AMA Motocross Championship Update – 2010 MX Season
This is courtesy MXSports, and about their series.
As the 2010 “Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship” reaches the halfway point of the summer, MXSports Pro Racing is pleased to provide our stakeholders with an update on what has become the world’s most prestigious and competitive motocross championship.
The 2010 tour marks the second year that the series has been under the management of MXSports Pro Racing and the second year for many historical improvements, including Saturday races, live television broadcasts, live internet streaming, and more.
All of these changes have been in conjunction with our commercial partners at AlliSports. By all accounts, these moves and many other smaller ones have succeeded in growing the series’ reach. Virtually every single numerical category of measure is up, from event attendance to online viewership, television ratings, rider participation, ticket sales (both VIP and GA), and more.
Through six rounds of competition, seven different riders have stood atop the overall podium across the 450 and 250 classes: Rockstar Energy/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey (five wins in the 450 Class), Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel (two wins in the 250 Class), Pourcel’s teammates Tyla Rattray and Dean Wilson (one win apiece in the 250 Class), GEICO Powersports Honda’s Eli Tomac and Trey Canard (each with one 250 Class win), and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed (one 450 Class win).
At 20 years of age, Ryan Dungey is looking to become the first rider in AMA Pro Racing history to win both the AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross titles as a rookie. With a 64-point advantage halfway through the 2010 season, he is in prime position to do so.
At 21 years of age, Christophe Pourcel, the 2007 MX2 World Motocross title holder, appears poised to become an AMA Motocross Champion, holding a comfortable 33-point lead over the field.
While those riders the way in their respective divisions, a crop of hungry up-and-comers have made their presence felt in the 250 Class. Serving as the proving ground for all new motocross professionals to make their mark, the 250 Class is proving to be as competitive as it was meant to be, boasting five different overall winners (and six different moto winners) through the first six rounds. While Pourcel and teammate Tyla Rattray (24) serve as two of the senior members of the class based on age, fellow rookie race winners Eli Tomac (17) and Dean Wilson (18) carry the torch for the opposite end of the spectrum and are a sign of the bright future of the sport.
The WMX Class delivers as well, and we have a fierce rivalry between Ashley Fiolek and Jessica Patterson brewing. The DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha-backed Patterson got off to a strong start, winning three in a row, but Honda Red Bull Racing’s Fiolek is coming off her first win of the season at RedBud and should be ready to go for the second half of the season.
Additionally, the success of the new generation of riders has created more mass appeal for American motocross, generating new avenues for sponsorship and mainstream exposure, as well as a much broader and younger fan base.
Several new world-class sponsors and partners-including Rockstar Energy Drink, Rocky Mountain MC, GoPro, and Jakks Pacific-are a welcome addition to our existing long-term partnerships, selling and marketing products globally.
This season has also boasted a new look for the series. Listening to feedback from fans and working closely with sponsors, MXSports Pro Racing was able to readjust the onsite signage, opening up the tracks for better spectator viewing and television broadcasts, which now look sharper than ever.
The growth the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship has seen in just one season can be directly attributed to the rise of the young riders and the new era of the sport, and that’s evident in the numbers.
Series Statistics – Television: The 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is again being broadcast both nationwide and internationally via NBC Sports, SPEED, ESPN Brazil, Rush HD, Fuel TV, and more. Live broadcasts are a staple of the television package, and fans worldwide have the opportunity to view the entire race in real time from the comfort of their own homes.
American motocross is truly an international sport, and with so many great competitors and athletes from around the globe, fans from those same locations can enjoy watching on Saturdays.
Internationally, our series has reached an astounding 450 million homes across 80 countries and on 4 continents!
Our combined domestic U.S. television viewership is strong as well:
High Point: 753,000
Budds Creek: 361,000
Thunder Valley: 367,000
Total U.S. television viewers to date: 3,057,000
MXSports Pro Racing and AlliSports will continue to focus and develop the content distribution to the global platform and we expect to be able to continue the momentum throughout the 2010 season and into 2011.
