AMA Supercross Championship

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For the film, see Supercross (film).
Monster Energy AMA Supercross An FIM World Championship
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Logo.jpg
Category Motorcycle sport
Motorcycle racing
Country United States
Inaugural season 1974
Classes 450SX, 250SX East, 250SX West, KTM Junior
Riders 38
Constructors Honda · Kawasaki · KTM · Suzuki · Yamaha • Husqvarna Motorcycles
Riders' champion United States Ryan Dungey
Teams' champion Red Bull KTM
Constructors' champion Austria KTM
Official website www.supercrosslive.com

The AMA Supercross Championship is an American motorcycle racing series.[1] The race series was founded and sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1974. Supercross is an offshoot of the sport of motocross which is held on natural terrain, closed courses. Supercross racing involves off-road motorcycles on an artificial, man-made dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles. The AMA Supercross Championship is sponsored by Monster Energy and is held from January through early May in major league baseball and football stadiums. The easy accessibility and comfort of these stadium venues meant that by the late 1970s, Supercross had surpassed motocross as a spectator attraction in the United States.[2]

History[edit]

The first motocross race held on an artificially created race track inside a stadium took place on August 28, 1948 at Buffalo Stadium in the Paris suburb of Montrouge.[3] With the surge in popularity of motocross in the United States in the late 1960s, Bill France added a professional motocross race to the 1971 Daytona Beach Bike Week schedule.[3] 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.[3]

The event that paved the way for artificial, stadium-based motocross events was the 1972 race held in the Los Angeles Coliseum and won by Marty Tripes at the age of 16.[3][4] The event was promoted by Mike Goodwin and Terry Tiernan, President of the AMA at the time.[3] It was billed as the "Super Bowl of Motocross" which eventually led to the coining of the term Supercross. The Superbowl 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.[3] While Motocross and Supercross are similar in many respects, they would become a distinctly different forms of racing, taking motocross to more people and broader audiences through the use of television.[3] Supercross would evolve until it arguably became the most important motocross series in the world, displacing the Grand Prix world championship as the premier off-road motorcycle racing series.[2][3]

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.[2] In the United States, Supercross races today are the second most popular form of motorsport[citation needed] (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.

Competition[edit]

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 both classes, 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, with the top four 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 five lap, sixteen rider 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. In 2016, the East-West Shootout became a points-paying round where both regions' champions would be decided in the same feature.

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.

Track[edit]

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.

Arenacross[edit]

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:

  • Gavin Faith (Kaw)
  • Chris Blose (Kaw)
  • Jacob Hayes (Kaw)
  • Travis Sewell (KTM)
  • Jace Owen (Hon)
  • Ben LaMay (Hon)
  • Kyle Regal (Hus)
  • Gared Steinke (Hus)
  • Cody VanBuskirk (KTM)

World Supercross Championship winners by year[edit]

Conceived in 2003; merged with AMA series prior to the 2008 season.[5][6][7]

Year 450cc Class
2016 Ryan Dungey
2015 Ryan Dungey
2014 Ryan Villopoto
2013 Ryan Villopoto
2012 Ryan Villopoto
2011 Ryan Villopoto
2010 Ryan Dungey
2009 James Stewart, Jr.
2008 Chad Reed
2007 James Stewart, Jr.
2006 James Stewart, Jr.
2005 Ricky Carmichael
2004 Heath Voss
2003 Chad Reed

AMA Supercross Championship winners by year[edit]

Merged with World Supercross Championship in 2008.[8][9][10][11]

Year 450cc Class
(formerly 250 cc 2-stroke)
250cc West
(formerly 125 cc 2-stroke West)
250cc East
(formerly 125 cc 2-stroke East)
2016 Ryan Dungey Cooper Webb Malcolm Stewart
2015 Ryan Dungey Cooper Webb Marvin Musquin
2014 Ryan Villopoto Jason Anderson Justin Bogle
2013 Ryan Villopoto Ken Roczen Wil Hahn
2012 Ryan Villopoto Eli Tomac Justin Barcia
2011 Ryan Villopoto Broc Tickle Justin Barcia
2010 Ryan Dungey Jake Weimer Christophe Pourcel
2009 James Stewart, Jr. Ryan Dungey Christophe Pourcel
2008 Chad Reed Jason Lawrence Trey Canard
2007 James Stewart, Jr. Ryan Villopoto Ben Townley
2006 Ricky Carmichael Grant Langston Davi Millsaps
2005 Ricky Carmichael Ivan Tedesco Grant Langston
2004 Chad Reed Ivan Tedesco James Stewart, Jr.
2003 Ricky Carmichael James Stewart, Jr. Branden Jesseman
2002 Ricky Carmichael Travis Preston Chad Reed
2001 Ricky Carmichael Ernesto Fonseca Travis Pastrana
2000 Jeremy McGrath Shae Bentley Stephane Roncada
1999 Jeremy McGrath Nathan Ramsey Ernesto Fonseca
1998 Jeremy McGrath John Dowd Ricky Carmichael
1997 Jeff Emig Kevin Windham Tim Ferry
1996 Jeremy McGrath Kevin Windham Mickael Pichon
1995 Jeremy McGrath Damon Huffman Mickael Pichon
1994 Jeremy McGrath Damon Huffman Ezra Lusk
1993 Jeremy McGrath Jimmy Gaddis Doug Henry
1992 Jeff Stanton Jeremy McGrath Brian Swink
1991 Jean-Michel Bayle Jeremy McGrath Brian Swink
1990 Jeff Stanton Ty Davis Denny Stephenson
1989 Jeff Stanton Jeff Matiasevich Damon Bradshaw
1988 Rick Johnson Jeff Matiasevich Todd DeHoop
1987 Jeff Ward Willie Surratt Ron Tichenor
1986 Rick Johnson Donny Schmit Keith Turpin
1985 Jeff Ward Bobby Moore Eddie Warren
1984 Johnny O'Mara
1983 David Bailey
1982 Donnie Hansen
1981 Mark Barnett
1980 Mike Bell
1979 Bob Hannah
1978 Bob Hannah
1977 Bob Hannah
1976 Jimmy Weinert 500 cc Winner
1975 Jimmy Ellis Steve Stackable
1974 Pierre Karsmakers Gary Semics

