SX Global announced plans for the FIM Supercross World Championship Series, a new international motorcycle racing series with a proposed start date of September, 2022.
The inaugural championship has been designated a ‘pilot’ season of five races running from September through November.
Future plans call for the Supercross World Championship Series to run in late summer and fall after the Monster Energy Supercross Series has ended. Many current supercross riders transition to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross outdoor championship at the conclusion of the stadium season, when the World Championship is scheduled to compete, while others specialize in supercross only.
SX Global will utilize a different model with independent teams competing, rather than the largely factory-based system currently in place in the United States. To that end, they will issue 10 team licenses and provide financial support. Concurrent with the announcement of the series, SX Global announced an investment from Mubadala Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based wealth management fund, with more than $50 million earmarked for team and rider support over the next five years.
Mubadala Capital manages assets of more than $240 billion, with investments in other sporting and entertainment entities including EMI Music Publishing, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.
“There is a massive fanbase and untapped demand for supercross outside the United States and backed by the financial support and significant resource of Mubadala Capital, we intend to feed that, bringing the sport to new regions through the most exciting and lucrative World Championship series in the history of the sport,” said Tony Cochrane, president of SX Global in a release. “We have created an entirely new model for supercross – one that emphasizes expanded financial support and opportunities for riders and teams, expanded opportunities for sponsorship and an elevated experience for fans.”
Australian-based, Cochran previously oversaw the expansion of the V8 Supercars series internationally with events in Shanghai, the United States, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and New Zealand.
Included in the financial incentives for teams will be appearances fees for each event as well as logistical and freight support to travel internationally.
The Supercross World Championship Series will replicate the two-class system with 450 and 250 divisions. Each of the 10 franchised teams will field two riders in each class. Another two wild card entries will allow for local teams to join the race and round out a 22-rider field.
Riders will compete for a purse of $250,000 for each event.
While the majority of Monster Energy Supercross riders are Americans, the World Championship Series believes there is expanded potential internationally because it has been underserved by the sport.
Additionally, the sport already has international appeal among riders. Last year’s second-place finisher in the American 450 points’ championship, Ken Roczen is native of Germany. The 2021 Motocross champion, Dylan Ferrandis, hails from France.
FIM also sanctions an outdoor series, the Motocross World Championship (MXGP) with races in 20 countries that runs from February through September. MXGP is currently in its 66th season.
“Over the years, there have been various attempts to build a true World Championship series for supercross, but none of them have succeeded, due to deficiencies in funding and resource, lack of global and regional relationships and a variety of other factors,” said Adam Bailey, managing director, Motorsport, for SX Global. “Our team possess the necessary supercross and international event background, relationships and expertise, and the funding to make this World Championship a reality.”