AMA Supercross Championship is a Motorcycle Racing competition founded by the American Motorcyclist Association. The Supercross Championship races are held from January through early May. Supercross is a variant of motocross. The tracks of Supercross are usually constructed inside a stadium. The accessibility and comfort of these stadiums improved the popularity of Supercross over the motocross championship in the United States. The fans of Supercross are now spread around the world. Eli Tomac is the current champion of the AMA Supercross Championship.
The premier class, or the 450cc Class, consists of 17 rounds, and the best riders of this sport compete there. Other two classes, 250cc West Class and 250cc East Class have nine rounds each. An East-West shootout is held to end the race season. Maximum of twenty racers can participate together on an AMA Supercross track. So, multiple time-trials and heats sum up the whole day of a certain race.
At a Glance
- Category: Motorcycle racing
- Country: United States
- Inaugural season: 1974
- Classes: 450SX, 250SX East, 250SX West, KTM Junior
- Riders: 50
- Constructors: Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha
- Riders’ champion: Eli Tomac
- Teams’ champion: Monster Energy Kawasaki
The AMA Supercross begins in early January and continues up to May. The whole event is divided into 17 rounds in the 450cc class, and 9 rounds in the East and West Division of the 250cc class. Each meet is structured with two heat races and a consolidation race in each class. Each heat race is 6 minutes plus one lap in both classes. 20 riders participate in each heat race and 9 of them qualify for the next feature. The other 22 riders from these two heat races are relegated to the consolidation race, which is known as the Last Chance Qualifier. The Last Chance Qualifier is 5 minutes plus one lap and the top 4 riders advance to the final.
The first-ever motocross race took place in a race track at the Buffalo Stadium in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, France in 1948. Amid the increasing popularity of the sport, a professional motocross race was added to the Daytona Beach Bike Week schedule in 1971. The 1972 event was held at the Daytona International Speedway on a constructed track. A 1972 race held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum really paved the way for stadium-based and constructed-track motocross events. The event was promoted by then-president of AMA Terry Tiernan and 16-year-old Marty Tripes won the event. The event was billed as the “Superbowl of Motocross” which coined the term “Supercross” for the first time. The second edition of the event was even a greater success which led to the eventual development of the AMA Supercross championship held in tracks across the United States and Canada.
The schedule of the motocross has compacted more and more throughout the years. Initially, the schedule was set to run from February to May, which was compacted to January to June by 1986. The present calendar was adopted in 2000 and it compacts the schedule from January to May. The AMA Motocross Championship begins after the completion of the Supercross.
Three Supercross Championships are awarded by the American Motorcyclist Association each year: the 450cc, and both East and West Division of the 250cc. The 450cc award is considered to be the most prestigious of them all. The final race of the competition is known as the Monster Energy Cup since 2011 for sponsorship reasons. This event has been held at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas since 2011. The rider who wins all three awards gets a purse of US $1 million.
History of the Race:
1948: In this year, the first ever motocross race on a stadium-based race track was held on 28 August. It took place at Buffalo Stadium in Montrouge, Paris.
1971: Noticing the overwhelming popularity of motocross, Bill France decided to include a professional motocross race to the Daytona Beach Bike Week schedule.
1972: The professional motocross race was held on the grass surface at Daytona International Speedway. Mark Blackwell and Jimmy Weinert won the 500 class and 250 class races respectively.
The AMA president of that time, Terry Tierman, and Mike Goodwin promoted a motocross race called the “Super Bowl of Motocross” in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This title leads to the term “Supercross”. Teenager Marty Tripes won the race.
This race was the base of the AMA Supercross championships. At one point, Motocross and Supercross was separated as the different forms of motorcycle racing. Supercross races were promoted by different promoters in different regions. Mike Goodwin promoted in the West, Super Sports in the East, Pace Motorsports in the Midwest and Southwest. Daytona International Speedway promoted its own race.
1980s: Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group (MTEG) started to promote in the West region. In 1985, the Supercross schedule started to coincide with the Motocross schedule, and continued from February till November. In 1986, the schedule became more compact, and the Supercross series was scheduled in the first half of the year.
1990s: MTEG went bankrupt, and Pace replaced Super Sport as the primary promoter of AMA Supercross. In 1998, SFX Entertainment bought Pace, and two years later, Clear Channel bought SFX Entertainment. In 1998, Supercross series format changed again. It started in January and ended in May, which format is still going on. Races would take place weekly. Only the Easter weekend was the off-week.
