World Supercross (WSX) has announced the format of their races, with a focus on putting as many riders as possible on the track while fans are in the stands.
“We really sat down with a blank sheet of paper, which is what is exciting about this project, and were able to brainstorm what are the things we would do as supercross fans to improve the sport,” said Adam Baily, Managing Director SX Global. “How do we take it to the next level and how do we elevate it. What does the future of supercross look like?”
Highlighting the list of what they wanted to see was more racing during the evening and tighter races.
Practice and the first qualification sessions will happen throughout the day. But as the evening rolls around, when the fans begin to arrive, the riders will do their timed practices and another qualification session in the afternoon.
As the program advances in the SX2 division, (250s), a pair heat races of five laps each will determine a rider’s starting gate selection for the Main event. The heat winner with the lowest elapsed time will get preference in gate selection.
For the 450s, two heats of six laps, with 11 riders in each race, will seed the riders into another superpole race, somewhat akin to the dash races run in dirt sprint cars. The first five finishers from each heat will qualify for the superpole dash. This is a one-lap sprint to set the fastest time with the finishing order determining gate selection for three main events.
The races will feature a field of 22 riders, including 10 two-man franchise teams and a pair of wild card riders. The 250 division will have two six-lap heats and a longer 10-lap main to close their night. There will be five minutes between each race.
The 450s will have a pair of eight-lap races and a 12-lapper to close the night. In both divisions, points will be totaled from all three races to determine the winner. The length of the races was decided to keep competition tight.
“For the fans, they get to see the best riders in the world racing for so much more in the night than they do in traditional supercross races,” Baily said. “It’s much closer racing. There’s not an opportunity for runaway winners because the races are so much shorter and compact. More gate drops mean the chance for closer racing is much greater.”