AMA Supercross Championship
||It has been suggested that this article be split into a new article titled Supercross. (Discuss.) (January 2016)|
|Classes||450SX, 250SX East, 250SX West, KTM Junior|
|Constructors||Honda · Kawasaki · KTM · Suzuki · Yamaha • Husqvarna Motorcycles|
|Riders' champion||Ryan Dungey|
|Teams' champion||Red Bull KTM|
Supercross is a form of indoor dirt bike racing and a newer version of motocross, the sport’s original form. This motorcycle racing sport involves off-road motorcycles on an artificially-made dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles, whereas motocross takes place on long courses built on the dirt and terrain in natural environments. Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, is held from January through early May, primarily taking place in baseball and football stadiums, or covered domes. One contest is held at Daytona International Speedway, in the island that separates pit lane from the circuit. The supercross track takes all the obstacles of outdoor riding – jumps, turns, and bumps – and puts them in easy view of the spectators.
Supercross is a very technical sport. Supercross was derived from Motocross. While Motocross and Supercross are similar in many respects, there are significant differences as well. For example, Supercross races are heavily advertised and televised motorsports events held within major cities.
The sport Supercross is tailored to the TV spectator, as result of widespread television coverage, as its target market. The term "Supercross" was coined as the event name for the first organized motocross race that was successfully held inside a stadium in the United States. In 1972, racing promoter Mike Goodwin and Terry Tiernan, president of the AMA at the time, staged what they called the "Super Bowl of Motocross" inside the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. This event was won by Marty Tripes at the age of 16. That initial contest featured many of the top Motocross riders of the time. It was such a commercial success that it spawned many imitators, and the term "Supercross" was coined to identify the similar to Motocross stadium cycling events. Modern Supercross races are sanctioned and governed by motorcycle associations, the main series being either the American Motorcyclist Association which is the oldest and most prestigious cycle racing organization (in America), or the Monster Energy series of Supercross Championship events that are in part the work of Clear Channel, who in 2004 contributed expertise in filming on-track gate event competition for Supercross.
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 the second most popular form of motorsport (behind NASCAR racing). 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.
The AMA series begins in early January and continues until mid-May. It consists of 17 rounds in the 450cc Class, and 8 rounds in 250cc West Class and 8 rounds in the 250cc East Class, which the final round has the East-West Shootout in May, and 14 major stadia and one permanent racing circuit (in a temporary stadium setup) 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 the 450cc class, each heat race is eight laps, while in the 250cc class, each heat race is six laps. 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 four laps in the 250cc class and six laps in the 450cc class, with the top two (top four in 250cc Class until 2008) advancing to the feature. In 2014, the number of riders taken from each heat in the 450cc class was reduced to four, with a pair of semis being added from which five additional riders would transfer and the remaining riders going from there to the consolation race.
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 laps in the 250cc class, and 20 laps for the 450cc class, with 25 championship points for the race win.
Officials may shorten the feature race in inclement weather conditions to 10 and 15 laps, respectively, depending on the class if necessary.
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-lap heat race. Standard rules apply, with the feature race being 10 laps.
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.
AX stands for 'Arenacross", which consists essentially of Supercross-style courses that are downsized even further and placed into smaller venues such as ice hockey and basketball stadiums. The popularity of Arenacross is growing however, since smaller cities that do not have a large football or baseball stadium can host Arenacross races.
The AMA is using AMA Amsoil Arenacross series as a way for riders to transition from amateur racing to Supercross. Many Supercross privateers race Arenacross. Some of the top racers of Arenacross include:
- Kyle Regal (Hus)
- Tyler Bowers (Kaw)
- Jeff Gibson (KTM)
- Zach Ames (Kaw)
- Kelly Smith (KTM)
- Mike McDade (Kaw)
- Nathan Skaggs (KTM)
- Willy Browning (KTM)
- Gared Steinke (Kaw)
World Supercross Championship winners by year
|2009||James Stewart, Jr.|
|2007||James Stewart, Jr.|
|2006||James Stewart, Jr.|
AMA Supercross Championship winners by year
Riders with most wins
- 450 SX
|James Stewart Jr.||50|
- List of Grand Prix motocross world champions
- List of AMA motocross national champions
- List of Trans-AMA motocross champions
- Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling
- "Taking Motocross to the people". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "The First Supercross". motorcyclistonline.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- 2003 World Supercross at MotoSM.com
- 2004 World & AMA Supercross at MotoSM.com
- 2005 World & AMA Supercross at MotoSM.com
- AMA Supercross Champions (USA) / SX / 450 (4-stroke) / 250 (4-stroke and 2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com
- AMA Supercross Lites West Champions (USA) / SX / 250 (4-stroke) / 125 (4-stroke and 2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com
- AMA Supercross Lites East Champions (USA) / SX / 250 (4-stroke) / 125 (2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com
- AMA Supercross 500 Champions (USA) / SX (2-stroke) at motorsportsetc.com
- 2015 AMA Supercross media guide
- The Vault - Racer X Online
- Feld Motorsports Monster Energy AMA Supercross official website
- AMA Supercross Championship official website
- Motorcycling Australia Supercross site