Big news regarding the first-ever Monster Energy SMX Supermotocross Riders Cup was announced at the 2016 MXGP Of Switzerland on Saturday, as KTM and Husqvarna declared their riders for the event in October. If you’re not sure what the SMX is, let’s sum it up quickly with this from the MXGP website:
– Each manufacturer, KTM, Honda, Husqvarna, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and TM, will have a team of four riders. Three main riders and one ‘Joker’. The Joker can replace any rider on the team at any time.
– Also 3 wild card riders will be attending. They will not take part in the Superpole session, so they will go to the line at the position 8/16/24. They will not compete for the Manufacturers Prize, but only for the overall Prize.
– The riders can ride any bike they want between 245cc to 450cc, regardless of their age. It also doesn’t matter if the engine is 4-stroke or 2-stroke.
– Each team will have ONE team captain, and that rider will race the ‘Superpole’.
– The Superpole is a 2-Lap sprint. Only 7 riders enter, 1 from each brand.
– The team whose rider is the fastest in the Superpole will have the 1/9/17 gate pick, the second one will have 2/10/18, and so on.
– Three main races will be raced. There will be three riders per team. The team with the lowest score at the end of the event will win.
So basically, it’s somewhat like the Motocross of Nations but by motorcycle brand instead of nationality. At first, interest in the event from the brands seemed a bit hesitant as it added another date to their already packed seasons. But in recent weeks, Youthstream and the OEMs have shown a unified approach at the new format. Team Honda HRC recently announced their lineup, which is to filled with their MXGP roster of Evgeny Bobryshev, Gautier Paulin, and Tim Gajser.
Just after the qualifying motos in Switzerland Youthstream boss Giuseppe Luongo, FIM Motocross Commission Director Tony Skillington, and KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer announced the teams for Husqvarna and KTM. Many expected their lineups to feature MXGP riders, but the surprise came with the inclusion of US-based riders. KTM’s team will be made of up Ryan Dungey, Marvin Musquin, and Jeffrey Herlings, while Husqvarna will have Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, and Max Nagl. The full video conference was streamed on Facebook Live and can be watched below…