Big Changes for Supercross

Are you already looking forward to the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season? So are we. Hitting the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, heading back to Tampa for the first time since '99 at the newly renovated Raymond James Stadium...there's plenty to look forward to.

But, there have also been plenty of question about what will be different for next season, and all sorts of rumors flying about  format changes. The answers to the questions everyone has been eagerly asking are here.

1. There will be two different formats used next season.

2. A total of 14 of the rounds will feature a "traditional" format.

3. Semis for the 450 class will be eliminated on the traditional format. You'll only have heat races, an LCQ, and the main events.

Are you worried that the night will be shorter? Don't. Heat races will be longer for both classes, as will the LCQs, so the amount of time on the track will be about the same as you get at current races. This provides a simplified format for new/casual fans, and more time with the top guys on the track.

4. Three events (Anaheim 2, Atlanta, and Minneapolis) will have a Triple Crown format. This will be similar to what you see now at the Monster Energy Cup. A total of 22 riders will transfer from the daytime qualifying, in both the 250 and 450 classes. The times are still being finalized, but in the 250 class it will be approximately six minutes +1 lap for the first main, ten minutes plus +1 for the second, and twelve minutes +1 for the final main. In the 450 class, the main event lengths will be approximately eight minutes +1 lap, twelve minutes +1, and 15 minutes +1. Overalls will be determined by Olympic scoring. One point for first, two points for second, etc., and points will be handed out for the overalls, not individual main events.

5. You'll also get an new points system. Instead of starting at 25 points and dropping from there, it will now start at 26. The new structure still rewards the guys on the podium, giving them bigger points gaps, but also tightens things up everywhere else. The new points schedule also awards more points to the 20th and 21st-place finishers, who used to only get one point each.

You can compare the old vs. new tables below. On mobile swipe points cells left to view the whole table.

Old Points
25 (+3)
22 (+2) 20 (+2) 18 (+2) 16
New Points
26 (+3) 23 (+2)
21 (+2) 19

6. You'll see two 250 class East/West Showdowns during the season, one in Indianapolis, and one in Las Vegas. They'll come together, race, and the points fall where they may.

7. You'll also see amateur Supercross at four events in '17, with the intent of doing more in the years to come. These races will be at Anaheim 2, Glendale, Tampa, and Atlanta. Yes, the tracks will get tamed down, but they're keeping as much of the experience intact, with the same starting gate, finish line structure, etc.

8. As a bonus, riders who are working their way into Supercross will be able to get a portion of their Road To Supercross points at a specified class as these events. The plan is for them to also have to hit at least one Arenacross.

Those are the big hits. What do you think? Leave a comment below, or head to the forum to chat about it with your fellow motoheads.

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  • skypig

    10/24/2017 7:12 AM

    Glad the “semis” (yawn) are gone.

  • Bermshredder449

    10/23/2017 4:01 PM

    Who Cares !!! SUPERCROSS SUCKS!!! I Don't see the 20th place guy making $2000, What a JOKE!!! a Band Aid on a Bleeding Artery. You want something positive?, Bring in a 250 2 stroke class, Feld is a cash cow, just like MX Sports, Nothing positive comes from GREED!!! Where does all the money go?, 50,000 people at a minimum of $60 a person, AND the stars of the circus have to pay to be able to go broke for trying!! Smoke And Mirrors. We need a riders union NOW!! These guys need covered health insurance AND disability insurance for WHEN they get hurt. Itll never happen though, the AMA is as spineless as a Jellyfish, and as full of shit as a babies diaper!!!

  • ML512

    10/24/2017 7:39 AM

    Actually, the 20th place of the 450 class gets $2,135.

  • Old-Man

    10/23/2017 2:11 PM

    Looks better then the way it was, more tweaks needed but going in the right direction.
    IMHO there should be a 125 2-stroke race for the local top guys who need to get their name out there. One race no heat races. The 125 main would consist of a "Stadium Qualifier" point system that riders raced in at their local tracks.
    Like they did for the "Silverdome qualifiers" I think it was five different tracks before the actual SX.

    Thats a Win,Win for local tracks and the SX event.

    The Amateur deal is cool, I remember racing at times till 3am because they had to "Tame the track down" right after the Pro Main. Or are they going to start the Amateurs the next morning?

  • jaredtebo17

    10/23/2017 1:36 PM

    I think there should be a 1 point bonus or maybe just a 1/2 point bonus for heat race wins.

  • smoothies862

    10/23/2017 3:02 PM

    I would like to see a heat race 1 bonus point. pole position 1 point. sorry if I offend. but good on no semis. usually the most boring race. on the fence about a throw away round.

  • dkg

    10/23/2017 12:52 PM

    Overall looks good

  • Dcope17

    10/23/2017 12:38 PM

    Triple Crown format... I don't think I'll like it.

