It’s not Mike Trout. And it’s not Shohei Ohtani.
Nope. The most exciting show in town is Monster Energy Supercross and it returns to Anaheim tonight after a one-year Covid break. The 2022 schedule is back to the way it should be: 17 weekends, 15 cities with three stops in the southern Californian city. It just wasn’t the same last year with A1 (Anaheim 1).
All the riders, teams and the fans look forward to A1. It’s the first chance to get a look at new guys on new bikes, new brands and new support staffs. Guys that have been on Kawasaki their whole career have gone to Yamaha. How will they look in blue instead of green? A life-long Yamaha backed rider has scrapped the blue in favor for the orange of factory KTM. How will he do? More questions than answers going into the season and the only way to answer them is to line up 22 guys and race.
And you have the usual characters just like any sport. There’s the defending champ looking to repeat, the challenger trying to dethrone the top guy, the guys on the cusp of breaking through, the old heads looking to round out their career with a title and the young cats looking to turn talent and potential into results.
I know it’s a niche sport, but it’s fucking awesome and I wish more people and bigger sponsors were on board. A lot of people think that it’s a bunch of long-haired, tattooed goons that smoke a bunch of weed and chug energy drinks. Not that case. These dudes are athletes to the nth degree and this is their livelihood. Nobody is lining up on Saturday and going to their accounting job on Monday. Their machines are finely tuned rocket ships put together more so by engineers than mechanics.
Here’s how it goes, in laymans terms. Two classes: 250s and 450s. These numbers measure the cubic centimeters of displacement in the engines or how much space the piston covers. The 250s, or the ‘lites’, have 250cc of badass displacement, while the premier 450s have almost double badassery. In layman, two classes, different engine sizes.
All the guys you see tonight will have previously qualified earlier in the day. Just like NASCAR or F1, qualifying is based on a one-lap time trial. The top 40 from both classes stick around for the televised night program. Fastest lap will have the first gate selection, second fastest chooses second, and so on.
In the night program, both classes are broken up into two heat races, 20 racers apiece. The top nine from each heat race qualify for the Main Event. Everybody else goes to the last chance qualifier, or the LCQ. The top four from the LCQ make up the last four in the 22 rider Main Event. The 22 qualifiers will battle it out for 20 minutes plus one lap for the 450s and 15 minutes plus one lap for the 250s.
Points are awarded for Main Event performance only. The rider with the most points at the end of the 17-event season takes the crown and a healthy paycheck to boot.
- Ken Roczen – Honda
- Eli Tomac – Yamaha
- Cooper Webb – KTM
- Chase Sexton – Honda
- Adam Cianciarulo – Kawasaki
- Dylan Ferrandis – Yamaha
- Aaron Plessinger – KTM
- Malcolm Stewart – Husqvarna
- Justin Barcia – GasGas
- Jason Anderson – Kawasaki
I’m excited. Revs up, gates down!
*Disclaimer: This blog is a shameless attempt to be hired as Barstool’s Action Sports Blogger.