News 26 Jun 2020

Ongoing tighter Supercross schedule of interest to riders

Wednesday rounds prove popular following unique 2020 completion.

Image: Octopi Media.

Mid-week events and a more compact Monster Energy Supercross schedule in future could be in favor, some of the sport’s elite have expressed following the unprecedented Salt Lake City excursion.

The final seven races of the 2020 season were held within a three-week window at Rice-Eccles Stadium and it proved a popular experiment for many within the series.

Team Honda HRC’s Justin Brayton would welcome Wednesday gate-drops during the regular season if a solution can be met, which could become more complex once spectators are able to attend again and additional locations are added.

“I like it, think it’s awesome,” said Brayton. “Who would have ever thought that Monday Night Football would have the biggest ratings ever? You know, most people on a Monday night wouldn’t think about doing much, so they’ve got their TV turned on.

“A Wednesday night Supercross would be an awesome thing, great for TV and all of us – there’s not much going on on a Wednesday night. The struggle would be trying to find two stadiums close by where they could sell some tickets and flights being fairly short or drivers and teams getting there.

“Logistically, I think it’s doable, but it might be a little bit difficult. It would be great to give us a little more time off, kinda bunching together three, four or five in a row and then give us a couple of weeks or a month off.

“Mentally, it gets old week after week, after week and travel gets pretty demanding. I’d love it, I’m up for any of that and am up for anything different at this point. I think we’ll all learn from what we’ve had to do with this Salt Lake stuff.”

Like Brayton, Rocky Mountain KTM WPS rider Blake Baggett said the benefits would be additional weekends off during the season, which traditionally has minimal downtime with the commanding Saturday night fixture.

“I think it would be sweet if they did maybe two rounds in a week and then you got two weeks off, or, did three to four rounds and then a month off… something like that, so you did two weeks and then four weeks off,” Baggett commented. “I think definitely, people would probably be game for that.

“That way, if you do have an injury, the guys that get hurt, it does give them a chance to come back. The class would get thin if you immediately started at Anaheim and went Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday… by the time you got to round 10 I think it’d be pretty thin just because of how gnarly our sport is.

“If they did it like that in little, short bursts, it might bring a different fanbase and bring more attention to it because it would be quicker. You never know, I think we need to do whatever’s going to grow the sport and make it bigger, maybe even do some more races overseas where it could work also.”

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger agreed that there are positives in a tighter schedule, as most riders reduced their practice time and were able to concentrate on the consecutive races that took place each Wednesday and Sunday during the past month.

“I like the Wednesday to Sunday better I like the Sunday to Wednesday, because we get an extra day and that’s nice to have,” Plessinger said. “It’s definitely interesting. I thought it would be more of a load on me, but I’ve been feeling pretty good. I like it.”