The championship points format has been the same for Monster Energy Supercross has been the same since the sports conception in the mid 1970’s. 25 points for a win, 22 for second, 21 third, and so on. While the action on the track has always been exciting (for the most part), the season ending points battles are often times leaving us fans snoozing. Last year Ryan Dungey had the championship wrapped up two full races before the end of the season. Something needs to change. We have seen the introduction of a Chase format in other forms of racing. Most notably being NASCAR, who has moved to a Chase format for all three of their major racing series.
What is a Chase format? Well in NASCAR the chase is the Playoffs. When the series gets to the last ten races, the top 16 racers are moved into the chase for the championship. Meaning there points are reset with ten races to go. They are tied. The goal is to prevent a driver from running away with a championship and also prevent them from wrapping up a championship with multiple races left on the Schedule. Under the current system the NASCAR Championship is settled at the last race.
Supercross has had the same points structure for more years than I have been alive. There is no doubt that the chase format brings more excitement for the fans. That is why we have seen the top racing series in the U.S move to it. In my opinion Supercross needs to make the move as well. Supercross often times sees only three or four winners throughout the entire season. In a sport where there is so much domination, I believe that a reset like the Chase would benefit both fans, sponsors, and the riders.
Saturday night featured the first… or last (depending on how you look at it) Monster Energy AMA Supercross. This unique event once again did not disappoint as we saw nonstop on track action. So… what can us fans take from this race into next year? Well, HRC Honda’s Ken Roczen proved that he will not need much time to get used to his new bike and team, as he went victorious in two of the three main events of the evening. Roczen would have swept the three main events except for a costly mistake made in the second race sending him in a spectacular over the bars endo. He would walk away and win the next race.
Red bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey and Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac learned that they have work to do to keep up with Roczen in the upcoming Supercross season, finishing 2nd and 3rd overall respectively. Although Eli Tomac would capitalize off of the mistake made by Roczen in the second moto, passing the downed rider to take the victory. Ryan Dungey would have a night that we have come to expect from him. Consistent podium finishes in all three motos and making minimal mistakes remains Dungeys game plan going forward into the upcoming season.Personally, I thought the racing would have been a bit closer this weekend. Roczen hasn’t been riding his new Honda very long, and I thought that the Dungey and Tomac were going to have more for the HRC rider. The Monster Energy Cup gives us a great preview of the upcoming season, and what it may offer up to us fans. Of course we were missing a few riders such as James Stewart, Trey Canard, and several others. If we learned anything from the weekend it would be that HRC Honda rider Ken Roczen is bringing this momentum from his summer championship into the Supercross season. It looks like the other riders are going to have to utilize every single day of practice before the first gate drop of the Supercross season in January in order to keep pace with Roczen.