Riders with most wins[edit]

Source:[12]

450 SX
Rider Wins
United States Jeremy McGrath 72
United States James Stewart Jr. 50
United States Ricky Carmichael 48
Australia Chad Reed 44
United States Ryan Villopoto 41
United States Ryan Dungey 31
United States Ricky Johnson 28
United States Bob Hannah 27
United States Jeff Ward 20
United States Damon Bradshaw 19
United States Kevin Windham 18
United States Jeff Stanton 17
United States Mark Barnett 17
France Jean-Michel Bayle 16

Venues[edit]

Sources:[12][13]

Venue City State Period Type
Angel Stadium of Anaheim Anaheim California 1976–1979, 1981–1987,
1989–1996, 1999–present
Baseball
AT&T Stadium Arlington Texas 2010–present Football
CenturyLink Field Seattle Washington 2005–2014, 2017-present Football
Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach Florida 1971–present Racetrack
The Dome at America's Center St. Louis Missouri 1996–present Football
Ford Field Detroit Michigan 2006–2008, 2014–present Football
Georgia Dome Atlanta Georgia 1993–present Football
Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis Indiana 2009–present Football
MetLife Stadium East Rutherford New Jersey 2014–present Football
Oakland Coliseum Oakland California 1979-1980, 1984,
2011–present
Baseball / football
Petco Park San Diego California 2015–present Baseball
Rice-Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City Utah 2001–2004, 2009–2013, 2017-present Football
Rogers Centre Toronto Canada 2008–2014, 2016–present Baseball / football
Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas Nevada 1990-1995, 1997–present Football
University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale Arizona 2016–present Football
U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis Minnesota 2017-present Football
Astrodome Houston Texas 1974–2002 Baseball / football
AT&T Park San Francisco California 2003–2010 Baseball
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Atlanta Georgia 1977–1986, 1989–1992 Baseball / football
Charlotte Motor Speedway Charlotte North Carolina 1996–1998 Racetrack
Chase Field Phoenix Arizona 1999–2015 Baseball
Camping World Stadium Orlando Florida 1983–1985, 1991–1997, 2005–2007 Football
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles California 2011–2012 Baseball
Gillette Stadium Foxborough Massachusetts 2016 Football
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis Minnesota 1994–2004, 2008, 2013 Baseball / football
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville Florida 2009–2011 Football
Kingdome Seattle Washington 1978–1999 Baseball / football
Levi's Stadium Santa Clara California 2015–2016 Football
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles California 1972–1979, 1981-1982,
1984-1992, 1997–1998
Football
Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans Louisiana 1977–1980, 1998–2002, 2009, 2012 Football
Mile High Stadium Denver Colorado 1996 Baseball / football
NRG Stadium Houston Texas 2003–2015 Football
Qualcomm Stadium San Diego California 1980–1982, 1985-1987,
1989-1996, 1998-2014
Baseball / football
Raymond James Stadium Tampa Florida 1999 Football
RCA Dome Indianapolis Indiana 1992–2008 Football
Route 66 Raceway Joliet Illinois 2000 Racetrack
Pontiac Silverdome Pontiac Michigan 1976-1984, 1986–2005 Football
Spartan Stadium San Jose California 1990–1995 Football
Sun Devil Stadium Phoenix Arizona 1986–1987, 1991, 1997–1998 Football
Tampa Stadium Tampa Florida 1987–1990, 1992-1994, 1996, 1998 Football
Texas Stadium Irving Texas 1975–1977, 1985–1989, 1991-2008 Football
Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 1978, 1983 Baseball / Football
Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City Missouri 1980-1983 Football
John F. Kennedy Stadium Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1980 Football
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Washington, D.C. 1983 Baseball / Football
Foxboro Stadium Foxborough Massachusetts 1983-1984, 1990 Football
Rose Bowl Pasadena California 1983-1985, 1990, 1993 Football
Talladega Superspeedway Talladega Alabama 1984 Racetrack
Ralph Wilson Stadium Orchard Park New York 1984 Football
Cal Expo Sacramento California 1984 Racetrack
Miami Orange Bowl Miami Florida 1987, 1989 Football
Giants Stadium East Rutherford New Jersey 1987-1991 Football
State Fair Speedway Oklahoma City Oklahoma 1989-1991 Racetrack
American Legion Memorial Stadium Charlotte North Carolina 1990-1995 Football
Tropicana Field St. Petersburg Florida 1991 Baseball / Football
Cleveland Stadium Cleveland Ohio 1995 Baseball and football
Cotton Bowl Dallas Texas 1983–1984, 1990 Football

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]