    Guess I'll go to A1 and A2 and maybe come back and change my comment.

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 12:27 PM

    Where did the like buttons come from? Nice!

  • DH502

    10/23/2017 11:43 AM

    Agree with these comments. I have always been baffled at the increased points difference between first to second etc. I have not seen any stat's done to verify what going to a single point spread would do but you would think it would keep the series closer. On the other hand fans like to see the guy who has speed (win or crash) take the title, not the slow and steady guy.

    Love the added east west shoot out let's do another couple. The three race format is interesting. Wonder what happens if it rains at A2, that will be interesting!

  • ML512

    10/23/2017 11:56 AM

    Without a points spread between the top couple positions, it also makes it nearly impossible to have a comeback if you have a bad race.,,,when winning isn't rewarded as heavily.

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 12:26 PM

    It doesn't make it impossible, to the contrary, it prolongs the possibilities down to the last race. 1 DNF/DNS changes everything.

  • ML512

    10/23/2017 12:33 PM

    Let's say it's Tomac vs Dungey and there was only a one point spread between first, second, and third...Tomac DNFs the first round and Dungey wins. Dungey now has a 25 point advantage. Over the next 16 rounds, if Tomac won every main and Dungey got second, Tomac would only make up 16 points, mix that 50/50 with some thirds for Dungey and he still would come up a point short. With a points spread at the top, it allows guys to be rewarded for winning instead of settling. If Tomac is making up three points a weekend, it pressures Dungey into fighting a bit more as the winner can pull back in the gap much quicker. With a one point spread, a rider with the points lead that's consistent can settle much more often and not have the urgency to win to keep the points gap as big. It could lean to more runaway wins as the rider in second would think "it's just one point".

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 12:54 PM

    With a 1 point difference, and 17 races, the max difference for 1st and 2nd consistent finishes would be 16 points going into the final race. That's within 1 win at the last round so the series isn't over.

  • ML512

    10/23/2017 1:03 PM

    But with a nine point gap, which means the rider leading the points could finish with a top ten and still win. Small point spreads reward the consistent, not the brave.

  • Phillip_Lamb

    10/23/2017 10:46 AM

    overall the changes look good. I like that they are incorporating amatuer SX events. I like that they have multiple formats

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 9:55 AM

    1. OK, ease into it
    2. Would rather see more
    3. Would rather see a winner's semi. Prefer sudden death over LCQ
    4. Would like more than 3, the length seems good to keep interest
    5. Would have gone 1 point difference for 1,2,3 to keep the points closer
    6. Baby step
    7. FANtastic
    8. Good

    9. Good. Big sand rhythm sections.

    Server is melting down.

  • GuyB

    10/23/2017 10:09 AM

    Aren't LCQs effectively the same as Sudden Death?

    The only problem I see with doing the Triple Crown format more often is that you'll effectively ruin the privateers. Currently they can be seen in the heats and LCQ. In the Triple Crown format, if they don't make it in as one of the fastest 22 qualifiers, they're never seen during the night show.

  • nh651

    10/23/2017 11:50 AM

    Also 22-40 still get a payout the normal way so how would this work at these 3 rounds?

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 12:20 PM

    No, LCQ is a 2nd chance.

    Rider's have been getting track and TV times for decades, and they still can't make a living.

  • byke

    10/23/2017 10:19 AM

    Agree with JD about the points in #5. I've never understood the fan benefit in creating bigger points gaps for the front runners.

  • GuyB

    10/23/2017 10:23 AM

    I get the idea of rewarding the guys at the pointy end of the pack, and like that it's only the top three instead of the top four. If you listened to the livestream, you'd likely note that they said Eli Tomac would have won last year's title using this system.

  • byke

    10/23/2017 10:34 AM

    Agree that, if anything, the points should increase towards the end, which is the same as saying that points should shrink towards the front. It's ok if Tomac won, even though I'm not a fan. I care more about a close/exciting series than anything else and I don't think extra points towards the front contributes to that. They took some steps to cater to new/casual fans and new/casual fans aren't the ones that care about the battle for fifth in the series.

  • Johnny Depp

    10/23/2017 12:22 PM

    Dungey would have likely played his hand different under a different point system.
    A couple of throw away races would better serve to tighten the final points and assist with the tidal wave of injuries.

  • byke

    10/23/2017 4:31 PM

    You have to start with agreeing on what the goal is. I think the goal should be to keep the guy who mostly gets third close to the guy who mostly gets second, so that when the guy who mostly gets second has a bad day, the guy in third is right there. What I don't think you should do is reward the guy with a lower average finish at the end of the season, which is what a throwaway does and would have caused Tomac to win undeservedly, imo. There should never be a disproportionate advantage/disadvantage from one position to the next and the only way to do that is a point per position, lowest points reveals the best rider over the series, again imo.

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