Courtesy MX Sports
MX Sports, now in charge of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF, announced today the 2009 U.S. championship racing schedule.
The AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, which began in 1972, will commence on Memorial Day Weekend with the Glen Helen National event in San Bernardino CA on May 23, 2009. The 12-round championship schedule will run throughout the summer, culminating with the Steel City National near Pittsburgh PA. on September 5, as part of the Labor Day weekend holiday.
The most significant change to the 2009 schedule is the move to Saturday afternoon races. After introducing the format this past summer at the Thunder Valley and Steel City events, the overwhelmingly positive response prompted MX Sports to make the transition to Saturday events. In addition, the race schedule will change to single-day competitions. Four weekends of rest are also built into the schedule in order to give riders and teams the opportunity to maximize their performance. Also, in order to help offset travel expenses, MX Sports has rearranged the events for a more cohesive and efficient travel schedule.
- May 23 – Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino CA
- May 30 – Hangtown Motocross Classic, Sacramento CA
- June 6 – Freestone Raceway, Wortham TX
- June 20 – High Point Raceway, Mt. Morris PA
- June 27 – Thunder Valley Motocross, Lakewood CO
- July 4 – Red Bud, Buchanan MI
- July 18 – Spring Creek Motocross, Millville MN
- July 25 – Washougal MX Park, Washougal WA
- August 15 – Unadilla, New Berlin NY
- August 22 – Budds Creek, Budds Creek MD
- August 29 – Motocross 338, Southwick MA
- September 5 – Steel City Raceway, Delmont PA
You can watch the video here of the entire press conference, where other information was provided as well, such as name changes to the classes (now called 250 and 450 class), the races will be run on Saturday’s all season, and more.
In conjunction with the announcement of the 2009 schedule and the move to Saturday races and a single-day program, MX Sports is please to confirm the following additional changes:
The first major announcement is that a minimum of three rounds of the series will be broadcast live on Speed TV. The rounds that are not aired live will be same-day coverage, with the races being shown at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights (7 p.m. on the west coast), while the 250cc class will be shown on the following Tuesdays. In addition, the first set of motos will be broadcast live and free on the internet. The Women’s Motocross Association, which will expand to eight rounds, will also receive Speed TV and live internet coverage.
Each of the two professional classes will receive a new name, with the goal to better identify the classes to the fans. The classes will be renamed from Lites to simply 250, while the Motocross class will be renamed the 450 class. This name format, a return to the traditions of the sport, allows for easier recognition for the fans while clearly identifying the size of the motorcycle.
Race day format
The format on race day will also see a change as the premier class of 450cc bikes will be the first on track for both motos at each event, followed by the 250cc class. The 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championships will incorporate the traditional two-moto format; 30 minutes plus two laps.
#1 Plate required
Previous year champions for each class will be required to run the #1 plate if they are defending their championship.
Open rear number plates
The rear number plates on each side of the motorcycle will be no longer be required to display a colored background with the riders number. Riders and teams may use this space to showcase sponsor logos and their names, while maintaining the traditional numbering system on the front. With the advance of transponders and digital scoring, MX Sports is giving this space over to the riders and teams.
In the crucial areas of event operations, MX Sports is pleased to announce that former AMA Motocross Series Manager Jeff Canfield and AMA Motocross Timing and Scoring Director Conrad Young have joined the MX Sports staff in order to assure that the series runs seamlessly from an operational standpoint. Their professional knowledge and experience will assure that the races operate smoothly.
“Everyone at MX Sports has been working extremely hard in order to assure that the 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship is positioned properly and has the deepest media reach it has ever had” said Davey Coombs, Vice President of MX Sports. “We will continue our work on the tracks and the show, which remain what they are–the world’s premier motocross series.”