AMA Supercross Championship
|Classes||450SX, 250SX East, 250SX West, KTM Junior|
|Constructors||Honda • Husqvarna · Kawasaki · KTM · Suzuki · Yamaha|
|Teams' champion||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna|
The AMA Supercross Championship is an American motorcycle racing series. Founded by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1974, the AMA Supercross Championship races are held from January through early May. Supercross is an offshoot of the sport of motocross, which takes place on natural terrain. Supercross racing, while related, involves off-road motorcycles on an artificial, man-made dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles. The tracks are usually constructed inside a sports stadium. The easy accessibility and comfort of these stadium venues helped Supercross surpass motocross as a spectator attraction in the United States by the late 1970s.
The first motocross race held on a race track inside a stadium took place on August 28, 1948, at Buffalo Stadium in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. As the popularity of motocross surged in the United States in the late 1960s, Bill France added a professional motocross race to the 1971 Daytona Beach Bike Week schedule. The 1972 race was held at Daytona International Speedway on an artificial track on the grass surface between the main grandstand and the pit lane. Jimmy Weinert won the 250 class and Mark Blackwell was the winner of the 500 class.
The event that paved the way for artificial, stadium-based motocross events was a 1972 race held in the Los Angeles Coliseum, promoted by Mike Goodwin and Terry Tiernan, then-president of the AMA, and won by 16-year-old Marty Tripes. It was billed as the "Super Bowl of Motocross" which led to the coining of the term "Supercross." The Super Bowl of Motocross II held the following year was an even greater success and, eventually evolved into the AMA Supercross championship held in stadiums across the United States and Canada.
Motocross and Supercross eventually diverged into different forms of racing, with the latter displacing the Grand Prix world championship as the premier off-road motorcycle racing series.
Originally, each of the AMA Supercross races were promoted by different companies, most notably Mike Goodwin in the West, Pace Motorsports in the Midwest and Southwest, and Super Sports in the East. In the 1980s, Mickey Thompson (MTEG) partnered Goodwin, then took over the West region. In the 1990s, MTEG went bankrupt and Super Sports sold its business to SRO/Pace, which became the single AMA Supercross promoter. The company was bought by SFX Entertainment in 1998, and Clear Channel bought the latter in 2000. The events division of Clear Channel was split off as Live Nation in 2005, and the motorsports division was sold to Feld Entertainment in 2008, which currently promote the championship.
While growing consistently since the '70s, in the early part of the 21st Century Supercross' popularity really took off. In the United States, Supercross races today are now some of the most popular races regularly held.
The American Motorcyclist Association awards three Supercross Championship Champs each year. They are the 450cc (was known as 250cc two-stroke), and both an East and West division on the 250cc (was 125cc two-stroke). World Supercross Champions are named by other racing organizations around the world. Supercross racing classifications are governed by the displacement of the motorcycle's engine based on two-stroke engines until 2006, as four-stroke engines replaced two-stroke engines. Since then, the AMA has labeled the classes by four-stroke displacement. From 2007 until 2012, a formula nomenclature similar to INDYCAR was used, with the 450cc class known as Supercross and 250cc as Supercross Lites. Starting in 2013, the AMA and Feld Motor Sports returned to the traditional nomenclature, based on four-stroke engines—450cc (known as "MX1" in Europe), and 250cc displacement levels (also known as "MX2"). The 450cc Champion has always been generally considered to be the most prestigious.
In addition to points races, the U.S. Open of Supercross was an invitation-only race held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas from 1998 to 2009, featuring a US $100,000 purse for the event winner. Since 2011, the Monster Energy Cup is held at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. A US $1.0 million purse is available to the rider who wins all three featured races. Ryan Villopoto won the inaugural 2011 event as did Marvin Musquin in the 2017 edition
The AMA series begins in early January and continues until early-May. It consists of 17 rounds in the 450cc Class, and 9 rounds in 250cc West Class and 9 rounds in the 250cc East Class, which the twelfth round at Indianapolis in April and the final round at Las Vegas in May have an East-West Shootout, and 14 major stadiums and one permanent racing circuit (in a temporary stadium setup) from all over North America.
Each meet is structured similarly to Short track motor racing with two heat races and a consolation race in each class. In both classes, each heat race is five minutes plus one lap. Each heat features 20 riders (one may have 21 riders depending on qualifying results), with the top nine advancing to the feature. The other 22-23 riders are relegated to the consolation race, known as the Last Chance Qualifier, which is three minutes plus one lap, with the top four advancing to the feature.
