December 14, 2016 – Feld Entertainment announced today that the racing format will change for the 2017 season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Heat races, Semi’s, Last Chance Qualifiers and Main Events will transition to a timed format beginning with the season opener at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif. on January 7, 2017.
Evolution and progression are natural elements of expansion and with the ever-changing landscape of today’s Supercross racing, this format adjustment will simply give fans more exposure to the sport’s top athletes. Every stadium is a different size and shape throughout the Monster Energy Supercross Championship and lap times can vary exponentially from race to race. This new format will make sure that racers like Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion, Ryan Dungey get to race in front of their fans for the same amount of time, every race.
“We believe this change will bring the fitness element more into play and provide more excitement for our fans,” said Dave Prater, Senior Director of Operations – Two Wheel, Feld Entertainment.
Once the gate drops, the referee will start the clock. For the 250SX class it will be 15 minutes plus one lap and for the 450SX class it will be 20 minutes plus one lap. That means if defending Champion, Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen have battled for 20 laps to the finish line but there is still 15 seconds on the clock, they will race two more laps.
There is already a mountain of excitement heading into the 2017 season, and this new announcement should only build anticipation. With the exception of adding semi races to the program a few years ago, the last time a major change was made to the format was the 1985 season when there were two main events. That particular season is regarded as one of, if not the most, exciting in the sport’s history. The format change will add to the drama as we count down to the 2017 season opener in Anaheim.