Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Official Site: amasupercross.com
Wikipedia: AMA Supercross Championship
The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's AMA Supercross Championship page on 3 October 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
The AMA Supercross Championship is an American motorcycle racing series. Founded by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1974, the AMA Supercross Championship races are held from January through early May. Supercross is an offshoot of the sport of motocross, which takes place on natural terrain. Supercross racing, while related, involves off-road motorcycles on an artificial, man-made dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles. The tracks are usually constructed inside a sports stadium. The easy accessibility and comfort of these stadium venues helped Supercross surpass motocross as a spectator attraction in the United States by the late 1970s.
The first motocross race held on a race track inside a stadium took place on August 28, 1948, at Buffalo Stadium in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. As the popularity of motocross surged in the United States in the late 1960s, Bill France added a professional motocross race to the 1971 Daytona Beach Bike Week schedule. The 1972 race was held at Daytona International Speedway on an artificial track on the grass surface between the main grandstand and the pit lane.
The event that paved the way for artificial, stadium-based motocross events was a 1972 race held in the Los Angeles Coliseum, promoted by Mike Goodwin and Terry Tiernan, then-president of the AMA, and won by 16-year-old Marty Tripes. It was billed as the "Super Bowl of Motocross" which led to the coining of the term "Supercross." The Super Bowl of Motocross II held the following year was an even greater success and, eventually evolved into the AMA Supercross championship held in stadiums across the United States and Canada.
Motocross and Supercross eventually diverged into different forms of racing, with the latter displacing the Grand Prix world championship as the premier off-road motorcycle racing series.
Originally, each of the AMA Supercross races were promoted by different companies, most notably Mike Goodwin in the West, Pace Motorsports in the Midwest and Southwest, and Super Sports in the East. In the 1980s, Mickey Thompson (MTEG) partnered Goodwin, then took over the West region. In the 1990s, MTEG went bankrupt and Super Sports sold its business to SRO/Pace, which became the single AMA Supercross promoter. The company was bought by SFX Entertainment in 1998, and Clear Channel bought the latter in 2000. The events division of Clear Channel was split off as Live Nation in 2005, and the motorsports division was sold to Feld Entertainment in 2008, which currently promote the championship.
While growing consistently since the '70s, in the early part of the 21st Century Supercross' popularity really took off. In the United States, Supercross races today are now some of the most popular races regularly held.
The American Motorcyclist Association awards three Supercross Championship Champs each year. They are the 450cc (was known as 250cc two-stroke), and both an East and West division on the 250cc (was 125cc two-stroke). World Supercross Champions are named by other racing organizations around the world. Supercross racing classifications are governed by the displacement of the motorcycle's engine based on two-stroke engines until 2006, as four-stroke engines replaced two-stroke engines. Since then, the AMA has labeled the classes by four-stroke displacement. From 2007 until 2012, a formula nomenclature similar to INDYCAR was used, with the 450cc class known as Supercross and 250cc as Supercross Lites. Starting in 2013, the AMA and Feld Motor Sports returned to the traditional nomenclature, based on four-stroke engines—450cc (known as "MX1" in Europe), and 250cc displacement levels (also known as "MX2"). The 450cc Champion has always been generally considered to be the most prestigious.
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