A few changes were announced to the Monster Energy Supercross Championship today, including a new points system, two 250SX East/West Showdowns, three Triple Crown events, revised qualifying system, and amateur day at 4 events.
New Points System:
The points system is restructured so that all 22 riders get awarded points in a monotonically decreasing fashion (i.e. first place gets the most points, and last place gets the least points). Prior to this change, 20th – 22nd would all get the same number of points (1 point). To incorporate for this change without changing the point differential between 1st – 3rd, 1st place now gets 26 points, 2nd gets 23, and 3rd gets 21. After this, all positions subsequently decrease in points rewarded.
250SX East/West Showdowns:
The 250SX East/West Showdown has occurred at the final round in Las Vegas for the past few years, with the top 20 qualifiers from both coasts racing in heat races and qualifying through LCQs into an East/West Showdown for points (with normal main event duration and championship points payout). For 2018, an additional 250SX East/West Showdown is scheduled for the Indianapolis round.
Triple Crown Events:
Just like the triple-main-event format seen in the Monster Cup, the 2018 schedule will have three Triple Crown events, in which qualifying occurs during the day, and the night program consists of three main events for both classes. Each main event increases in length, for a total race time (the sum of all three main event durations) of 28 minutes in the 250SX class, and 35 minutes in the 450SX class. These Triple Crown events will take place at Anaheim II, Atlanta, and Minneapolis.
Revised Qualifying System:
At non-Triple Crown rounds, the 450SX Semi qualifier has been eliminated. This means that 9 riders from each Heat race will advance, with the remaining 22 riders going straight to an LCQ (just like the 250SX class has been qualifying the past few years). The loss of these two Semi races will be made up for by increasing the duration of both the 250SX and 450SX heat races to 6 minutes + 1 lap each.
Amateur race days are being held at 4 events this year, including Anaheim II, Glendale, Tampa, and Atlanta. These race days are going to occur on Sundays after the professional race the day before. TV coverage or track details haven’t been provided yet about these amateur days.
For more information on the changes, watch the below video describing them all:
I must admit, these changes are super refreshing for a Championship that was getting pretty stagnant. All other professional sporting leagues seem to have exciting twists throughout their regular seasons to make things interesting (one-off games in London for the NFL, Winter Classics for the NHL, etc.). Well, now it’s Supercross’s turn!
These changes are all great in my opinion. I’m a little weirded out with the new points system (26 points just seems like a weird, non-divisible by 5, number that is kinda random for 1st place), but I like how each position has a unique points value now. This is the main take-away that they were trying to go for I think, and increasing 1st place’s point payout by 1 point was deemed the best way to do this I guess.
All of these changes seem to be done for the good of the sport (in contrast to out of mere greediness by event organizers). The amateur days are probably going to have a low turn-out by fans, but will provide a great opportunity for your average-Joe to get out and feel what it’s like on a real Supercross track. In an Era where dirt bikes are getting more and more expensive, I’m thinking that this will be a great way to get people intimately involved with the sport.
The Triple Crown events are also going to be awesome and an interesting change of pace throughout the season. Supercross 2018 is just around the corner… I’m excited!