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The inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship is now in the rear-view mirror. I’d like to think that Jettson is still celebrating with his crew after what can only be considered one of the greatest transitions to the premier class the sport has ever seen.
Last November, Feld Entertainment and MX Sports officially started working together towards creating a cohesive championship that bring the worlds of motocross and supercross together as one. The AMA Supercross and Motocross championships would be kept independent as stand-alone championships as they have for a half century but would now serve as the ultimate proving ground for the three round SMX Playoffs. Three weeks ago, the stage was set. Now, the dust has cleared. I couldn’t break this thing down all on my own, so I dialed some friends to get their thoughts on the SMX Finals.
Overall, was the SMX playoffs a success in your eyes?
This has to be a resounding yes. Riders earned a ton of money and race fans were treated to three unique races with unique racetracks. A drag strip, a speedway and the gosh damn LA Coliseum combined to host what turned out to be entertaining tip to tail.
Zach Osborne said: “I think it was a huge success. I was having this discussion in a group chat with some friends earlier and one of them was questioning the points scenario a little bit, but I liked that it made for a winner-take-all scenario and also still gave some power to how they did during the regular season with the handicaps.”
I couldn’t agree more with Zach. I think there was fair skepticism on the format with the points, but everything worked out awesome.
When I asked motocross historian Tony Blazier his thoughts, he had this to say. “Personally, I thought they were a great success. They got basically everyone who was not hurt to participate, the tracks offered an interesting combination of the two disciplines, the racing was exciting overall, and it went down to the final motors in both classes.”
In the end, we had two championships that came down the final moto. In other words: awesome.
What did you like about it the most?
Bottom line, we got more racing and more not just extra rounds but three extra meaningful races. “I loved having some bonus races that meant something. I loved the US Open and Monster Cup but both races never felt as pressure packed as the three playoff rounds.” said Blazier.
Three rounds which all looked and raced different from each other. These races kept racers on their toe at every venue as they searched for a comfortable setup.
“I liked the tracks the most. I thought the racing was great and the tracks allowed that in my opinion. Charlotte was probably my favorite with the most successful split lane I’ve ever seen and a good rhythm lane with some different but fast options,” said Zach Osborne.
Mark Taylor clearly agreed when he said. “The blended track layouts were my favourite but a close second for me was the escalating playoff points.”
Leave your favourite in the comments below.
In 10 years from now, how will we look back on this inaugural year of SMX Playoffs?
Obviously, this is tough to answer mainly because I lost the keys to my time machine which basically makes this part of the article impossible. The answer is that time will tell but that’s a total cop out as far as making any type of educated prediction. In 10 years, I believe SMX gains more popularity in a huge way, the number of rounds of SMX increases and the SMX Championship will be recognized as that ultimate champion in any given year in the 250 and 450 classes respectively.
“While still digesting this new format it isn’t easy to think forward to the next Gen of where SMX is going but here goes. If we’re really going to call this a World Championship. We need some Pro Motocross crossover with MXGP and some SMX crossover with WSX. Ten years down the road, right? That to me that is the next frontier in the fan experience. Since we are so America centric, think of it as merging MXDN with SMX. A year long series that in the end gives us the true world’s best.” Mark Taylor weighing in on how these series might very well decide who is the undisputed champions in the future.
Zach Osborne had this to say: “I think in 10 years we look back and realize it sparked a change in our sport for the better. Hopefully by then the purse has grown exponentially and things have progressed in some way. The only way-out sport loses from any of this is if we don’t learn at least a little bit about track design and how that can play into good racing moving forward.”
While watching these rounds, I couldn’t help but agree with Zacho in that these races are likely the future for the sport as a whole. New venues, new obstacles, and a new world order of motocross.
Friend of Vurbmoto Frank Mann disagrees. “I don’t see this making it very long. Our sport is too small, viewer wise, and it’s hard to keep finding funding for this big of purses. Plus, the race season is entirely too long for these guys, at this level, to go this hard, they need a break. Take that money and sprinkle it into featured events and move the series races to these different venues. We don’t need a third race season. SX is for winter. Outdoors is summer.”
At the end of the way, we got to see more racing and the Triumph stuff was gold.
What was your take on SMX?
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.