Supercross is a form of motorbike racing which involves taking off-road motorcycles (dirt bikes) and racing them on artificially created dirt tracks which are made of impressive jumps and obstacles. These events are usually held in baseball and football stadiums after the dirt track has been set up and they are highly popular as a form of spectators sport.
Supercross really does have it all, and it involves watching dirt bikes travel at very high speeds across the kinds of tracks you might have designed yourself when you were a kid full of death-defying leaps and obstacles. Any motorbike sport is always guaranteed to thrill due to its high speed and high octane nature, but when it comes to off road dirt biking you then have the added bonus of the exciting terrain and all the dirt rather than the plain roads. Supercross is then even more extreme as you have the impressive jumps and obstacles which really increase the danger and the excitement. Further to this you have the incredible atmosphere that you get inside sports stadiums lit by floodlights and surrounded by spectators (whereas watching some bike racing you have the problem of only seeing part of the track). You also have the advantage of watching drivers that are incredibly skilled, as not only to they have to be able to keep up the maximum speed while tackling corners and blocking opponents from over-taking, but they also have to navigate the inclines and gradients, navigate obstacles and ride their bikes over huge jumps – and it’s all even more impressive if you’re a fan of motorcycles in general and can related to how difficult it all is. It really is hard to beat.
The history of Supercross is also an interesting one. The sport was derived from a similar motorsport Motocross; in fact the first time the term ‘Supercross’ was used was to describe the first fully organized Motocross race to be held inside a stadium. At the time racing promoter Michael Goodwin described it as the ‘Super Bowl of Motocross’ – so it’s no wonder it’s such great television. The two activities are still similar in some ways though there are notable differences; whereas Supercross events are televised and highly publicized Motocross tends to be more under the radar. Supercross also places more emphasis on how technical the tracks are rather than just the speed. In this sense Supercross is tailored to the TV spectator.
The AMA series stars in late December and goes through until May. This consists of 17 separate rounds in the Supercross Class and 8 rounds in a separate ‘Supercross Lites West Class’. There are then 17 major tracks around United States and each offers a unique atmosphere and challenge. Each race has 8 laps (while Lites has 6) and 20 riders in both classes. The top 9 riders will move directly onto the Main Event while the others go to the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’. This has 22 riders in both classes. In the Main Event there are 22 riders for 15 laps for the Lites Class and 20 riders for 20 laps in the Supercross Class. It can get confusing so reading a little background information is recommended to get the most from it – and it really is worth it.