In the 450cc class, the highest placed competitor in points, provided he is in the top ten in national points, and has yet to qualify after either heat race or consolation race, will receive a provisional for the feature race. The feature race is 15 minutes plus one lap in the 250cc class, and 20 minutes plus one lap for the 450cc class, with 25 championship points for the race win. At three races in 2018 (the second Anaheim, and also the Minneapolis and Atlanta rounds), a three-heat format will be used (six, ten, and twelve minutes for 250cc, eight, twelve, and fifteen minutes for 450cc), and rules similar to the Monster Energy Cup individual heat scoring will determine the overall race winner.
For the season-ending East-West Shootout at Las Vegas for the 250cc class starting in May 2011, each region's top 20 will race in the non-championship event for a 15-minute heat race. Standard rules apply, with the feature race being 10 laps. In 2016, the East-West Shootout became a points-paying round where both regions' champions would be decided in the same feature. Starting in 2018, the combined East-West Shootout will also be held in the middle of the season, at the Indianapolis round.
Starting with the 2012 Season, riders who are in first place in the Series' Points Lead will use the red plate to race in the Series.
If at any point during the Heat Races, LCQs or the Feature Races, that the race is red-flagged within less than 3 laps, the race will be a complete restart. However, if the race is red-flagged with more than 3 laps completed but less than 90% of the total race distance and after a minimum of a 10-minute delay, the race will be a staggered restart with riders lined up from the previous lap they went.
Among the obstacles, riders must navigate through every lap. The track takes a combination of obstacles such as whoop sections (where riders skim along the tops of multiple bumps), rhythm sections (irregular series of jumps with a variety of combination options), and triple jumps (three jumps in a row that riders normally clear in a single leap of 70 feet or more). Many of the turns have banked berms, but some are flat. It takes roughly five hundred truckloads of dirt to make up a supercross track. Soil conditions can be hard-packed, soft, muddy, sandy, rutted, or any combination thereof.
AMA Supercross Championship winners by year
(formerly 250 cc 2-stroke)
(formerly 125 cc 2-stroke West)
|250cc East |
(formerly 125 cc 2-stroke East)
|1976||500 cc Winner|
Supercross All Time Wins List
|450/250 Class||Wins||250/125 Class||Wins||Combined||Wins|
- 450/250 Class SX Championships
250/125 Class is a divisional championship featuring 2 regional champions per year
|450/250 Class||Titles||250/125 Class||Titles|
Rookie Season Champions
1993 Jeremy McGrath won the Supercross title in his rookie season.
|2018 Series Schedule|
University of Phoenix Stadium
Oakland Alameda Coliseum
Raymond James Stadium
Daytona International Speedway
The Dome at America's Center
Lucas Oil Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium
Salt Lake City
Las VegasSam Boyd Stadium
World Supercross Championship winners by year
|2009||James Stewart, Jr.|
|2007||James Stewart, Jr.|
|2006||James Stewart, Jr.|
- "AMA Supercross". amasupercross.com. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Pro MX: Vital Signs Are Good". Google Books. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Taking Motocross to the people". motorcyclemuseum.org. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "The First Supercross". motorcyclistonline.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- Stallo, Chase (October 12, 2016). "Monster Energy Cup Moments". Racer X Online. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- AMA Supercross Champions (USA) / SX / 450 (4-stroke) / 250 (4-stroke and 2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com Archived January 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- AMA Supercross Lites West Champions (USA) / SX / 250 (4-stroke) / 125 (4-stroke and 2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com Archived December 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- AMA Supercross Lites East Champions (USA) / SX / 250 (4-stroke) / 125 (2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com Archived January 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- AMA Supercross 500 Champions (USA) / SX (2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com Archived January 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2017 AMA Supercross media guide
- Moore, Eli (May 18, 2017). "Ryan Dungey: An Epic Career Part 2". redbull.com. Retrieved Aug 6, 2017.
- 2015 AMA Supercross media guide
- The Vault - Racer X Online
- 2003 World Supercross at MotoSM.com Archived March 12, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2004 World & AMA Supercross at MotoSM.com Archived October 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2005 World & AMA Supercross at MotoSM.com Archived October 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.