Supercross and Pro Motocross are unifying for the first time.
Feld Motor Sports and MX Sports Pro Racing, promoters of the two series, announced a partnership Tuesday to create continuity across the sport, add a season-ending playoff beginning in 2023 and offer the richest purse in motocross history.
"Motocross is 50 years old this year and Supercross turns 50 in 2024," said Dave Prater, VP of Supercross at Feld Motor Sports. "We share the same race teams and athletes and now, we are finally coming together. I believe we will be exponentially better than we were as two separate championships."
Supercross racing takes place on shorter, manmade tracks inside stadiums, while motocross races are held on longer, outdoor tracks. Following the 17-race Supercross and 11-race Pro Motocross seasons, top riders across both disciplines will compete in a first-of-its-kind playoff to crown an inaugural SuperMotocross World Champion in the sport's newest discipline. Riders will compete for a $10 million purse, the largest in the sport's history.
"We will still have a Supercross champion. We'll still have a Motocross champion. But we'll have a unified rule book, a unified calendar, best practices and policies. We'll have continuity," said Davey Coombs, president of MX Sports Pro Racing, which manages the Pro Motocross Championship. "Supercross is great at taking our sport downtown where we get noticed. Outdoor motocross is great at raising the grassroots of our sport. To bring that together lifts us all."
Following the Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons, the top 22 athletes in combined points in both the 250cc and 450cc classes will qualify to compete in a three-round SuperMotocross playoff on tracks designed to integrate elements from both styles of racing.
"There is an age-old debate about who is the best rider in the world: the Supercross champion or the Motocross champion," Prater said. "We are going to raise the stakes and bring both disciplines together on hybrid tracks and answer that question.
"Our sport has never had a playoff system or a true Super Bowl. That is what I am most excited about, the post-season and finishing on a high note every year."
The locations of the first two playoff races have yet to be announced, but the World Championship will take place Oct. 14, 2023, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the original home of Supercross.
Fifty years ago, on July 8, 1972, a one-off event dubbed the Super Bowl of Motocross drew more than 29,000 people to the L.A. Coliseum and set the stage for the sport's evolution into Supercross in 1974. The inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship will mark the sport's first race at the Coliseum in 25 years.
"The L.A. Coliseum means to our sport what the Rose Bowl does to college football and Wrigley Field does to baseball," Coombs said. "It's meant so much to our past, to incorporate it into our future is really special."