are way more wired in America, but that is the way it is. I enjoyed being in America, but the European culture is so different. You can walk into the pits and all the GP riders like Tim Gajser, Gautier Paulin, Mitch Evans you can talk to and meet. This year Livia hired me, and we have the two young Australian riders, Nathan Crawford and Bailey Malkiewicz and we have also a European rider. We spent some time in France and Italy and my main thing is helping.”

So when you see guys like Hughes or Sorby hanging out in the Grand Prix paddock, you know these two former racers are really enjoying the moment, taking in all the atmosphere and remembering how tough it can be to be travelling the World, but also how enjoyable it can be if you put yourself around the right type of people.