2000s: Since 2008, Feld International has been promoting the championship. NASCAR Holdings promotes only the Daytona round. Supercross schedule was slightly modified, starting between 3 January and 9 January (the Saturday after the first Thursday of January) in Los Angeles, and ending in Las Vegas in early May. After finishing the “indoor season” or the Supercross series, the AMA Motocross Championship “outdoor season” would start.
AMA started to arrange three Supercross Championships every year. The 450cc Championship was then known as 250cc two-stroke. Two 250cc championships were arranged in East and West divisions separately, both as 125cc two-stroke. Until 2006, the motorcycles were based on two-stroke engines. Then those were replaced by four-stroke engines. From 2007, the 450cc Class was known as “Supercross” and 250cc Class as “Supercross Lites”.
2010s: Monster Energy Cup, the final race of the season, has been held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The winner of all three featured races wins a million-dollar purse. In 2013, the traditional names of the championships returned: 450cc and 250 cc. Those are known as MX1 and MX2 in Europe. The most prestigious champion in the season is obviously the 450cc Champion.
Previous Supercross Champions
Year 450SX Winner 250SX East Winner 250SX West Winner
2020 Eli Tomac Chase Sexton Dylan Ferrandis
2019 Cooper Webb Chase Sexton Dylan Ferrandis
2018 Jason Anderson Zach Osborne Aaron Plessinger
2017 Ryan Dungey Zach Osborne Justin Hill
2016 Ryan Dungey Malcolm Stewart Cooper Webb
2015 Ryan Dungey Marvin Musquin Cooper Webb
2014 Ryan Villopoto Justin Bogle Jason Anderson
2013 Ryan Villopoto Wil Hahn Ken Roczen
2012 Ryan Villopoto Justin Barcia Eli Tomac
2011 Ryan Villopoto Justin Barcia Broc Tickle
2010 Ryan Dungey Christophe Pourcel Jake Weimer
2009 James Stewart Christophe Pourcel Ryan Dungey
2008 Chad Reed Trey Canard Jason Lawrence
2007 James Stewart Ben Townley Ryan Villopoto
2006 Ricky Carmichael Davi Millsaps Grant Langston
2005 Ricky Carmichael Grant Langston Ivan Tedesco
2004 Chad Reed James Stewart Ivan Tedesco
2003 Ricky Carmicahel Branden Jesseman James Stewart
2002 Ricky Carmichael Chad Reed Travis Preston
2001 Ricky Carmichael Travis Pastrana Ernesto Fonseca
2000 Jeremy McGrath Stephane Roncada Shae Bentley
1999 Jeremy McGrath Ernesto Fonseca Nathan Ramsey
1998 Jeremy McGrath Ricky Carmichael John Dowd
1997 Jeff Emig Tim Ferry Kevin Windham
1996 Jeremy McGrath Mickael Pichon Kevin Windham
1995 Jeremy McGrath Michael Pichon Damon Huffman
1994 Jeremy McGrath Ezra Lusk Damon Huffman
1993 Jeremy McGrath Doug Henry Jimmy Gaddis
1992 Jeff Stanton Brian Swink Jeremy McGrath
1991 Jean-Michel Bayle Brian Swink Jeremy McGrath
1990 Jeff Stanton Denny Stephenson Ty Davis
1989 Jeff Stanton Damon Bradshaw Jeff Matiasevich
1988 Rick Johnson Todd DeHoop Jeff Matiasevich
1987 Jeff Ward Ron Tichenor Willie Surratt
1986 Rick Johnson Keith Turpin Donny Schmit
1985 Jeff Ward Eddie Warren Bobby Moore
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 Jim Weinert
1975 Jim Ellis
1974 Pierre Karsmakers
Currently, AMA Supercross tracks have been made inside sophisticated stadiums. It creates comfort and attraction among the spectators, and has been engaging them as the consumers of this sport since the late 1970s. This series takes place in 14 major stadiums and a permanent racing circuit. This high-speed racing always attracts the audience and fans. Although it is a very risky and dangerous sport, the competitors always try to give their fans a breathtaking experience of the race. This sport demands higher level of dedication and skill, so that the riders can have a great battle on the track.