With the 2017 AMA Supercross season on the line and ready to race, here is a preview to summarize what you have to look forward to for the Supercross year.
The 2017 Supercross season is set to commence with the most complete lineup of super stars in recent memory. With just one past champion not racing due to an injury (Justin Barcia), the starting gate for the 450SX class will be absolutely packed with former race winners and title holders.
Adding to the many unpredictable factors that surround the first race of the season is a format change in how the races are run. Main events will now be time based (450SX is 20mins +1 lap, 15 +1 for 250SX) rather than the traditional lap counting that was done in the past. The season will also see the return to a few venues such as Seattle, Wash. and Salt Lake City, Utah. Already, 2017 AMA Supercross promises to be one for the ages.
Coming into the season with the number one plate is reigning Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey. After an injury, Dungey was forced to sit out for the summer racing season, but is well-rested and healthy coming into Anaheim tomorrow night. As a consistent threat for the win, and certainly for the title, The Dunge is a safe bet for a podium finish.
Just behind him in race wins, but without an AMA Supercross 450SX title, is Honda's latest recruit Ken Roczen. The German stunned everyone in October at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas after decimating the field in his debut performance on the red bike. Roczen had potential to take home the Monster Million for only the second time in the race's history, until a crash left him with a broken bike. This year, Kenny is out for nothing less than race wins and the championship, so he and former teammate Dungey are expected to be the heart of the fireworks in this year's series.
Another challenger for race wins, but yet to prove his consistency in the 450SX class is Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac. The number three pilot managed to walk away as the overall winner at the Monster Energy Cup a couple of months ago, which should help his confidence heading into 2017. Still, Tomac has yet to prove his dominance in the premier class that many had expected him to have. But this year Eli is more prepared and healthy than ever before, and will be fighting for the podium every weekend.
There is a host of other riders looking to make their mark as front-runners in the 450SX class and the list begins with Jason Anderson. Last year he showed the world that he has the speed to run with anyone winning a race at the Motocross of Nations and of course the 2016 Anaheim Supercross season opener. Roczen's teammate Cole Seely is another winner and word on the street he's been as fast as the 94 in pre-season team practice sessions. Speaking of fast teammates, Dungey's got one in the form Frenchman Marvin Musquin. Coming off a perfect string of victories in off-season European supercross style races and a win at Red Bull Straight Rhythm in October, Musquin is definitely a sleeper for the 450SX title and his experience as a 2x FIM World Champion shows that. Last but not least is 450SX class freshman and 2-time 250SX champ Cooper Webb. He'll be making his debut as the teammate of multi-time champ Chad Reed on the newly rejuvenated factory Yamaha team and should prove to be a front-runner right from the get-go. But in a field as crowded with champs as this one, he has his work cut out for him.
The next level of riders includes Blake Baggett, Justin Bogle, Justin Brayton, Josh Grant, Jake Weimer, Davi Millsaps, Trey Canard, Dean Wilson and a few others that all have the potential to mix things up for the vanguard group.
But the 250SX always provides some of the most exciting racing and this season is expected to be no different with riders such as Austin Forkner and Jeremy Martin facing-off for the West Coast title. With them is Forkner's teammate Joey Savatgy who lead the 2016 West Coast 250 titles points for a while. Add in Christian Craig, Aaron Plessinger and several others who combine both ultra-modern riding styles with a few seasons of AMA Supercross experience and the West Coast 250 class looks to be as exciting as the 450 class.
With such a solid line-up in both classes, 2017 may be the best season ever for AMA Supercross fans. Don't miss TV coverage on both Fox Sports 1 and the regular Fox network:
This AMASupercross.com web page will provide Live Timing & Scoring as well as entry lists, schedules and complete results for every round. Our AMA Supercross Championship Facebook page will be updated throughout race weekends with photos of all of the action, not to mention our other social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter.
So in other words, it's a good time to be an AMA Supercross fan. See you at the races!