Series Statistics –
Despite the tough economy, our onsite live attendance has been up at every event over 2009. Fans have enjoyed increased VIP viewing platforms and better sight lines throughout the tracks. For 2010, as an added attraction for our fans, many tracks now allow open pits. Open pits allows our fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite riders and teams and to see the spectacular and colorful spectacle that is the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
2010 Attendance to date:
High Point: 18,600
Budds Creek: 18,740
Thunder Valley: 18,350
In addition, the amateur racing programs, which take place both before and after the Saturday races, have seen significant jumps in attendance. Thus far, more than 3,500 family-oriented amateur riders have competed on the same weekend and on the same tracks as the top pro riders. Most of these participants will camp and spend the entire weekend at the track, while bringing various friends and family along as well.
Series Statistics –
Internet: One of our biggest draws for non-attending fans is our live and free showing of the first motos on AlliSports. These viewership numbers show that AMA Motocross has a dedicated worldwide fan base that tunes in each Saturday. Motocross on AlliSports to date represents over 238,000 total streams and an average of 40,000 visits to the site each race day in order to view the live stream. Site traffic is up substantially as well, with users spending nearly 34 minutes on the site per visit.
MXSports Pro Racing, in conjunction with RacerX Illustrated and AlliSports, also produces a series of weekly recap videos, which are designed to summarize the action and keep fans updated on the major happenings at each event. Hosted by Jason Weigandt and produced by RacerX’s Matt Francis, these videos have proven to be very popular.
Also, the online viewership numbers do not reflect the series-related video content being produced by other media partners like TransworldMotocross, Vurb Moto, Vital MX, Cycle News, RacerX, and more.
In an effort to keep in touch with the younger fan base and the new trends of communication, our series social media initiatives (primarily on Twitter and Facebook) are deep, with more than 106,000 followers.
Fans have also noticed that our partners at AlliSports have successfully launched AlliSports version 2.0, which includes a new e-commerce platform and revamped pages. The home website for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship features a new video player and an engaging Facebook chat application.
Additionally, the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship continues to gain national notoriety and recognition within the pages of the country’s most renowned newspapers. The world’s most prestigious motocross championship is a regular sight within the pages of the USA Today, including some incredibly written feature articles by Nate Ryan and James Sullivan. The Associated Press has also given the series considerable press by composing some feature articles of its own in addition to weekly race recaps that are posted on the wire and picked up by newspapers throughout the U.S.
Regardless of technology and our own development work, the series would not exist without our superstar riders.
“This year has been awesome all around,” said Ryan Dungey, the reigning AMA Supercross Champion who was recently nominated for an ESPY award by ESPN. “It’s good to see our sport is doing so well and continues to bring in new fans and new riders. MXSports has done a great job in making this series a world-class championship.
“The move up into the 450 Class has been an incredible experience to race guys like Chad Reed, Andrew Short, and Ben Townley and more,” added the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider. “I’m learning why they’re the best in the world, and they’re definitely making me put in the work during the week in preparation for the races. Also, the tracks have been extremely rough and challenging, with multiple lines, and have made strategy a major part of each moto. That makes for great racing for the fans who have blown me away this season with their support and enthusiasm for what we do.”
“Even with the ups and down and the disappointment I’ve faced, it’s still been really enjoyable,” 450 champ Reed said of his motocross season to date. “It’s been awesome being out there. Once upon a time I used to dread going to race outdoor motocross, but now it’s totally different. I love the new format. We come in on Friday, we’re racing on Saturdays, home on Sunday. We get in and get the job done. I’m loving it out there.”
“So far the AMA Motocross Nationals have been really good for me,” said Christophe Pourcel, current leader in the 250 class and the only two-race winner to date in this highly competitive division. “The tracks are well-prepared and the fans are really excited to see the race. The second half of the season should be interesting, too, with some of my favorite tracks like Unadilla still to come.”
Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Ben Townley almost won the first 450 moto at RedBud and had this to say about the series to date: “I’ve really enjoyed the start to the outdoors. Obviously, for me, I was excited to be back racing anyway (following a long absence due to injury), but I was curious to see the new structure of the series and how it had all fallen into place since I had been away. The profile of the series has definitely been lifted a lot-from track presentation to TV and internet coverage, it has made huge gains. The TV package alone is huge for motocross, and I am stoked to see it on major channels here in America. Track presentation has also grown. I think that it’s so important for the fans on the day and also for the TV coverage. The new bannered drop-offs and overhead arches add huge amounts to the track.
“Another thing that has been an improvement is working with MXSports and being able to communicate with them, because it’s not like dealing with a brick wall,” added Townley. “And as far as the track goes, they have had really good ears to listen, and I have to say that it’s helped with the tracks so far this season.”
“The series this year has been great so far,” said Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short. “I can’t remember a year where the tracks have all been so well-prepared and fun to race on. With the competition so deep this year, there has been great racing for the fans in the entire field during every moto. I’ve been working on my early speed and starts, and it has been really paying off for me. I have a great team supporting me, and my Honda is working great. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season. There’s still a lot of great racing to come this year for the fans.”
“We are six races into a 12-race championship, and I feel like I’m completely rejuvenated,” said Trey Canard after his RedBud win. “I’m really thankful for my first win and excited about the way things are going with the series in general. The tracks have been rougher than ever, yet everything is run smoothly, and the fans have been as enthusiastic as ever. It’s been a great summer.”
“The series is going great and these new tracks for the WMX have been awesome,” said WMX Class points leader Jessica Patterson. “I was so happy to finally get the opportunity to race at RedBud, and the fans were just awesome there. We all appreciate having an awesome track with the best fans, as well as all the hard work to keep the Women’s racing moving forward.”
Top Five Lap Leaders in 2010
Christophe Pourcel: 87 (250 Class)
Ryan Dungey: 77 (450 Class)
Andrew Short: 39 (450 Class)
Eli Tomac: 35 (250 Class)
Dean Wilson: 33 (250 Class)
2010 Holeshot Winners
Andrew Short: 5 (450 Class)
Christophe Pourcel: 4 (250 Class)
Eli Tomac: 3 (250 Class)
Trey Canard: 2 (250 Class)
Wil Hahn: 2 (250 Class)
Brett Metcalfe: 2 (450 Class)
Ryan Dungey: 1 (450 Class)
Chad Reed: 1 (450 Class)
Mike Alessi: 1 (450 Class)
Intriguing 2010 Statistics
Of the seven overall winners in 2010, five have been first-time winners in their respective classes
Eli Tomac is the first rider in history to win his professional debut
Despite missing an entire moto, Andrew Short is tied for fourth in the 450 standings and boasts the most holeshots in the series
Short’s five holeshots came consecutively over the course of three races
Tyla Rattray boasts a moto win and overall victory in the 250 Class but has led only one lap all season
Four international riders have captured an overall victory in 2010:
Chad Reed (Australia)
Christophe Pourcel (France)
Tyla Rattray (South Africa)
Dean Wilson (Scotland)
Pourcel, Wilson, and Rattray also hold the top three spots in the 250 Class standings and are all teammates at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Points leaders Dungey and Pourcel are also the only riders to capture more than one win and one overall victory in 2010 through the first six rounds
MXSports Pro Racing is continuously striving to grow the sport’s fan base while presenting an exciting and safe racing platform that showcases the world-class sport of motocross, and with six races to go in the 2010 championship, the competition itself keeps improving. The legendary Kevin Windham is set to return at the next round at Millville, Minnesota’s Spring Creek on July 17, and fans can also look forward to live NBC Sports television coverage for Unadilla, the 30th Anniversary “retro” race at Washougal, the new Southern California stop at Pala Raceway in San Diego County, and highly regarded tracks Southwick and Steel City. American motocross is on the right track.
The 2010 running of Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever. None of it would be possible without the support of our many fans, sponsors, riders, and other stakeholders. MXSports Pro Racing would like to thank all of our stakeholders, supporters, and fans for their participation in the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
Editor’s note: All we know – this weekend is Millville!!!
Ben Townley, 101 on the Troy Lee Lucas Oil Honda 450, has been a nice addition to the 2010 series