Pro Motocross announces nine-race 2020 schedule that begins Aug. 15

Pro Motocross schedule
ProMotocross.com
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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship announced a nine-race 2020 Pro Motocross schedule that will begin Aug. 15 with the inaugural pro event at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Series organizers announced Aug. 14 that Loretta Lynn’s Ranch also would play host to the second race of the season, replacing the Washougal National in Washington.

There will be five consecutive rounds (including the first motocross doubleheader at RedBud MX) to begin the season, which had been delayed multiple times by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All events on the 2020 schedule will adhere to social distancing guidelines and health management protocols. Each round will be conducted in accordance with local and state ordinances, as identified between the event organizer and local officials.

Here’s the revised  Pro Motocross schedule of nine events this year:

Pro Motocross schedule 2020

–Loretta Lynn’s National, Aug. 15

–Loretta Lynn’s National, Aug. 22

–Ironman National, Aug. 29

–RedBud MX, Sept. 5, Sept. 8

–Spring Creek National, Sept. 19

–WW Ranch National, Sept. 26

–Thunder Valley National, Oct. 3

–Fox Raceway National, Oct. 10

Here’s the release from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 16, 2020) – Following extensive efforts by race organizers, local government and health officials, participants, sponsors, and series partners, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced the intention to host a nine-round schedule to complete the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The season is scheduled to begin on August 15, with the inaugural professional event at famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The next eight rounds will take place at well-known venues ranging from Washougal MX Park in Washington to Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota. The 2020 series will also feature the first-ever Pro Motocross “doubleheader” at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan.

The first half of the season will open with five consecutive rounds. Following the debut of the Loretta Lynn’s National, the schedule will then travel to the scenic Pacific Northwest for the Washougal National, on August 22, before heading to the greater Indianapolis area for the Ironman National, on August 29. From there, Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX will give way to the season’s lone off weekend after it hosts a pair of races around the Labor Day holiday, on Saturday, September 5, and Tuesday, September 8. Racing will resume with the Spring Creek National in Minnesota, on September 19, before heading to Florida for the WW Ranch National, on September 26. The penultimate round of the championship will take place in Colorado with the Thunder Valley National, on October 3, before crowning a pair of champions in Southern California at the season-ending Fox Raceway National, on October 10.

All events on the 2020 Pro Motocross schedule will adhere to social distancing guidelines and health management protocols. Each round will be conducted in accordance with local and state ordinances, as identified between the event organizer and local officials.   The paddock will be closed to the general public, with access limited to properly credentialed parties only and facemasks required at all times.  Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer stands will be placed throughout the venues and personal hygiene education signage will be prominent.

“While we continue to navigate through these challenging and continuously evolving times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that we’ve developed the framework for a high-caliber championship schedule that can be successfully implemented,” said Roy Janson, MX Sports Pro Racing Competition Director. “Although we respect the unpredictability of scheduling any live events during these uncertain times and are sensitive to the hardships many people are going through, we remain committed to making our best effort to host the world’s most prestigious motocross championship. Thanks to the tireless and cooperative efforts of our event organizers, competitors, sponsors and partners, not to mention the ongoing communication alongside local officials, we have an opportunity to prioritize the health and well-being of everyone. We will conduct these events in a safe environment by implementing several policies, all in an effort to control as many variables as possible.”

Select events will feature limited spectator capacity, while others will be conducted exclusively for participants, professional and amateur, with attendance limited to crew members and family. All events will feature an amateur racing component, both before and after the professional race day. Ticketing and amateur race program information will be posted Monday, July 20, on the event websites.

“From the moment we faced our first bout of adversity surrounding the coronavirus we have diligently tried to find a way to make the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship a reality,” said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing. “Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, and I think we’re on Plan ‘W’ by now. But we’re racers at heart, and our business is founded on bringing together fellow racers for some of the world’s most competitive and high-profile off-road motorcycle events. We know the motocross community is as passionate about this championship as we are, as it’s the lifeblood of the sport, and it’s been our goal to bring everyone, from riders to fans alike, the series they deserve. We’re confident that this schedule will accomplish that, and we look forward to providing the joy and sense of normalcy that American motocross can bring during these incredibly uncertain times.”

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images
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Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed their new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with US-based Ford Motors in a press event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Team Principle Christian Horner. They are the only Formula 1 team to launch in the United States, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen had already wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts will inevitably turn to establishing a dynasty – and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his principle rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.