Hangtown Motocross Classic canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross.com

The season-opening Hangtown Motocross Classic has been canceled because of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. It was scheduled to run May 16, 2020.

Hangtown is the first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship race to fall victim to the outbreak.

In a statement from MX Sports Pro Racing, the series said: “Due to concerns surrounding the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, California’s Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club has announced it is canceling the 52nd running of the Hangtown Motocross Classic from the Prairie City OHV Park, originally scheduled for May 16, 2020.

“MX Sports Pro Racing, organizers of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, has continuously monitored the ongoing developments surrounding the coronavirus, both domestically and internationally, and has taken a proactive stance in discussing various amendments to the 2020 event schedule.”

Hangtown was the season opener last year with Ken Roczen finishing 1-2 in the Motos and taking the overall win. Eventual champion Eli Tomac finished 4-1 and was second overall.

The second scheduled race on the Motocross calendar is also in California at Fox Raceway at Pala.

Details concerning the remainder of the schedule will be forthcoming.

The Monster Energy Supercross season, which features most of the same riders, has been postponed after 10 of 17 races.

Supercross has yet to cancel the last two races of their season: The April 25 Supercross race at Las Vegas, Nevada, and the May 2 race at Salt Lake City, Utah, are scheduled to run before the Motocross season starts.

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SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.