Feld Motorsports held a press conference at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, earlier today to unveil changes that have been made to the Monster Energy Supercross series ahead of the new season. Format changes, amateur racing, a new points system, new qualifying format and additional showdown between the 250SX riders! All of the information has been placed in the video below.
In 2018 an all new point system will be set in place. While the gap between first second and third has not changed, the overall points earned will. With this new system it will allocate points out evenly over all 22 finishing positions. Ensuring that the race to the championship will be much more competitive throughout the season as the reward is greater for a better finish.Fans can expect 2018 Monster Energy Supercross to be the most exciting and entertaining season of all time.
The pressure to qualify will intensify in 2018 as the world's most elite endurance athletes will have just two chances to qualify into the main event. This year riders will qualify through one of two heat races or a last-chance qualifier to ensure a spot in the main event. Previously only five places were awarded a berth into the main event from heat races and all others would be transferred to a semi qualifier. This year the top nine in each heat will qualify directly into the main event, while positions 10 through 20 will have one last chance to make it in the main event through the last-chance qualifier. Adding to the excitement will be the longer heat races at last chance qualifiers which means more time battling it out for the fans.
The most anticipated change for 2018 will be the Monster Energy Supercross Triple Crown. A three City showdown hosted at Anaheim Two, Atlanta and Minneapolis. Where 250 SX and 450 SX competitors will be challenged in three main events each. Here's how this unique format will break down.
Each class will receive an eight-minute free practice followed by two timed qualifying sessions each ten minutes long. The top 18 riders in each class from timed qualifying sessions will advance directly to the main events. All other riders will transfer to the last-chance qualifier where they'll have one final opportunity to earn a spot to compete in the main events. Only four riders will advance to secure the last four spots for the main events, so there's little room for error.
For the evening program each class will race three main events. The 250sx class will have a six minute main event, a ten-minute main event and a 12-minute main event. While the 450 SX class will have an eight-minute main event, 12-minute main event and a 15-minute main event. This means that all night long fans will get to see their favourite Supercross stars out on the track.
The championship points will be determined as follows. To determine an overall winner from all three main events an Olympic scoring method will be used. First place finisher in each main event will earn one olympic point second place will learn two olympic points and so on through 22nd who will earn 22 olympic points. At the conclusion of all three main events the lowest combined olympic points will be awarded the overall. Championship points will be awarded based on the overall finish.
We're excited to also announce that Monster Energy Supercross will host four rounds of Supercross amateur racing competition in 2018. Anaheim Two on January 21st. Glendale Arizona on January 28. Tampa Florida on February 25th, and Atlanta's brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 4th. This is your chance to compete in the same venue on the same weekend as all the stars of Supercross. With 29 race classes available that encompasses all age and skill levels there's a chance for anyone to compete. For more information on these events make sure to check out sxa racing.com.
The 250sx West showdown is set to be double the excitement this season as fans will now have the opportunity to see the fastest riders on each coast battle each other for victory. Indianapolis as well as the final round in Las Vegas will host east-west showdowns. The format is as follows.
Each Coast will participate in their own qualifying sessions throughout the afternoon, where the 20 fastest from each will transfer into the heat races. From there competitors will learn spots and the main events directly, or transfer to a last-chance qualifier. The main event will be the first and only time throughout the night where the 250sx class stars will line up on the gate all at once, for a 15 minute plus one lap race where winner takes all. Points will be awarded in accordance with finishing position. If an East Coast rider finishes first they'll earn 26 points. If a West Coast finishes second they'll earn 23 points, and so forth through the positions.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Ryne Swanberg