It is a big day for the Motocross industry today in the shadow of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Feld Motor Sports and MXSports, the promoters of AMA Supercross and Motocross, haven’t been partners in the past per se. Hell, there was even a period where the mention of Motocross even existing as a concept just didn’t happen on Supercross broadcasts. That relationship ended up taking a turn for the better during the dog days of the Pandemic. A little before Supercross began the SLC bubble in 2020 to be exact. Feld and MXSports, as the rumor and innuendo went, talked about cross-promoting some Motocross rounds, and according to Carrie Coombs-Russell, that also included some collaboration on media platforms.
Two years and change later, the two groups officially unveiled plans for the three-round SuperMotocross World Championship for 2023 and beyond. A spiritual successor of sorts for the Monster Energy Cup, but with three times the rounds. As well as a significant jump in purse money. Along with hybrid tracks much like the MEC, in some unique venues, Including LA Coliseum. But as this relates to both the Monster Energy Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross Championships, here is what you need to know about everything.
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SuperMotocross World Championship Format
To qualify for the SuperMotocross World Championship is relatively simple. Riders will need to finish top 20 in combined Supercross and Motocross points to qualify in either the 250 or 450 class respectively. Winning a Supercross Main Event or Motocross Overall technically also gets you in. That catch is those riders, in addition to points finishers 21-30 need to qualify for the night program for each round with just two spots available. That’s nice from the standpoint that a surprise win can give someone a shot to do some damage. However, not like in NASCAR where it comes at the expense of yearlong consistent performers. Martin Truex Jr and Austin Dillon this year are prime examples.
Now for the events themselves, they will use the two Moto format of Motocross. While using the points payout of a Triple Crown Supercross rounds, where you get points off your overall finish instead of a points per Moto deal. The kicker with the points format is this, the values increase with each round. The first round of SMX will be the standard 26 points for a win, 23 for a second, 21 for a third, etc. Round two will see those point values double, and then triple for the SMX World Championship in LA.
This likely will receive mixed reviews, but the one thing this doesn’t allow is for someone to coast to the Championship in that final round. This also severely punishes mistakes as well, which could create some devastating moments. Also, don’t worry about this as it relates to both the Supercross and Motocross Championships. Both series will run as is with nothing changing on that front. Think of this as an expanded Monster Energy Cup and it’s way easier.
It’s All About the Money
One thing that has abundantly been addressed with the MXSports and Feld collaboration is the money up for grabs in these races. In the wording of an August press release, 10 million dollars in total purse money between all three series is on the line. That includes 5.5 million for the three SuperMotocross rounds. Also, one million dollars will go to the 450 Champion and a half million dollars to the 250 Champion.
Another big investment comes in the form of a brand new media rights deal. For the first time, this covers all three series outright. NBC and Peacock now have the rights for everything through 2028, which is a gigantic deal. Having everything streamlined for the long term is astronomical. Especially after some of the streaming issues during this latest outdoor season. On top of Peacock having everything by default, a healthy dose of races on USA, CNBC, and occasionally the main NBC network should be expected.
Oh the Places You’ll Go
Another minor sign of unity was the dual unveiling of next year’s schedules all at once. In total, it will be 17 rounds of Supercross, 11 rounds of Motocross, followed up by SMX. The biggest note of the Supercross Schedule is Snapdragon Stadium (Renovated Qualcomm Stadium) is replacing Petco Park for San Diego. Returning venues are Nashville, Tampa, East Rutherford, and Houston. Replacing St. Louis, Foxborough, Minneapolis, and a third Anaheim. 250 Showdown rounds are East Rutherford and the finale at Salt Lake City. While the Triple Crown rounds are Anaheim 2, Dallas, and Glendale, which is far deeper in the schedule than in years past.
For Motocross the schedule is in the same order as it was in 2022. The only difference is that the second Pala National is off the schedule and will not be replaced. As for the two TBD rounds of SMX, those venues should be announced shortly. Worth mentioning that Feld’s Supercross head Dave Prater said that each venue is “Unique in itself”. Of course, the Coliseum has the archways which will be raced through up and down as seen on the track map which is already out.
SuperMotocross World Championship vs World Supercross
Based on everything that was said earlier today, it doesn’t seem like SMX was some recent decision based on the inaugural two-round World Supercross Championship which begins this weekend. That’s not even mentioning the logistical nightmare this would have been if it was a short-term deal. But with that said, the two will naturally be talked about with WSX beginning in just a matter of days. Next year, the plan is that their schedule will certainly expand. This certainly means an overlap with Pro Motocross, SMX, and MXGP, depending on how the 2023 schedule is set up.
Ken Roczen most notably was willing to sacrifice a potential new deal with Honda HRC just to run in these two WSX rounds. That can be at least somewhat attributed to the reported quarter million dollars offered up front to run each round. Eli Tomac is even running the opener in Wales this weekend. On the other side, Colt Nichols, who was slated for a WSX ride with Rick Ware, earlier today signed on with Honda HRC. How things unfold next year as it relates to these two series will be most interesting. One thing is certain, however, anything that can get these teams and riders paid more is always a good thing.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images