My name is Jiří Šitina and I work as both Senior Technical Product Manager at GoodData in Prague and as Deputy Motocross Race Director for the FIM. For my main job in GoodData, I have always been into IT – over time, it has developed in a way that I could combine it with helping to form the topics for the teams. As for the MX, the interest came naturally as I grew up right next to the Grand Prix track – I started racing myself first and then came to do the organising for the races.
I love motocross and I really enjoy being part of the motocross races organisation. As I grew up right next to the track, the attraction to motocross built up since childhood. When I was still riding, I have enjoyed my KX125 and then later CRF450.
Motocross is special because, as a rider, you are using all the parts of your body and any issue influences the performance. Mentally, you also need to be able to withstand the pressure, be able to calculate your fitness/endurance, and resist the temptation to do any stupid moves not to harm yourself. I remember my very first motocross race was in Žamberk – the race was a disaster due to the lack of experience and also due to the harsh climate conditions. But it was a lesson learned.
There are many spectacular tracks around the world. To name a few: Villa la Angostura in Argentina in the middle of Patagonia, Pietramurata in Italy with the sky-high rocks, tracks in France with their spectator-friendly layouts and fantastic atmosphere, and many more. As a rider, my most memorable experience was a weekend with two races and two victories on my home track in Holice. As an organiser, I would say the most memorable moment was after the last rider has passed the chequered flag and I had my first Grand Prix done as Clerk of the Course (this was also in Holice in 2010).
My involvement as a motocross organiser started on my home track in Holice – when I stopped actively racing in 2009, I became more and more interested in the organisation. I first became a member of the Czech Motocross Commission, later of the Motocross Commission of the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation), then Supermoto Race Director, and finally Deputy Race Director in MXGP in 2016.
As a member of Club in Holice, I was part of the organising team of multiple Czech motocross championships – we ran the whole Juniors Championship in Czech Republic and many more local events. We would like to keep on making the sport safer and improve all the aspects of the organisation and cooperation among the organisers, the FIM, and all the other parties involved in running of GPs.
There are surprisingly many similarities between my time with motocross and my work in tech. When going to the basics, both my jobs deal with communication with people and trying to make stuff work better. It is the most difficult, but at the same time, the most rewarding part – the communication. My experience teaches me how to deal with various kinds of people from all across the globe and it teaches me patience.
Motocross is a very rewarding experience. Despite the whole world using more and more technology, the racing still falls back to the original motto “man and the machine”, with the man and the skills always coming first. My advice to anyone looking to take up motocross is to simply give it a try! Just be warned, it might well be for the lifetime.
To read more about FIM and the Motocross World Championship, be sure to check out the following links: