2019 AMA PROFESSIONAL RIDER NUMBERS
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With the start of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series just days away, we decided to go through the recently-released FIM-AMA rulebook to see if anything has changed. Turns out there are quite a few key changes that will be implemented through the 250 and 450 classes, with some of the major concerns riders and teams brought up last year being addressed. Some of the most notable amendments are directed at the Triple Crown races, a format that will be used at select rounds for the second time in the history of the sport. Read on for regulations…

RIDING APPAREL

The AMA and FIM updated the jargon regarding materials used in pants and jerseys. The prior rules stated that the gear must be “durable” and “protect the rider” but that has now been changed to “consistent with industry standards.” This is likely done to reflect the move by every apparel brand in motocross to lightweight, stretchable fabrics that are not as resistant to rips as the thicker, less flexible materials.

Remember the gold lettering on the THOR MX gear worn by Marvin Musquin and other riders at the 2018 Anaheim One Supercross? The print used was not exactly up to the rulebook and it caused some controversy among the gear brands in the industry. Seeing how all scoring is now done through electronic transponders, the rule book now allows the shiny mylar to be used “as long as the outlining requirements are met of being in contrast to the jersey color as well as the number color.” However, the print and pattern are still up to the final discretion of the race directors.

MOTORCYCLE USAGE AT TRIPLE CROWN EVENTS

The tight timetable of the Triple Crown event formats drew instant criticism from team personnel in 2018, as they felt there was not enough time between races to repair damage to a motorcycle. The AMA-FIM took a cue from the MXGP scene and at the three Triple Crown rounds will now let teams take two fully built motorcycles through tech inspections and sound testing, which will allow a spare motorcycle to be run in case the original bike is too damaged to continue. 

We would be surprised if many teams take advantage of this rule, as the cost of building two identical bikes will be high. Also, very few teams took advantage of this same rule when they competed at American rounds of the MXGP series in the past.

The two bike rule will only apply at Triple Crown events.

TRIPLE CROWN RACE DURATIONS

During the maiden year of the Triple Crown format in 2018, the duration of each race increased as the night went on. For the 250 class in 2018, Race One was eight minutes plus one lap, Race Two was ten minutes plus one lap, and Race Three was twelve minutes plus one lap. For the 450 class in 2018, ace One was ten minutes plus one lap, Race Two was twelve minutes plus one lap, and Race Three was fifteen minutes plus one lap. Riders were not fans of the very rushed pace in Race One, so as a result, all three races will be the same duration in 2019.

For the 250 class in 2019, all three races in an event will be ten minutes plus one lap. For the 450 class in 2019, all three races in an event will be twelve minutes plus one lap.

OFF-TRACK EXCURSIONS

Although the lanes of a Supercross track are wide, there are still high odds that a rider can go off of the track and have to spend some amount of time riding outside the designated course. The most notable instance of this occurring in 2018 was at the 2018 Minneapolis Supercross, when a mistake forced Jason Anderson out of the lane and he rode beside a long rhythm lane before rejoining the track quite a distance from where he exited. Although Anderson did not gain a position, he was docked spots in the final results by the race officials for not returning to the course where he exited. Anderson’s reaction to this was understandable frustration, but it looks like it has led to a rule change.

Starting in 2019, “a rider leaving the course may continue the race by properly re-entering the track at the closest safe point to where the rider left the course without gaining an advantage.”

However, they cannot speed down the side of the track without repercussion. The rule now reads: “While off course, the rider may not accelerate in an unsafe manner as deemed by Race Direction.”

“The penalty for gaining an advantage while off course during a race will be the loss of number of positions gained plus one additional position in the final results for that race. If no positions were gained, the minimum penalty will be the loss of one position in the final results for that race based on the severity of advantage gained as deemed by Race Direction.”

QUALIFICATION, PRE-RACE STAGING & POST-RACE PODIUM

Regardless of the number of riders entered in the 450 class, a rider must complete at least one lap of qualifying practice in order to line up for the night’s Heat Races. 

Ever feel the urge to urinate before the start of a moto? So does every racer. For years the joke was to release some pressure in the starter’s doghouse or in a hidden corner of the stadium, but the promoters have added a number of facilities to curb the issue. If one is caught “relieving themselves anywhere other than in a fixed or portable restroom will be fined a minimum of $1,000.”

When the Main Event for the 250 and 450 class is over, the post-race procedures will now extend to riders past the podium finishers. It is now mandatory for the top-five finishers in the feature racers to remain near the podium in case they are to be included in the celebrations and interviews. Failure to do so will result in a $1000 fine. Repeat offenders will be penalized at the discretion of Race Direction

You can view the bulletin of amendments below and visit amasupercross.com to see the full 2019 competition rulebook.

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